Refugee Assistant Group Update 10/31/19


Hayan and Rabbi Greenstein

Here are two exciting developments —

  1. We are teaming up with two wonderful organizations — Laptop UpCycle and the Westfield Fun Club — to bring recycled laptops to 10 refugee children in Elizabeth.  Laptop UpCycle is a Montclair group that is “committed to obtaining, refreshing, and distributing technology to students who need the tools to succeed in school” and has already delivered over 400 laptops to needy students in Montclair.  We have introduced Laptop UpCycle to the refugee families through the Fun Club, which runs a Saturday morning program at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield for refugee families in Elizabeth.  The Fun Club program includes ESL, job training, resume building, IEP assistance, citizenship test prep, and more for adults, and homework help, arts and crafts, music, karate, acting, games, lego, SAT prep, college application assistance, and more for the children and teens.  Laptop UpCycle will be delivering the laptops to the 10 students at a Fun Club session in mid-November.

Both organizations are run by volunteers and financed mainly by donations.  Our involvement in the laptop program so far has been in making the connection between the two organizations (with the help of Montclair public school teacher Mark Stulbaum), but we would like to assist further by helping them raise funds.  If you’d like to participate, you can donate as follows:

  • Westfield Fun Club:
    • Donate in one of two ways:

Check made out to: Temple Emanu-El
Memo line: FUN CLUB – Refugee support.
Address: 756 East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090
Attention: Rabbi Ethan Prosnit


Check made out to: The United Fund of Westfield
Memo line:  FUN CLUB- Refugee support
Address: 301 North Avenue W. Westfield, NJ 07090
Attention: Nancy Vickers

In either case, please indicate that you are a member of Shomrei’s Refugee Assistance Group.

To find out more about the groups, check out these links:

  1. Our group collected an amazing amount of supplies for Rawda and Hayan’s new baby boy, Mohanad.  Hayan picked up the supplies this past Monday.  (See attached photos.)  The family is very grateful to our synagogue community.  Thank you to all who contributed!  And thank you to Shana Rubin for helping to develop the list of items for the family and to Lisa Zelenetz for her help in the office.

We thank you all for your continued involvement!



Baby Mohanad


More About the Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group
Congregants concerned about the plight of refugees in today’s America have banded together to lend a hand. Headed by  Judith Antelman, Mike Legman and Andy Silver, the group assists about a dozen refugee families who have recently arrived. The help may come in the form of reading English language, help navigating life in the United States, school supplies for the kids, necessities for newborns, winter clothing, help setting up an apartment, even a fundraiser to send kids to Summer Camp.

To help out, contact Lisa Zelenetz, synagogue Administrator at email hidden; JavaScript is required or call the office at (973) 746-5031


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