Join us:

Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, Occupy Chicago & Occupy Judaism Host Hannukah in Reclaimed Home

OccupyOurHomes on December 27, 2011
Posted in: Home DefenseInspirations

In Chicago, Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, Occupy Chicago and Occupy Judaism helped Sabrina Morey and her seven children celebrate Hannukah this week in a home they are occupying. The event received great coverage from the Chicago Sun Times and local Fox station. Occupy Judaism, the Spiritual Affairs Committee of Occupy Chicago and Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction put out a statement explaining the action and its meaning for Sabrina Morey's family.

Among other things, Hanukkah is a celebration of the re-occupation of the Temple in Jerusalem after it was seized and desecrated by the Syrian King Antiochus. In 164 BCE, led by the Maccabees, the Jews rededicated their reclaimed spiritual home, the Temple. Today, almost 2200 years later, many brave justice seekers are reclaiming for families homes that were unethically--and in some cases illegally--seized and desecrated by the banks.

One such family is Sabrina Morey and Carlos Arsiniega’s. Sabrina, unemployed mother of 4, and her sister Samantha, mother of 3, have been struggling to live in a stable home environment, due to lack of money and affordable or public housing.

This injustice persists despite the fact that the foreclosure crisis has swept across the country leaving hundreds of thousands of homes vacant. Census data from 2010 shows 174,000 vacant homes in Chicago alone.

With the support of Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, Sabrina and Carlos stood up against this travesty by “reclaiming” for their family a home that the banks had made vacant. Their family held a housewarming on December 6th, 2011, as part of a national day of action to resist and reverse foreclosures.

During Hanukkah this year, the rabbis and radicals of Occupy Judaism and the Spiritual Affairs Committee of Occupy Chicago will rededicate Sabrina’s and hundreds of other re-occupied homes with the lights of the holiday.

“Just as each night of Hanukkah we add a candle to increase light and each day of the year is getting longer since the solstice, we hope to cast increasing light on the injustice of these mass foreclosures and bring blessing to those struggling with the imminent and real loss of one of the most basic human needs, shelter,” says Rabbi Menachem Cohen, an organizer of this Hanukkah rededication.

Like Rabbi Cohen, Sabrina saw this need clearly as she walked through her westside neighborhood.

“They’re sitting there, they’re vacant, it brings high crime volume to the neighborhood, things happen and there’s all these homeless people,” Morey told WBEZ during her housewarming on December 6th. “Instead of throwing people out of their homes they should be putting people into them.”