Our Immigration and Refugees Task Force fights for the rights of people in the United States and overseas and brings our community closer together through direct service, action and advocacy.
We seek to create a safer world for refugees and immigrants, and to sensitize members of the Stephen Wise community to the human, Jewish, and American elements of immigration and refugee work.
We are guided by the following principles:
- Immigration was a central component of the Declaration of Independence, and encourages us to welcome the foreigner through our American values.
- The phrase “welcome the stranger” is the most common phrase in the Torah, and inspires us to fight for refugees and immigrants in accordance of our Jewish values.
- We value the human needs and conditions that create a world where refugees simply need a home.
- “Build with, not for:” We build relationships with immigrants and refugees and follow their direction in outlining how we might be of support.
If you’d like to get involved, please reach out! For any questions, email the task force co-chairs at ImmigrationRefugeeTF@swfs.org or contact Rabbi Samantha Natov at (212) 877-4050, ext. 244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Samantha Natov grew up in Dundas, Ontario. She holds a bachelor’s from McGill University and a master’s in musicology and ethnomusicology from the University of Virginia. Following her time as a cantorial soloist in Toronto, Rabbi Natov came to New York to earn her degree in sacred music from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. After working as a cantor at congregations in New Jersey and Brooklyn, she decided to become a rabbi. Rabbi Natov was ordained by HUC-JIR in 2015 and joined Stephen Wise Free Synagogue a few months later in July 2015.
As associate rabbi at Stephen Wise, she oversees the congregation’s adult education programming and social justice work.