Please Help #KeepFamiliesTogether

by Cat Zavis

So for a brief moment, when Trump announced he would sign an executive order ending snatching children from their parents, I let myself cry tears of relief. This is an important and immediate victory for families that would otherwise have been separated. While it is not enough, our voices do matter. It would be so easy to go into despair, but in fact, Trump backed down – that in itself seems miraculous.

Sign from #KeepFamiliesTogether action on June 1, 2018 in Oakland, CA.

Does it mean the struggle is over? Of course not. Not on this issue and not on transforming the world. We are living in truly surreal times. The depravity, heartlessness, and cruelty of this administration and Republican party cannot be better demonstrated than by Melania wearing a jacket when visiting the detention camps for children wearing a jacket that says, “I Really Don’t Care, Do You?” Yes, WE DO CARE. Thousands and thousands of us care a whole hell of a lot. And we will continue to care and oppose the unjust, inhumane, devastating policies of this administration, on this and so many other issues.

To keep pressure on this administration and Congress, here are four things you can do to continue to challenge the unjust detention camps that will hold families indefinitely.

  • Attend a protest or rally. On June 30 there will be actions all over the country protesting Trump’s cruel and inhuman treatment of immigrant families. Click here to find the action nearest you. If you do participate, we encourage you to print out and bring the NSP Brochure to distribute at the events. We’ve also created some 8.5 x 11 posters that you’re welcome to print and display at rallies––you can find those here.
  • Sign our petition to members of Congress – you can do so here ( Please share the link with your friends on social media. The more people who sign, the better we’ll be able to make our voices heard: #KeepFamiliesTogether&Free.
  • Write your local paper about family separationHere is a sample letter you can send to your local paper. Feel free to personalize it. If you do send a letter, whether it gets printed or not, please send it to us at so we know!
  • Pressure companies that are benefitting from these policies. Click here for a list of companies benefitting from these detention centers––boycott, call, and let them know you will not stand for these inhumane policies.

If making America great again means bringing us back to the time when we snatched kids from parents, set-up internment camps, saw women, people of color, and LGBTQ people as second-class citizens, and undermined environmental laws so our waters and earth are poisoned and animals become extinct, then we are certainly on our way. Yet, we know that while the voices of evil and destruction seem to be flourishing, this too will pass because so many more people deeply yearn for a loving and just world where kindness, generosity, care, and love prevail. So don’t lose hope!

In addition to fighting on each specific issue, we must remember that we need to put forth a vision of the world we want. Resistance is simply not enough. We, at the Network of Spiritual Progressives, are working to bring this vision and voice to social change movements and organizations around the country. We hope you will consider joining our efforts.

Want to support our work? Help Tikkun & the Network of Spiritual Progressives continue to mobilize Jewish, interfaith, and secular-humanist communities to heal and transform the world. We pledge to continue to resist Trump’s agenda and put forward a positive, long-term strategy for social change. To do so, we need your help. Can we count on your support?

Yes, I’ll chip in $10 a month.

Can’t commit to a monthly donation? Click here to make a one-time contribution.

And don’t forget to take time to cry, to breathe, to nourish and to nurture yourself and your loved ones and then return to the streets, to writing letters, to calling, and to sharing a vision of the world you want. Thank you for all the work you are doing and for your support.

Stand Up and Be Heard This Weekend and Beyond

Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, the Supreme Court upholds Trump’s Muslim ban, and guts public sector unions; and now, Supreme Court Justice Kennedy has announced his retirement, giving Trump the opportunity to appoint a more extreme rightist to the Court. These are dark times indeed.

Fascist ideas and racist practices are on the rise in our country and as soon as Trump appoints a new Supreme Court justice, many more of our basic freedoms will unravel and be eroded in the name of “limited government” and “judicial restraint.”

So, we must challenge these developments in every non-violent way we can. We must stand up. We must be counted. In the short-term, we must show up at protests and rallies. For example, there are rallies planned around the country this coming Saturday. We at the Network of Spiritual Progressives will be joining with many others to insist that families belong together and to oppose the inhumane ways that the Trump Administration is dealing with people seeking refuge from oppression elsewhere. (Clickhereto find events near you).

Photo from recent immigration rally in Oakland, CA.

We have created flyers and posters you can print and bring to the events. (Clickherefor the flyer andherefor the posters.) Please send us photos ( so we can share them with others. Knowing there are others joining our efforts uplifts us all. In addition, we need to help get out the vote in November and in many places in the U.S. it would be very valuable to have ordinary citizens going door-to-door and initiating conversations with our neighbors about what is happening to America and why we need to stand up and defend democracy, human rights, and basic human decency at this moment when they are all under attack. We know that doing that can sometimes feel scary and take a lot of energy, but that will be a whole lot less scary than what we will face if the U.S. continues down the path that the ultra-Right wing has been pushing forward in the past years.

And, as I’ve said before, none of this is enough. We must also work even harder to raise consciousness and build a spiritually progressive social change movement that puts forward a vision of the world we want based on a New Bottom Line of love, care, kindness, generosity, social/economic/environmental justice, compassion, and environmental sanity. It’s only when we can transform our own movements’ discourse so that it includes this larger vision of what we are for (and not just what we are against) that we have any chance of changing the political realities in the U.S. These are urgent times indeed and we must respond to the urgency with both immediate actions and long-term solutions.

We are in this for the long-haul and are grateful to be doing this work with you. There are millions and millions of people here and around the world who are horrified about what is happening and who yearn for a more loving and just world. We will get there, my friend. But the journey will take time and a lot of effort on our part.

Sending blessings for strengthened hearts and resilience so we can continue to rise and rise again. I will end by sharing a translation of Psalm 23 that I wrote from a social justice perspective.

Psalm 23

A Messianic psalm

(1) YHVH, the Loving Transformative Power of the Universe, is my shepherd – my guardian

I shall not want fear

(2) Its energy causes me to lie down in green pastures, out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing

Guiding me to restful waters

(3) Its compassion renews my soul’s life

Its call for righteousness encircles me and guides me on pathways of justice to what ought to be

For the sake of Transformation

(4) Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death

I fear no evil for You are with me

Your rod and Your staff – like a grounding stick – they comfort me and give me strength

(5) You spread before me a table in front of my enemies – those I’m bound up with – so we can break bread together

You anoint my head with oil, comforting me

My cup overflows

(6) Let only that which is life giving and loving kindness pursue me

All the days of my life

And I shall dwell in the house of YHVH

for many long years