I’m proud to say that my parents supported our Reform Jewish synagogue [Temple Beth Israel of Pomona]’s efforts to aid Vietnamese refugees (“boat people”) in the 1980s. A specific family was “adopted” and given material, personal and financial support all the way through the process. They did not convert to Judaism, they did not become members of the congregation. That was not the goal of the Jews. The goal was to do the right thing. At the time, as an adolescent, it was difficult for me to understand. As an adult, I see the nobleness/love of the effort.

Read more on how the USA’s refugee system works: “An Overview of U.S. Refugee Law and Policy” (American Immigration Council)

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