Update from the Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group

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.

Since this will be the first summer in Elizabeth for the brothers, we are hoping to find a way to help them keep their apartment reasonably cool. There is currently no air conditioning in their apartment. So, if anyone has a (small) window air conditioner, or a portable, that they would like to donate, please contact Andy SIlver (email hidden; JavaScript is required).  In fact, we are hoping to find two air conditioners, since one of the Syrian refugee families that we have been assisting during the past few years has also requested one.

Thank you all for your continued support.

Regards,
Judith, Mike, and Andy

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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.

Refugee Assistance Update Sept 2021

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Dear Shomrei Friends,

Here are some major items for your careful consideration. We realize there is a lot here, but there is a lot of need.

1) The Westfield Fun Club has informed us that many of the refugee families that both they and Shomrei have been assisting were severely affected by Hurricane Ida. The apartment complex where they live in Elizabeth was badly flooded and many have lost most of their belongings and cars. They have now been displaced and are being housed in temporary shelters and hotels by the Red Cross. The Fun Club is working with the IRC to help them begin the long and difficult process of dealing with FEMA and the state. If you would like to help, please consider making a financial donation to Temple Emanu-El, 756 East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090, and earmark the funds for the Westfield Fun Club. In addition, one family is without any clothes or shoes. If you have the following, please contact the Fun Club at email hidden; JavaScript is required. All clothes should be washed, folded and neatly packed. Please donate like you are giving a family member the clothes. Continue reading

Refugee Assistance: Helping Afghan Families

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We have been researching the best ways to provide support to Afghan families who are being resettled in our region. As a start, we are teaming up with the grass roots organization One World, One Love, which has done amazing work with many refugee families during the past few years. The organization is now starting to help the Special Immigration Visa (SIV) families who are arriving in our area from Afghanistan — 10 families (approximately 50 people) so far, with many more expected to come. They have asked us to help provide the following items for the new homes that are being set up for the families: Continue reading

Refugee Assistance Update: Continuing Our Support

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As we announced in our last update, the Westfield Fun Club, working with the International Rescue Committee, has asked us to “adopt” some refugee families in need of food and household essentials for the summer.  Thanks to the generosity of our community, we have been able to commit to supporting three food-insecure families, at a cost of about $100 a week for eight weeks.  Each of the families is headed by a single mom, and has one or two children.

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Continued Assistance Needed

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The Westfield Fun Club, with whom we have been collaborating over the past few months to deliver food and other essential household items to over 100 refugee families in the Elizabeth area during the pandemic, is winding down their Emergency Food Initiative. (See the email) The Fun Club happily reports that many of the families no longer need the emergency supplies since they have returned to work and/or have seen an increase in SNAP benefits.

However, there are still roughly a dozen refugee and asylum-seeking households – mostly senior citizens – who need our continued assistance. The Fun Club is arranging for these families to be “adopted” by other families or groups who can provide them with weekly deliveries of food and household items.

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