We were so comforted by the many individuals and religious and community groups that reached out to us after the tragedy in Pittsburgh last fall. Many of our community allies accepted our invitation to join us in our Hanukkah celebration in December. We have reaching out to them and our own Jewish community to join us in an inter-denominational, children's art experience and exhibit: Welcome! We Were Strangers Too! This project, developed and co-curated by Dena Palley and Ilene Weiss, gives children the opportunity to explore welcoming the stranger through art; we will mount an exhibit of the artwork created by children throughout New Mexico to coincide with our Jewish holiday of Passover, our original story of beings strangers in a strange land.
Our Hebrew Bible reminds us in multiple places and ways:
Do not oppress the stranger.
You know the heart of the stranger for you were a stranger.
Do not treat the stranger differently from the homeborn.
This profound commandment is the beginning of and reason for empathy. This exhibit will also coincide with the Tikkun Olam / Immigrant Justice Project. We are sponsoring Oak Tree and Annunciation House and collecting specific donations during the month of April in conjunction with our Gallery theme.