SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — In a recent sermon, a Santa Monica rabbi called out a former congregant – senior presidential advisor Stephen Miller.
On Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels read a letter to Stephen Miller, whose family briefly belonged to the Beth Shir Shalom Synagogue in Santa Monica when he was 9 years old.
“Mr. Miller, the policy that you helped to conceive and put into practice is cruel,” the letter read in part. “The zero tolerance policy…completely antithetical to everything I know about Judaism, Jewish law, and Jewish values.”
Miller, who is Jewish, grew up in Santa Monica and attended Santa Monica High School. He is known as the architect of many of President Trump’s hardline policies on immigration, including the zero tolerance policy that led to the separation of families, who illegally crossed the U.S. border.
“We have to take up this moral slack, this moral void that is now gaping in front of us,” Comess-Daniels said. “We need to fill it up with justice.”
Miller’s uncle, David Glosser, also criticized his nephew in a recent piece for Politico, saying he has watched with dismay and increasing horror as Miller became the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of their family’s life in America.
Like many Jews who fled persecution in Eastern Europe, Miller’s ancestors immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s.
The criticism from his hometown Jewish community and his own uncle might be stinging rebuttal, but not all Jews have been critical of him. In fact some more politically conservative Orthodox Jews applaud Miller and the Trump administration for taking a strong stand in support of Israel, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and cutting off contact and funding to some Palestinian entities.