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Olympia synagogue plans ceremony to declare itself a sanctuary for immigrants

Rabbi Seth Goldstein of Temple Beth Hatfiloh will speak at a ceremony Wednesday to announce the synagogue’s decision to become a sanctuary congregation.
Rabbi Seth Goldstein of Temple Beth Hatfiloh will speak at a ceremony Wednesday to announce the synagogue’s decision to become a sanctuary congregation. Staff file

Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia has decided to become a sanctuary congregation and has planned a public ceremony to commemorate its decision to aid immigrants.

“In support of immigrant rights, the congregation pledges to participate in actions up to and including physical sanctuary,” the synagogue announced Monday.

The ceremony is set for 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, outside Temple Beth Hatfiloh at 201 Eighth Ave. SE.

Rabbi Seth Goldstein will speak at the ceremony, as well as other congregation members and representatives of local immigrant support organizations. Local faith leaders and government officials have been invited to attend.

In a news release, Temple Beth Hatfiloh leaders said it has developed a plan to guide how and when one may be invited into physical sanctuary, and made its decision after months of planning and a process that engaged the entire congregation. The downtown Olympia temple has about 175 member households.

The synagogue, along with other faith organizations, is part of the previously formed Greater South Sound Faith Network for Immigrant and Refugee Support.

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