MARCH 8, 2018 – BOSTON – Last Sunday, 450 people participated in New England Anti-Defamation League’s 11th annual seder celebration. The seder drew people from across the state and from all faiths and backgrounds.
“At a time when immigrants are living in fear and facing harassment every day we acknowledge our responsibility to honor human dignity,” said Robert Trestan, regional director of ADL New England. At the event, held at the Campus Center ballroom at UMass-Boston, the ADL issued a statement from 24 mayors from across the state affirming their commitment to protect immigrants in their communities.
In addition to Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern, who read the statement aloud, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, were mayors from communities north of Boston including: Beverly Mayor Michael P. Cahill; Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria; Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini; Lowell Mayor William Samaras; Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee; Malden Mayor Gary Christenson; Medford Mayor Stephanie M. Burke; Melrose Mayor Gail Infirna; Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo; Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll; and Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone.
Paraphrasing the closing lines of the Passover seder, of “Next year in Jerusalem,” Jose Palma said immigrants dream of the same: “Next year in Boston.” Palma noted the imperative for Jews at Passover to recall the Exodus as if they themselves were freed from slavery. Palma fled war-torn El Salvador in 1998. He has been living legally under Temporary Protected Status for some 20 years. In 2011, he earned a paralegal degree from North Shore Community College, where he was named a distinguished alumni. Palma and his wife, who have three American-born children, face deportation because of recent changes announced by the Trump administration to end TPS status for immigrants from El Salvador, considered one of the world’s most violent nations. He founded an organization, Comite TPS de Massachusetts, to advocate on behalf of immigrants who will lose their protected status.