Please ReTweet: 75 Long Island Faith Leaders Call on State Senate to Pass Green Light Bill

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Seventy-five Long Island faith leaders have published a call for passage of the Green Light New York bill allowing immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses. The letter, organized by Jobs With Justice and Bend the Arc, needs to be retweeted. Can you help make sure our message is seen by sharing on twitter?

Here is the letter:

Dear Senate Majority Leader Stewart Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senators Monica Martinez, James Gaughran, Kevin Thomas, Anna Kaplan, John Brooks, and Todd Kaminsky, and Governor Andrew Cuomo:

As clergy leaders from Long Island, we write to you to urge you in the strongest terms to pass Driver’s Licenses for All, S1747B, before the end of session in 2019.

The three Abrahamic religions each call us to care for the immigrant, the exile and the newcomer, as do other traditions. The Jewish tradition is clear on the treatment of immigrants. We are inspired by our faith that demands of us concern for the stranger in our midst. Leviticus commands, “When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (19:33-34). This teaching permeates Jewish tradition and in all is stated 36 times in the Torah – the most repeated of any commandment. It reminds us of how our ancestors were treated as the stranger, even in Egypt, a land where we lived for generations.

The Christian and Muslim traditions each echoed the prophetic Jewish command to care for immigrants. In the Gospel of Mathew, Jesus lays out this instruction among the criteria for eternal salvation: “For… I was a stranger and you welcomed me…. I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:35-40).

In the Qur’an can be found this admonition: “And those who become [refugees] for the cause of God after they had been oppressed. We verily shall give them goodly lodging in the world, and surely the reward of the hereafter is greater…” (Verse 16:41). 

In allowing all New York residents to earn a driver’s license it will ensure we have safer roads across the state, with more drivers who have taken the five hour safe driving course, passed their road test, and purchased insurance, which is why so many law enforcement leaders support this bill. It will also more than pay for itself in fees and taxes, raising an estimated 57 million dollars a year.

Most importantly, as you are aware, across the United States, many undocumented people are not afforded basic protections. The passage of Driver’s Licenses for All would mean everyone, regardless of status, would be able to live our lives with more dignity, and not have to risk deportation every time they go to work, take a child to school or a family member to the doctor or hospital or try to attend a worship service.

Now is the time to turn our values into action, and to ensure that justice for our state’s most vulnerable is neither delayed nor denied. Please use your power to make New York a more merciful, more just place for all of us.

Thank you,

(Note: congregation listed for identification purposes only)

Rabbi Uri Allen, Temple Beth Sholom Roslyn, NY

Rabbi Jodie Siff, Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore Plandome, NY

Rabbi Rachel Maimin, North Shore Synagogue Syosset, NY

Rabbi Adam Fisher, Port Jefferson Station, NY

Rabbi Judy Cohen-Rosenberg, Community Reform Temple Westbury, NY

Cantor Israel Gordon, Huntington Jewish Center Huntington, NY

Rabbinical Student Solomon Hoffman, Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore Plandome, NY

Rabbi Benjamin Herman, Jericho jewish center Jericho, NY

Rabbi Alex Kress, Temple Sinai of Roslyn Roslyn, NY

Rabbi Stephen Karol, Temple Isaiah Stony Brook, NY

Rabbi Neil Schuman, Manetto Hill Jewish Center Plainview, NY

Rabbi Sam Pollak, The Community Synagogue Port Washington, NY

Rabbi Lina Zerbarini, Lina Zerbarini Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Rabbi Marc Gruber, Central Synagogue-Beth Emeth Rockville Centre, NY

Rabbi Irwin Zeplowitz, The Community Synagogue Port Washington, NY

Isma Chaudhry, Chair Islamic Center of Long Island Westbury, NY

Reverend Laurie Cline, Metropolitan NY Synod, retired Riverhead, NY

Bushop’s Vicar for Hispanic Ministry in the East End Vicar Gerardo Romo – Garcia The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island Garden City, NY

President Habeeb Ahmed, Islamic Center Of Long Island Westbury NY

Rabbi Randy Sheinberg, Temple Tikvah New Hyde Park, NY

Leader Emeritus Arthur Dobrin, Arthur Dobrin Garden City, NY

Sister Emily Masse, Sisters of St. Dominic Amityville, N.Y., NY

Sr. Joan Gallagher, Sisters of St Joseph Brentwood, NY

Rev. Marie A. Tatro, Episcopal Diocese of Long Island Garden City, NY

Rev. Ronald Richardson, St. Anthony of Padua Rocky Point, NY

The Rev. John Denaro, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church Brooklyn, NY

Deacon Gail Kertland, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Islip, NY

Reverend Julie Hoplamazian, Zion Church Douglaston, NY

Deacon Jean Dougherty, St Andrews Lutheran church Smithtown, NY

Rev Canon Joseph Pae, All Saints Church Great Neck, NY

Associate Rector Erika Meyer, Grace Brooklyn, NY

The Rev. Mark Genszler, St Francis Episcopal Church North Bellmore, NY

Sister Margaret Kavanagh, Dominican Sisters Amityville, NY

Rabbi Steven Moss, Oakdale, NY

Sister Mary Anna Euring, Mary Anna Euring Amityville, NY

The Rev. Gary Parker, St. Stephen Church Port Washington, NY

The Rev. Canon Diocese, LI Diocese LI Garden City, NY

Rabbi Beth Klafter, Temple Beth David Commack, NY

Rev. Erik Rasmussen, Erik Rasmussen Woodbury, NY

Sister Patricia DeMarco, Sisters of St. Dominic Amityville, N.Y., NY

Cantor/Rabbi Debra Stein, Jewish Center of the Hamptons East Hampton, NY, NY

Rabbi Andrew Warmflash, HERJC East Rockaway NY, NY

Rev. Ned Wight, UU Congregation at Shelter Rock Manhasset, NY

Rabbi Susie Moskowitz, Huntington, NY

Sister Jeanne Clark, Dominican Sisters of the Holy Cross Amityville, NY, NY

Sister Rosalie Carven, Sisters of St. Joseph Brentwood, NY, NY

Rabbi Elliot Skiddell, Central Synagogue – Beth Emeth Rockville Centre, NY

Rabbi Lee Friedlander, Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore Plandome, NY

Rev. Lawrence Swensen, Long Island Council of Churches Freeport, New York, NY

Rabbi Elliot Skiddell, Central Synagogue-Beth Emeth Rockville Centre, NY

The Rev Richard Witt, Rural & Migrant Ministry Riverhead, NY

Rabbi Ian Silverman, East Northport Jewish center East Northport, NY

Cantor Nancy Dubin, Temple Am Echad Lynbrook, NY

Rabbi Michael White, Temple Sinai of Roslyn Roslyn, NY

Rabbi Paul Sidlofsky, Temple Isaiah Stony Brook, NY

Rabbi Jaimee Shalhevet, North Shore Synagogue Syosset, NY

Cantor Claire Franco, The Community Synagogue Port Washington, NY

Rev David Collins, United Methodist Church or Port Washington Port Washington, NY

Rabbi Jonathan Waxman, Temple Beth Sholom of Smithtown Smithtown, NY

Rabbi Emeritus Jerome Davidson, Temple Beth-El Great Neck, NY

Cantor Bradley Hyman, Temple Chaverim Plainview, NY

Rabbi Janet Liss, North Country Reform Temple Glen Cove, NY

Rabbi Jodie Siff, The Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore Manhasset, NY

Cantor Marcey Wagner, Temple Isaiah Stony Brook, NY

Rev. Duncan Burns, St. Johns, Huntington Centerport, NY

Rabbi Debra Bennet, Temple Chaverim Plainview, NY

Cantor Eric Schulmiller, The Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore Plandome, NY

Rev David Collins, United Methodist Church of Port Washington Port Washington, NY

President Helen Kearney, Sisters of St. Joseph Brentwood, NY


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