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.
MESH CoChairs Aileen Grossberg and Lynne Kurzweil worked their magic with leftovers from the Selichot dinner. The tuna and egg salad filling was supplemented with more tuna, celery and onion and transformed into a hearty tuna/egg salad placed on fresh buns and pita with lettuce and tomato. Turkey sandwiches were also prepared to bring us to 30 servings which is our current weekly number of meals provided.
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.
Shana Tova! I hope you are greeting 5782 with a resounding “Hineni!”- here I am, ready to take on the New Year with enthusiasm and commitment.
In that spirit, I am writing about the future of the Wednesday Night Minyan. Because of my pandemic work schedule, (teaching on Zoom Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday from 7:30-9:30 PM) I am no longer available to lead the Wednesday night minyan. (Even if we changed Wednesday to another night of the week, all this Zoom time would not be good for my mental health!) Continue reading →