Make a Difference – Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group


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.

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. You can donate in one of two ways:

  • By credit card online to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund at
  • By check made out to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund. Please bring or send the check to Congregation Shomrei Emunah, 67 Park Street, Montclair, NJ 07042 and indicate in the memo line that the donation should be directed to “Summer Camp Refugee Assistance.”

Progress is being made on a number of fronts: For example, one of the refugees whom we are helping in Elizabeth has recently learned to drive, gotten a driver’s license, and purchased an inexpensive used car. Three others are taking English classes at the Elizabeth Public Library over the summer.

One of the families needs a window air conditioner and/or a window fan. If you have one that you’d like to donate, or know someone who does, please contact Andy (email hidden; JavaScript is required).
We’re still looking for two sets of bunk beds. Two of the families currently don’t have floor space in their apartments sufficient for side-by-side beds, so some children currently are sleeping on the floor. Please contact Andy (email hidden; JavaScript is required) if you can help them obtain bunk beds.
Bara’a and Tammam are having a birthday party for their one-year old son, Ghiath, this Sunday, July 15, at 3 pm, and have invited members of our synagogue community to attend. (Ghiath is the first American citizen among the five families whom we have been helping in Elizabeth!) If you’d like to attend the party, please contact Merrill at email hidden; JavaScript is required.
As always, thank you for your support and generosity!

Judith, Mike, and Andy

Thank you in advance for your generosity.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.Regards,

Andy (email hidden; JavaScript is required)
Mike (email hidden; JavaScript is required)
Judith (email hidden; JavaScript is required)


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