Help Us Help Local Refugees
In early 2017, Nick Levitin and Andy Silver started Shomrei’s Refugee Assistance Group in reaction to the massive influx of Syrian refugees to our area. The response from our group, which consists of roughly 50 members from the Shomrei community was, and continues to be, overwhelming, enabling us to assist refugees from a wide variety of countries. However, the needs, too, are overwhelming; wars, natural disasters, and government repression and persecution continue to cause mass worldwide migrations of people, many seeking refuge in our region.
To help meet those needs, we invite those who are not yet in our group to join us. Continue reading
Here’s an update on our “adopted” Afghan family, two brothers who were separated from their parents and siblings and evacuated by U.S. forces from Kabul in August 2021. The brothers were resettled in Elizabeth in October 2021 and our group has been providing them with assistance since December 2021, in conjunction with Refugee Assistance Partners (RAP) of NJ.
Here are two items of importance:
- Bara’a has become a U.S. citizen!
- Our “adopted” Afghan family needs more assistance
We are happy to report that the two Afghan brothers that we “adopted” a few months ago are assimilating very well in Elizabeth. The older (23-year-old) brother has a full-time job at a local retail establishment and the younger (14-year-old) brother has made many friends, is playing every sport imaginable and is looking forward to “moving up” from his 8th grade class to high school next year. We are currently exploring summer camp opportunities for him, as well as enhanced ESL tutoring during the summer.
Thank you all for your continued support.
Judith, Mike, and Andy
Purchases of food and household goods for Refugee Families are financed by our members’ financial contributions. You can make a contribution online at Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund, Refugee Assistance, or by a check made out to “Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund” and sent to Congregation Shomrei Emunah, 67 Park Street, Montclair, NJ 07042, designating “Refugee Assistance” in the check’s memo line.
Here are some of the things we’ve been up to lately:
An Update from the Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group Continue reading
Dear Shomrei Friends,
Here are some major items for your careful consideration. We realize there is a lot here, but there is a lot of need.
We have been researching the best ways to provide support to Afghan families who are being resettled in our region. As a start, we are teaming up with the grass roots organization One World, One Love, which has done amazing work with many refugee families during the past few years. The organization is now starting to help the Special Immigration Visa (SIV) families who are arriving in our area from Afghanistan — 10 families (approximately 50 people) so far, with many more expected to come. They have asked us to help provide the following items for the new homes that are being set up for the families: Continue reading
As we announced in our last update, the Westfield Fun Club, working with the International Rescue Committee, has asked us to “adopt” some refugee families in need of food and household essentials for the summer. Thanks to the generosity of our community, we have been able to commit to supporting three food-insecure families, at a cost of about $100 a week for eight weeks. Each of the families is headed by a single mom, and has one or two children.
The Westfield Fun Club, with whom we have been collaborating over the past few months to deliver food and other essential household items to over 100 refugee families in the Elizabeth area during the pandemic, is winding down their Emergency Food Initiative. (See the email) The Fun Club happily reports that many of the families no longer need the emergency supplies since they have returned to work and/or have seen an increase in SNAP benefits.
However, there are still roughly a dozen refugee and asylum-seeking households – mostly senior citizens – who need our continued assistance. The Fun Club is arranging for these families to be “adopted” by other families or groups who can provide them with weekly deliveries of food and household items.