Refugee Assistant Group Update 3/21/20


We have reached out to the refugee families that we have been assisting during the past three years to find out how they are faring in the coronavirus crisis. Many have had severe setbacks to what had previously been a slow but steady assimilation to their new lives in the United States.  A number of the men who had jobs as drivers have lost those jobs; one who had a steady job for three years delivering for a restaurant was let go because he had a seasonal cough.  Some of the schoolchildren who had depended on the schools for breakfast are now going without that meal.
Our group has recently supplied the families with some essentials that they have requested: baby diapers, laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, cereal, etc.  The families’ responses have been heartfelt…and gut wrenching:

“And I thank you very much. I am one of our Arab brothers and no one asked about me. I thank all the American people for this beautiful effort and for this endowment is sweet.”

“Thank you very much to you and your community for helping us. You are the only ones who help us and take care of us. I hope that my thanks go to everyone.”

If you would like to help us to continue to provide some assistance to these families, please make a donation to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund at; please choose “The Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund” in the “Donate in Support of…” box, and indicate “Refugee Assistance” in the “Particular Purpose?” box.

Another great way you can help is by making a donation to the Westfield Fun Club (   The Fun Club, which is completely volunteer run and funded, has an array of programs to assist refugee families and has recently instituted emergency food deliveries.  We are forwarding an email from the Fun Club, below, describing their most recent delivery.  If you would like to send a donation to the Fun Club, please contact Alissa and Jenny directly at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Thank you for your support.

Wishing everyone good health,
Judith, Mike, and Andy


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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