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Support Afghan Refugees

Help the Temple Isaiah Welcoming the Stranger Sponsorship Project

January Update:
As the new year begins, the family has been living in Somerville for three months. SNAP cards, bank accounts, vaccinations, and medical appointments are all in order. The two oldest girls are in school and 3-year old Adnan and 5-year old Behisht have been enrolled in a Head Start program. Lima is at home with the baby and is making progress with English learning.  

Rahmat is anxious to get his driver’s license and to get a job. You can help him achieve those goals via Zoom! Sign up to spend some time teaching the necessary vocabulary and rules for the driver’s test or help him with job interview skills. The MA Driver’s Manual is available online.

Volunteers are always needed for transportation to appointments. Home visits have been curtailed, but those of you with young kids can consider an outdoor playdate or excursion with the children. The family would love to go to the zoo. Interested in riding the T and helping Rahmat and Lima with public transportation? There are so many opportunities for you to get involved. Please contact Laura Derby at and let her know what you’d like to do. Please include your phone number.

Read previous updates here.

How You Can Help the Welcoming the Stranger Sponsorship Project:

Click here to find out how to get involved. There are many volunteer opportunities, both for simple, one-time tasks as well as sustained leadership and support roles.

Donate Your Used Minivan or SUV
Please consider donating your used minivan or large SUV to our family of seven who often feel isolated and trapped in their apartment in Somerville. They would very much like to be able to take their five children to visit other Afghan families, some of whom are relatives who had lived with them in their rural village in Afghanistan. Also, we would like to provide transportation options for the father to pursue technical training and employment opportunities not limited to those only within public transportation options. Your donation is a way to make a significant contribution toward the success of our refugee family and benefit from a tax deduction. If you would like to discuss the possibility helping in this way, please email

Donate Financially
Make a donation to "Social Action Fund — Welcoming the Stranger,” and your contribution will be used to provide rent and home assistance, health care support, education, food, and more for the family. If you would like to donate by check, please make it payable to Temple Isaiah and note it is for Welcoming the Stranger in the memo line.

Thanks to the generosity of a temple member, we have already secured housing for the family for one year, with rent covered for the first six months. Every contribution is deeply appreciated and highly meaningful to this family’s resettlement process.

Please visit this page for frequent updates on how to get involved, or contact Don Detweiler at for information.

Other Ways to Help

- Donate to LexRAP (Lexington’s Refugee Assistance Program), where a group of Temple Isaiah members are among the volunteers working with 18 local families who are refugees from around the world, including Afghanistan. Please visit to learn more.

- Donate to the Combined Jewish Philanthropy (CJP) Fund for Afghan Immigrants and Refugees, where 100% of your donation will provide food, housing, employment services, and other basic needs to families and individuals resettling in Boston.

- Purchase items for arriving Afghani families from an Amazon Wishlist maintained by the resettlement agency Welcome MA.

The Issue, By the Numbers

- Over 65,000 people from Afghanistan have arrived in the United States, having fled their homes and families following the resurgence of the Taliban and the withdrawal of U.S. troops in August. Most of them are still sleeping on cots in 8 military bases in the U.S. while they undergo extensive security and medical screening before being resettled in communities around the country.

- 1,000 of these evacuees will arrive in Massachusetts in the coming weeks and will remain on air bases until they can access resettlement support. The State Department has advised us to expect an “avalanche” of arrivals here in Massachusetts in early October

- 130 of these people, about 25 families, will be supported by a network of community groups organized by Jewish Family Services (JFS)  and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston (CCAB).

- 36 is the number of times the Torah explicitly commands the just treatment of the stranger, including Leviticus 19:34: "The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love them as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

Fri, January 21 2022 19 Sh'vat 5782