I write to you on on this, the day after your father signed an executive order that blocks 218 million people from entering our country.
On this, the day after your kids get to play on a playground, just as you did with your mother, an immigrant to America.
I ask, how can you sit idly by?
You can see Lady Liberty from your Manhattan penthouse. What do these words mean to you?
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
I ask you as a human, as a mother, as a Jew: How can you ignore the words of Bana al-Abed, the 7-year-old who beseeched your father to aid the people of Syria?
“[C]an you please save the children and people of Syria? You must do something for the children of Syria because they are like your children and deserve peace like you.”
On this, the day after Holocaust Remembrance Day, on a morning when you get to kiss and snuggle your three young children from the comfort of your home in Manhattan, or from your new house in Kalorama.
On this, the day when you go to temple to share and practice your faith.
What will you say to your children about their grandfather’s role in blocking the poor huddled masses from dreaming they could come to this great nation?
What will you tell them about their great-grandparents who survived the Holocaust? What will you tell them (in their father’s own words) about their great-great-aunt Esther who was killed in Novogrudok?
I write this letter as a woman, a mother, and a fellow New Yorker of Jewish ancestry who today feels powerless.
I write this letter to ask you, so close to the man in power making these decisions, is there not something you can do so that history does not repeat itself?