Olympia synagogue offers sanctuary to Guatemalan woman, son

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A synagogue that declared itself a sanctuary congregation last year says it will protect a Guatemalan woman and her son from immigration authorities.

The Olympian reports that Temple Beth Hatfiloh announced Thursday that it would take in Maria Pablo, who fled the country because of domestic violence. Rabbi Seth Goldstein says Pablo and her son were denied asylum and faced deportation and persecution at home.

Temple Beth became a sanctuary congregation in August 2018, two years after the city of Olympia announced it would be a sanctuary city.

Goldstein said that Temple Beth is one of more than 1,100 congregations throughout the country that have taken a similar step.

In Washington state, Temple Beth is the third congregation to offer sanctuary to an immigrant, said Michael Ramos, executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. The other two are in Seattle, he said.