Shomrei Assisting a Sixth Family

Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group, August 10 Update

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Here are the important announcements for this week:

We are excited to announce that we are now assisting a sixth family in Elizabeth!  Our summer camp fundraising resulted in 8 children attending two-week sessions at the YMCAs in Wayne and Elizabeth. We are collecting school supplies for the families we are assisting. On Sept 30, we will be hosting a luncheon in the Sukkah catered by Syrian refugee families.

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Summer Camp Fundraiser a Huge Success!

Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group, July 31 Update
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We have a number of important items this week:

  • Our fundraising to help send local refugee children to summer day camp has been a major success!  Including the very generous matching grant provided by one of our member-families, we have raised a total of $2,866 so far.  The funds are being used to send seven children from two families in Paterson to the Wayne Y and to send one child from the families that we are supporting in Elizabeth to the Y camp in Union.  All of the children will be enjoying two weeks of day camp thanks to our group’s fundraising efforts.  (See photos of Kresten, below, waiting for her first day of camp to start yesterday.)  Any funds in excess of those needed for camp will be used for the general welfare of the refugee families.

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Making a Difference

Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group, July 19 Update

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Three important updates since last week:

Good News #1: One of our member-families has offered to match — DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR — the first $1,500 that is donated to our campaign to help send recently resettled refugee children to summer camp!  So, we now need to raise only $1,500 to meet our goal of $3,000!  The funds will be used to send refugee children to summer camp at the Wayne Y and Elizabeth Y in August for one or two weeks (depending on the total funds that we raise) .

If you can, please contribute.  Any amount would be appreciated.  The camp sessions are just around the corner and we need to make payment to the Y by July 25, so time is of the essence.

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Make a Difference – Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group

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Summer is here, but the pace of our activities hasn’t slowed.

We have an exciting opportunity to make a difference in the lives of a number of refugee children this summer! GERA (Global Emergency Response and Assistance), a community NGO helping many refugee families in the Paterson/Passaic area, is trying to send 13 refugee children to summer camp at the Wayne Y for two weeks in August. GERA is negotiating a discount for the children, but the total cost for all the children is still likely to be about $3,400, of which they’ve raised about half. (The cost per child for the two weeks ranges from $302-$672, depending on the child’s age.) We are also exploring the possibility of helping to send some children in our refugee families in Elizabeth to summer camp at their local Y, which will probably cost a total of between $500 and $1,000.
So, we’ve set a total goal of $3,000 to help ensure that these children have a fun place to go this summer, to meet new friends, learn a little English, and build self-esteem and confidence in their new country. Continue reading

Audrey Levitin: Families Belong Together

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image courtesy of ACLU

Around the time when news about the crisis on the border emerged, I was on my morning train into the City. It was crowded and coming up the aisle was a young mother and a grandmother, struggling with a stroller and a toddler. They were Spanish speaking. The woman sitting next to me offered the mom her seat and she and the toddler sat next to me. The boy sat on his mother’s lap and I was able to take him in. He was about 2 years old, with chubby cheeks, big brown eyes and at the age where everything about him is adorable. He was pointing out the window with great enthusiasm at everything we passed. The other commuters and I looked up from our phones and we shared a few minutes of pleasure watching this child’s innocent delight at simply being on the train.

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MESH Cafe June 26, 2018

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Report from Captain Lynne Kurzweil:

Tuesday night was our last cafe before we break for summer, resuming in early September.  We welcomed 24 guests and provided 3 takeaway meals.  Uber Chef Aileen Grossberg planned and prepared a special four course meal with the assistance of Sous Chef Beryl Hiller. First course was a refreshing cold Cucumber Soup followed by Green Salad with a small scoop of Tuna Salad, a mini Quiche and a buttered Roll. Main course was Maple Balsamic Roasted Steelhead Trout, Green Beans with Sautéed Mushrooms and Shallots and homemade Corn Pudding. Dessert included Rice Pudding with Blueberries, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Strawberries and Grapes. Whew!  A healthy, colorful,  gourmet meal that was thoroughly enjoyed and much appreciated by our guests. Food prep and cleanup helper was yours truly and of course, our MESH staffers Adrienne, Joe and Joe.  It was a great night of good food, good feelings and fellowship.  Several of our regulars personally expressed their thanks for all we do for them at our cafe, wished us a good summer and looking forward to returning in the fall.
Look for signup reminder emails the end of August and make this the year you commit to volunteering for MESH!  You will not be disappointed!

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MESH Cafe June 12, 2018

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Report from Captain Lynne Kurzweil:

On a beautiful June evening we welcomed 24 guests to our cafe and provided 3 additional takeout meals.  The outstanding team of Sarita Eisenberg and Sarah Steindel prepared a scrumptious summer meal, repurposing some leftover kiddish items graciously donated by the Greengrass family.  Continue reading

MESH Cafe June 5, 2018

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Report from Captain Alex Kent:

On a lovely evening, the Carol Starr MESH Cafe hosted a full house of 24 guests. There was the least number of volunteers ever, and yet everything went off with out a hitch! Susan Rosenblatt enjoyed herself washing dishes, including a bowl that was bigger than she is, as well as pitching in with many other tasks. Chefs Aileen Grossberg and Lynne Kurzweil magically pulled together a meal, using existing foods, and spending only $12 on a few items. If only they could package that! Continue reading