Update from the Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group

Here are two items of importance:

  • Bara’a has become a U.S. citizen!
  • Our “adopted” Afghan family needs more assistance 

Bara’a has become a U.S. citizen!

Bara’a’s family was the first Syrian refugee family that Shomrei’s Refugee Assistance Group worked with, starting in 2016.  Over the years, she has served as our conduit to many other families in the Elizabeth area.  Many of you have gotten to know Bara’a through her cooking. She has prepared a number of kiddushes for Shomrei and has catered private meals and parties for several families in our congregation.  Despite raising three young children, working in a local restaurant in Elizabeth, and learning to speak English, she has found the time to study for and pass the Citizenship Exam!
Congratulations to Bara’a!

If you would like to send your congratulations to Bara’a, feel free to email Andy (email hidden; JavaScript is required) for her contact information. And, of course, if you’d like to hire Bara’a to cook a delicious Syrian meal for some occasion, please contact Andy.

Our “adopted” Afghan family needs more assistance

About 10 months ago, Shomrei’s Refugee Assistance Group “adopted” two Afghan brothers, one 23 years old at the time, and the other 14 years old. The brothers were evacuated by U.S. forces after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan; their parents and other family members were not able to get out of the country.

A team from our group (Judith Antelman, Nick Levitin, Audrey Levitin, Shirley Grill, David Grill, and Andy Silver) has been working with Refugee Assistance Group (RAP) to assist the brothers in their transition to the U.S., which has been largely successful. The younger brother, Masih, is a 9th grader in Elizabeth High School, loves playing soccer and has developed many friendships.  The older brother, Sediq – hard-working, charming, and ambitious – has been working at a retail outlet in Elizabeth and has consistently been the top salesperson in the store.

The major problem faced by Sediq and Masih, other than missing their family in Afghanistan, is financial.   Because of his success at work, Sediq received a modest raise, which put him over the (very low!) income limit to receive some government benefits. As a result, they are now having difficulty making ends meet.

We have set up a fund at RAP, designated for the brothers, which we will use judiciously to assist them as needs arise.  This is where we need your help.  We need additional funds.  If you are able, please send a check to Refugee Assistance Partners NJ (with “Fund for Ebrahimi Brothers” designated in the memo line) at:

Refugee Assistance Partners NJ
P.O. Box 736
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076

What do you think?