Sanctuary Committee

Beth El voted in 2017 to become a Sanctuary Community for those who are threatened in the immigrant community. Among other current tikkun olam initiatives, our congregation is helping a young Salvadoran family with two children that has applied for asylum. This page was created in conjunction with Beth El’s HIAS weekend focusing on refugees, where the family told their story.

Welcome to Jackie’s World

Welcome to the world of Jackeline (8½), daughter of Ana and Salvador and sister of Brandon (15) and Erick (1). This is the El Salvadoran family for which the Beth El community has provided sanctuary for more than six years. Their surname remains private while they await granting of asylum. They deeply appreciate all of the generous help with housing, transportation, furnishings, funding, other items and, most of all, your love.

These colorful artworks are like leaves of their family tree, uprooted from the rich soil of El Salvador and transplanted to the U.S. Jackie’s most recent pieces show the newest family member, Erick, born in December 2021, making him the family’s first U.S. citizen!

Ever since she could hold a marker or crayon, Jackie has been covering the apartment walls in Framingham, where they now live, with exuberant views of her new life. Interwoven with familiar themes of artwork done by young children, are clues to her love for family, nature and friends. She has a keen eye for detail and tells personal stories through images and words.

Jackie’s eye for detail and her uplifting sense of humor bring facets of nature to life. In Roger Keyes’ poem about Japanese artist Hokusai, he wrote, “Hokusai says look carefully. He says pay attention, notice. He says keep looking, stay curious. He says there is no end to seeing…He says everything is alive — shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees, wood is alive. Water is alive. Everything has its own life.”

As Jackie and her artistic skills mature, may her family tree continue to strengthen its roots and grow new branches, filled with life and nurtured by love.

— Linda Hirsch, curator, with assistance from Judy Katz & the Beth El Sanctuary Committee

Click on an image below to see a larger version and then click on arrows to advance to the next picture: