syrian_refugees-2 A New Perspective I come from a family of immigrants. There are numerous stories about how my ancestors came from various parts of Europe to America, the land of opportunity.  My family has been incredibly fortunate since our ancestors arrived. We are Jewish and by being part of a wondering group that has been dispersed all over the world we are very cognizant of the rights of others, especially with those who are living in hostile environments. As you know, our people have been the victim of numerous religious persecutions which continue to this day.  At Yom Kippur services this morning, one of the rabbis counseled us that we should open our arms and hearts to the Syrian people. It’s important to keep in mind that Syria is the same country that tried on numerous occasions to help exterminate Israel, and my relatives who live there. Suffice it to say that I have been brought up with the idea that Israel is our additional homeland. Now we are being counseled to say that while the governments are bad, the people are not to blame. Since that is the same argument that I give when traveling to other countries about how I am not responsible for our President nor our Congress, I had an epiphany. Maybe I was doing the same thing to people in other countries that I was telling them not to do about the United States. After the Rabbi spoke, I left the service for a while and went outside for a walk. I often do my deepest thinking when exercising and or being outside. I held a quick conference with God, yes I do think we can communicate, and the general message was that I should take my prejudices against countries not confuse it with their citizens and get off my backside and do something. After we got home from the service, I wrote a note to my temple saying that if they adopted a refugee family I would supply one entry level job to a good candidate. If the candidate worked out, I would sponsor him or her for citizenship. My wonderful wife agreed with my proposal, which helped reaffirm that I made the right decision. No citizen should be responsible for the bad acts of their country. It is time we separated the two and help those in need. Giving someone a job basically means you are taking some measure of responsibility for them and their family. Sponsoring a person for citizenship is an even bigger commitment. Many people have helped my ancestors in the past and  they have done the same with others. I want to continue this because, like it or not, building walls to keep people out, damning whole groups of people because of their cultures, ethnicity or religious beliefs is not only dumb, it is a recipe for disaster. I do not want to hand that legacy down to my children and those that follow.  A new direction begins today. Andrew C. Jacobs President Ideal Jacobs Corporation we-are-not-terrorists