Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Immigrants Then and Now

These photos were taken by a clerk at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1925. I am amazed that in one hundred years globalization has wiped out ethnic dress in so many cultures. 

Looking at these people who were once considered a scourge and have become our nation's pride, I think about the current refugee crisis and marvel that so many of us, having sought refuge ourselves or having benefitted from the asylum our ancestors received, deny those classified as "others" the same solace.  

I think about how, in a world of 7.4 billion people, immigrant numbers are going to continue to rise as climate change yields extreme weather events and increased pressure on limited resources. 

"The global age has turned our world into a society of strangers. That is not a threat to faith but a call to a faith larger and more demanding... The Bible commands us only once to love our neighbor, but it never tires of urging us to love the stranger." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

I wonder what is in store for us (and by us, I mean all of us). 

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