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Welcoming the Stranger
March 16, 2017
President Trump's travel ban is on ice, but the questions it raises--who’s in, and who’s out-- well, sacred texts have been looking at that forever.
Flickr
At Home with Salah and Najah, Syrian Refugees March 16, 2017
Three years ago, Salah and his wife fled Syria with their four youngest children, and the clothes on their backs. For the past six months they've lived in the United States, navigating a new language, a stack of bills, and American anxieties over Muslim immigrants. Enter John and Gretchen, a retired couple working to ease their way. As political tensions rise over President Trump's second attempt at a travel ban, we hear from the two couples about their friendship, their reality, and their fears.
Emily Goodstein
Rabbi Jack Moline: 'All of Us Wander this World' March 17, 2017
For Jews, who the Torah says wandered through the desert for 40 years, the concept of "the stranger" strikes a deep chord. Rabbi Jack Moline reminds us that wherever we live, whoever we are, our dwellings are basically temporary and our fates are somewhat random. We are all wandering in the wilderness.

Rabbi Jack Moline, President of the Interfaith Alliance
University of Washington Press
The Sanctuary Movement Rises Again March 16, 2017
The faith-based sanctuary movement has been flourishing, especially since the election of President Donald Trump. Scholar Linda Rabben explains how the movement first emerged in the 1980s to help Central Americans fleeing violence. In the past year, hundreds of houses of worship have declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, defying the law and turning their basements into bedrooms.

Linda Rabben, author of Sanctuary and Asylum: A Social and Political History
Gan-Shmuel archive | Wikimedia
Listener Story: Mark Klar March 17, 2017
Listener Mark Klar of Richmond, Kentucky shares this memory of a time he felt like a stranger. Here's an excerpt of his story of encountering a Bedouin in the Sinai desert, as a 22-year-old traveler.

After exchanging salaam aleikums, he gestured for me to sit with him under this desiccated "tree." He then proceeded to make a small fire, take his sack of, what turned out to be, flour, the water and mix them together. He turned over the pan, spread the dough on the back of the pan and baked pita bread. He gave me half.

We ate together while exchanging smiles. He then put out the fire and scoured the pan with sand. We got up, exchanged salaams and went on our different ways. I will never forget his kindness. A Jew and a Muslim.
 
Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A Journey to Syria to Find Her Grandfather's Saviors March 16, 2017
Dawn MacKeen's grandfather, Stepan Miskjian, survived the Armenian genocide-- a story that hinged on the hospitality of an Arab Muslim family that took in Miskjian as he wandering through Syria, starving and in rags. MacKeen traveled to meet the descendants of the family who saved her grandfather's life, and then realized that the story had come full circle. Today, a grandson of that Syrian family is himself seeking refuge. 

Dawn MacKeen, author of The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey




Dawn MacKeen's grandfather, Stepan Miskjian (left), is pictured with friends around 1910, just a few years before the Armenian genocide.
Courtesy Jeff Kaufman
Podcast Extra: Jeff and Julia, Super-Givers March 17, 2017
Meet Jeff Kaufman and Julia Wise. They're a couple with a Quaker background who, last year, managed to donate $160,000 to causes they believe in. That was 81 percent of their take-home pay... to fight malaria, in Africa, for example, and help strangers they’ll never even meet. And that’s led to some pretty interesting calculations around how they spend their money. They're among the most visible faces of the effective altrusim movement.

Kaufman and Wise recommend the site Give Well to learn about effective ways to give.



Jeff, Julia and effective altruists-in-training, Lily, 2 and Anna, 1.