Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group, July 31 Update
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.
- We have formed an informal cooperative relationship with GERA (Global Emergency Response and Assistance, http://www.gera-ngo.org), an NGO located in Paterson, which is also assisting recently resettled refugees in the area. GERA was instrumental in helping us identify the children in Paterson in need of assistance to attend summer camp, and in helping us enroll Kresten in the summer camp in Union. They also are providing ESL lessons in Elizabeth for some of the people in the families we are assisting.
- The response from our group to our request for air conditioners and fans has been fantastic — 11 air conditioners and 10 fans have been offered! We are in the process of matching up the units with the needs of the families. Please be patient if we haven’t yet taken you up on your offer.
- We have temporarily removed the donation box from the synagogue vestibule since we do not have a large number of specific needs for the families at the current time. However, since there are nine school-age children in the five families that we are assisting, we will likely soon start a “Back-to-School” campaign for needed school supplies and clothing. More details to follow. If you are interested in organizing the campaign, please let us know.
- A new documentary, “This Is Home,” chronicles the path of four newly resettled refugee families in Baltimore. It’s touching and informative, and closely parallels the experiences of the families that we have been assisting in Elizabeth. (https://www.facebook.com/
thisishomedoc/). Here’s a short interview with the director and trailer: https://youtu.be/6k20z3BZpOM.
- For those of you who missed it, here’s Beryl Hiller’s account of her fun time at Ghiath’s first birthday party, as related to Josie Zeman: http://www.kolemunah.net/
congregant-voices/audrey- levitin-families-belong- together-2/.
Thank you for your continued support!
Judith, Mike, and Andy
Andy is a long-time member of Shomrei. He has served twice on the Board as Treasurer and has been the co-chair of Shomrei's strategic planning group (the Shomrei 2020 Committee) and a member of the Sustaining Share Committee. Andy and his wife, Merrill, live in Montclair and have two adult children, both of whom grew up in the Shomrei community.