On July 21-22, the Jewish community gathered in vigils and protests around country, demanding an end to this unfolding modern-day catastrophe. As a community, we lamented and wept. In cities like Orange County, CA; Boston; New York; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Durham, NC; St. Paul, MN; Richmond, VA; Santa Rosa, CA; Washington, DC; Newark, NJ: Portland, OR; Greenfield, MA; and countless others we are still learning about, T’ruah and its supporters asserted that this Jewish day of mourning could not ignore the cries of those whose tragedy is right before us.

As we begin reading the seven Haftarot of comfort, in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, we are assured that God has heard our cries. But comfort for the families torn apart by our nation’s cruel policies will not be easily achieved. Our network of 2,000 rabbis and cantors will continue to bring attention to their plight until we have a just and fair immigration system in this country.

Below is a list with links for some of these Tisha B’Av observances. Find texts and other resources for Tisha B’Av here.

(Photo courtesy of our friends at Bend the Arc Jewish Action.)

Boston

Tisha B’Av: Historic Catastrophe, Modern Catastrophe

Sunday, July 22, at 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
10 New England Executive Park Ste 1, Burlington, Massachusetts

 On the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, when we fast in remembrance of destruction and exile, we come together at the ICE office in Burlington to mourn the brokenness of our American immigration system. As children are separated from parents—not just on the southern border, but every time a parent is put in detention for months on end—we lament. As people who seek asylum from violence and economic devastation are denied refuge, we lament. As Muslims are denied access to their family members in the U.S. simply because of their national origin, we lament. In the face of the fear and uncertainty plaguing our immigrant communities, we lament.

Community members are invited to this public lament in the closing hours of Tisha B’Av, as we share stories, sing laments, and offer both support to those most impacted and call for a new vision of healing and justice.

Cosponsors include Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and The Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action.

Durham, North Carolina

Tisha B’Av: Mourning and Resisting Immigration Injustice

Saturday, July 21, at 8:30 p.m. AND Sunday, July 22, at 1 p.m.
Durham County Courthouse (510 South Dillard St)

The Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of the ancient synagogue and the generations of forced migration of the ancient Israelite people. It is a day of mourning for the plight of our refugee ancestors. Today, as American Jews, we use this commemoration to mourn and resist the policies of our current government that are endangering, abusing, incarcerating and deporting refugees and immigrants seeking safety. We invite our neighbors and friends of all faiths and backgrounds to join with us to grieve and resist.

Saturday, July 21st 8:30pm-10:00pm: Join Carolina Jews for Justice and members of the Triangle Jewish community for a prayer service and vigil.

Sunday, July 22nd 1pm-3pm: Join us for multifaith community learning on immigration injustice happening right here in Durham, and learn what you can do to resist on behalf of your friends and neighbors. Event is open to families.

Cosponsors include: AFSC & Siembra NC, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship,
Durham for All, El Vínculo Hispano, HIAS, Kol Haskalah: A Humanistic Jewish Congregation, NC Council of Churches, NC Justice Center.

Greenfield, MA

Sunday, July 22, 10-11 a.m.

You are invited to gather at the ICE detention center in Greenfield on Tisha B’Av, July 22, to bear witness to what is happening inside, to not stand by unheedng when human beings are imprisoned and endangered, when families are separated.

Hosted by Rabbi David Seidenberg.

Newark, New Jersey

Solidarity Tisha B’Av 

Saturday, July 21 at 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
972 Broad St, Newark, NJ

Join together to commemorate the most tragic day of the Jewish calendar with an alternative Maariv service and recitation of Lamentations. Stand in solidarity with immigrants experiencing the contemporary tragedy of unjust law and wanton destruction as we remember the devastation of Jewish communities in the past.

Cosponsors include Bnai Keshet (Montclair), Temple Ner Tamid (Bloomfield), Temple B’nai Abraham (Livingston), Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

New York

Senseless Hatred Destroys Sanctuary: Tisha B’Av to #AbolishICE

Saturday, Jul 21 at 9:45 p.m.
West Side Highway Park and 26th St.

For these things do I weep, My eyes flow with tears: Far from me is any comforter Who might revive my spirit; My children are forlorn, For the enemy has prevailed. על־אלה אני בוכיה עיני עיני ירדה מים כי־רחק ממני מנחם משיב נפשי היו בני שוממים כי גבר אויב (ס)

We find ourselves in a time of mourning as Jews and as a country. This year, on Tisha B’Av (erev July 21st-July 22nd), we cry out for the end to family separations and to #AbolishICE.

We learn from Tisha B’Av that senseless hatred and cruelty destroy sanctuary for us all. This Saturday night, we will gather to chant Eicha (Lamentations, the traditional text read on the holiday) and other meaningful texts, and reflect on a central, powerful mechanism of senseless hatred in our society: Immigration & Customs Enforcement, or ICE. We will let the weight of the agency’s racist cruelty sink into us as we mark this important day. There will be continued learning, prayer, and fasting (for those who observe) through the night, with dedicated time to asking Gov. Cuomo to reject senseless hatred and to join the call to #AbolishICE.

Led by Jews for Racial & Economic Justice and T’ruah

Orange County, California

We Lay Down and Wept
Sunday, July 22, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Temple Beth Sholom
2625 N Tustin Ave, Santa Ana

Through song, poetry, and meaningful texts, we will open our arms to the vast refugee crisis that plagues our world, and especially our country right now.

Tisha B’Av is the day the ancient Temple in Jerusalem fell, and the Jews went into exile. Traditionally, it’s a day that symbolizes the numerous tragedies that made Jews refugees. It also begins the two-month long process of the High Holy Day period – one that concludes with renewal and rebuilding.

In our time, Jews are no longer refugees, however, it is our imperative to stand up for the stranger, the other, because “we know the heart of the stranger.”

Led by Rabbi Jill Zimmerman and Rabbi Hazzan Marcia Tilchin.

Organized by The Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees in cooperation with T’ruah. OC Coalition members are local organizations and congregations that have signed on to the HIAS Welcome Campaign initiative and include Congregation B’nai Israel, Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Temple Beth David, Shir Ha-Ma’alot, University Synagogue OC, Temple Beth Emet, and Jewish Collaborative of Orange County.

Philadelphia

Tisha B’Av: A Call to Our Conscience
Sunday, July 22 at 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
220 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA

In observance of Tisha B’Av, a day a of mourning, Or Hadash, HIAS, Reconstructing Judaism, BZBI, and other local synagogues and Jewish organizations will be standing in solidarity with immigrants and protesting unjust policy and treatment outside of the ICE field offices. Join us for a morning of prayer, contemplation, and activism.

Portland, Oregon

Tisha B’Av Ritual: A Lament for Immigrant Detention and Family Separation
Saturday, July 21, 8:30 p.m. at 4310 SW Macadam Ave.

As Jewish tradition tells it, on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av (Tisha B’Av) our People suffered the destruction of both the First and Second Temples, as well as several other catastrophes. Jews gather each year on this day to commemorate these tragedies, chanting the book of Lamentations and singing mournful yet beautiful melodies. In response to the catastrophes being perpetrated right now upon thousands of individuals and families entering our country, we will gather in front of ICE headquarters for prayer, reflection, and ritual, opening our hearts to this current destruction, and turning our spirits toward insuring safety and dignity for all who enter this land.

Rabbi Benjamin Barnett of Havurah, Rabbi Ariel Stone and Rabbinic Intern Davina Bookbinder of Shir Tivkah and Rabbi Debra Kolodny of Portland’s UnShul will lead.

Richmond, Virginia

Witness and Lament: Solidarity Tisha B’Av
Sunday, July 22, 3:45-5 p.m.
Outside Temple Beth-El (3330 Grove Ave.)
Parking available in lot behind Temple off of Roseneath Road, and along Grove Avenue and side streets.

Cosponsors include Congregation Or Ami Social Action Committee, Second Presbyterian Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Central Virginia Sanctuary Network, Agudath Sholom Synagogue, Sacred Heart Church and Sacred Heart Center.

Tisha B’Av (the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av) is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, a day of mourning, fasting, and lamentation, marking the ancient destruction of the Holy Temple, Judaism’s holiest site, and the subsequent exile of the Jewish people from their homeland. This year, as Tisha B’Av falls amidst the backdrop of a moral crisis in our country, we feel it is appropriate to gather to mourn this brokenness and call for a new direction. As children are separated from parents—not just on the southern border, but every time a parent is put in detention for months on end—we lament. As people who seek asylum from violence and economic devastation are denied refuge, we lament. As Muslims are denied access to their family members in the U.S. simply because of their national origin, we lament. In the face of the fear and uncertainty plaguing our immigrant communities, we lament. All are invited to this public lament in the closing hours of Tisha B’Av. We will share stories, sing laments, and offer both support to those most impacted and call for a new vision of healing and justice.”

We are encouraging people to wear either black clothing or attire that reflects their own culture’s practices regarding mourning.

We are encouraging people to bring signs with messages appropriate to their culture’s expressions of mourning/that communicate lament over current immigration policy and actions that demand a turning around of hearts and minds and policies in the spirit of the biblical book of Lamentations’ injunction to “Shuv,” go back.

San Francisco Bay Area

Stories of Loss & Destruction: A Multifaith Ceremony
Saturday, July 21, 7-9:30 p.m.
West County Detention Facility (5555 Giant Hwy, Richmond, California)

Note: Organizers request that press members not attend this event.

We come from so many different stories and histories of trauma and loss. Sharing these stories and listening to each other, we heal and build connection.

July 21 is the Jewish holy day of Tisha B’Av, a day of mourning and fasting to remember the communal losses of our people.

The West County Detention Facility in Richmond incarcerates both immigrants without papers and people caught in the prison-industrial complex. It has become a site of protest and pilgrimage to resist the gears of oppression that grind in our own neighborhoods.

This year, we gather here with people of all backgrounds to share, to grieve, to resist and to build something better.

7:00 pm – Community / multifaith story-sharing and witness
8:00 pm ish – Candlelight Tisha B’Av service with chanting of Lamentations/ Eicha

Hosted by Kehilla Community Synagogue

Santa Rosa, CA

Tisha B’Av Grief Vigil

Saturday, July 21, 8:00-9:00 p.m.

Shea Federal Building, 777 Sonoma Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA, 

This year we’re taking Tisha B’Av on the road.

On this holiday marking our own exile, our own displacement from what was once our home, and our many personal and communal heartbreaks, we will stand in solidarity with immigrants and refugees by coming together at the Shea Federal Building, 777 Sonoma Avenue in Santa Rosa. We will meet at the steps on the D Street side of the building. We will chant from the Book of Lamentations, sing together, and offer our blessings to all who are displaced and in danger. If you are not able to stand for an hour, bring a folding chair.

Hosted by Congregation Ner Shalom. Led by Reb Irwin, Shoshana Fershtman, Atzilah Solot, Reb Judith Goleman and Rabbi Chaya Gusfield.

Washington, D.C.

Tisha B’Av: Let The Walls of Our Hearts Come Tumbling Down

Sunday, July 22, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Lafayette Square

On Tisha B’Av (the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av), corresponding with 7/21-7/22/2018, the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, Jews observe a day of mourning, fast and lamentation, marking the ancient destruction of the Holy Temple, Judaism’s holiest site, and the subsequent exile of the Jewish people from their homeland. The date also marks the anniversary of when a series of exiles, deportations, and other forms of brutal state violence befell the Jewish people. Our grief is compounded by holding many overwhelming tragedies together in one day.

This year, as Tisha B’Av falls amidst the backdrop of increased state violence, detention and deportation, prisons & walls destroying our communities, we feel it is appropriate to gather to mourn this brokenness, allowing ourselves and our communities to move from disbelief and paralysis to reflection and then action.

We invite you to a public mourning ritual and service where we will lift up the vital lives of those impacted by detention, deportation and other forms of state violence, sitting with the terrible suffering around us, and seeing the destruction of our own families and communities in each other’s pain.

On Tisha B’av we ask ourselves “Eicha?” or “How?” How is this happening? We will chant from Eicha/the Book of Lamentations, pray, recite the contemporary litanies of destruction and reflect together, mourning the destruction of human life & dignity, as well as the destruction of the narratives we have been taught about a country guaranteeing “freedom for all.”

It is written that baseless hatred and paralyzing humility were the reasons the Holy Temple was destroyed. We read from the Book of Lamentations and bare witness, through our lament, to the horror of children separated from parents—not just on the southern border, but every time a parent is put in prison for months on end, is brutally murdered by police—we lament. In the face of the fear and uncertainty plaguing our immigrant communities, plaguing Black mothers who fear for their children’s safety, of Muslim children, witnessing daily state violence, of indigenous families, ripped from their land, we lament.

We will meet in Lafayette Square to bring our lamentations to the seat of power, and then continue moving to Freedom Plaza to call on DC government to hear our cries and take action to stop the detention of DC residents.

We lift up the Mijente Policy Platform and commit that we will no longer allow petty differences and apathy paralyze us from taking bold action to echo the call to #FreeOurFuture.

Tisha B’av offers us a tradition that allows us to go through the collective pain and suffering, in order to take collective action on the other side.

Tisha b’Av is a day of mourning on par with Yom Kippur. Many Jews refrain from eating or drinking for 25 hours, traditionally dress humbly, possibly in torn or dirty clothing, sometimes ripping their clothing as if in mourning. Some Jews avoid wearing leather shoes.

We will be sitting on the ground as we are able as a sign of mourning.

Stay tuned for more info.

#AbolishICE #ICEOutofDC #BlackLivesMatter #NoBanNoWallNoRaids #FreeOurFuture