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Support Afghan Refugees

Help the Temple Isaiah Welcoming the Stranger Sponsorship Project

How You Can Help
Other Way to Help
What Welcoming the Stranger Has Accomplished
The Issue, By the Numbers

April Update:
Rahmat Nabi is busy working at Mirak Chevrolet. He recently got his driver's permit and is looking forward to getting his license. The three older girls are doing well in preschool/school and Lima is making progress with learning English.

Volunteer opportunity! Lima and the two school-age girls, Aisha and Lina, have each received a laptop. We are looking for a woman who can help them set up the computers. Please contact Laura Derby and let her know when you can be available.

Plenty of other volunteer opportunities are listed below!

Read previous updates here.

How You Can Help the Welcoming the Stranger Sponsorship Project:

Do you enjoy getting out and about in the Boston area? Perhaps youd like to include the Noori family in some of your excursions. Were looking for an Excursion Planner to organize various trips and activities and to recruit other volunteers to join in the fun. Adults with young children are especially welcome! Activities might include, but are certainly not limited to:

• A visit to the library
• An expedition on the T to Alewife and back
• A hike in the reservation across the street
• French fries at Burger King. 
• Free kid concerts at the play space in Somerville. 
• The duckling sculptures and swan boats in the Public Garden…

Were also looking for a man to practice driving with Rahmat Nabi once he gets his learner's permit and someone to help with ELL tutoring--and a woman to meet with Lima for conversation and some computer essentials tutoring.   

Perhaps you’re thinking of other ways that you might engage with our young Afghan family. Please contact Laura Derby at and let her know what youd like to do. Please include your phone number.

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.

What Welcoming the Stranger Has Accomplished with Our Afghan Family

- Found a spacious, comfortable apartment and furnished it with furniture and housewares

- Met the family at the airport w/ backpacks for each child filled with toys and toothbrushes

- Provided clothing and coats, gloves, boots, etc. for all

- Assisted with documentation:

- SS cards

- Authorization for Employment cards

- SNAP benefits

- Resettlement benefits

- Set up utilities

- Provided cell phones and accounts for both parents

- Enrolled two oldest daughters in the Somerville schools

- Addressed issues around lunch foods

- Got grocery cards from the PTO

- Enrolled younger two children in Head Start

- Took both parents to the grocery store to learn how to shop for food

- Enrolled father in twice weekly ESL classes & showed him how to get there

- Got father a laptop

- Worked with mother and father on English

- Worked with father on job preparation with resume, language skills, applications, and lining up two potential job opportunities

- Worked with father on prep for Learner’s Permit test

- Set up a bank account at a bank which has a Pashto speaker on the staff, and worked on money management skills

- Helped father find mosques to attend

- Enrolled the family in health insurance

- Enrolled in Cambridge Health Alliance

- Initial health evaluations for all members of the family

- Vaccinations, including Covid, for everyone

- Dental evaluations

- Dental treatments for all members of the family…repair of cavities, etc.

- Contact with Somerville Health and Human Services Department for support around nutrition and sanitation

- Replacement of manuals for stove & dishwasher

- Put the family in touch with their locally settled related family and facilitated visits

- Put the family in touch with other Afghan families in the area

- Discussed American attitudes around treating everyone, female or male, with respect

- Communicated our activities and the family’s needs to the Temple community through weekly emails, the monthly bulletin, the website, etc.

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.”

Tue, May 17 2022 16 Iyar 5782