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Support Afghan Refugees

Help the Temple Isaiah Welcoming the Stranger Sponsorship Project

Temple Isaiah has begun the work of welcoming and supporting a seven member Afghani refugee family who recently lived through a harrowing, life and death escape from Kabul at the end of August. The family, husband and wife and five beautiful children – ages 4 months through 8 years – arrived at Logan Airport from Ft. Lee, Virginia on Monday, October 11. Temple members representing the Temple Isaiah Welcoming the Stranger (WTS) Committee were there to greet the family with great smiles, welcome banners, and balloons for the kids.  When the father received a Welcoming gift of a prayer rug and copy of the Quran, he solemnly bent down and kissed the Quran. It was obvious that the family was shell shocked at the airport having been whisked through so many relocations and changes during the past days and weeks. Temple members Bruce and Ruth Lynn and Carin Folman shuttled the family to their new apartment in Somerville where they now live.  Their journey has come to an end and now begins the challenging process of learning how to navigate the complexities of life in America. Helping our family succeed is the mission our volunteers are committed to pursue.

We are all engaged in a great and important work that will change lives for generations to come. May God and every power beyond our own continue to bless our efforts and, most importantly, those families who today, are mourning all they have left behind and wondering what their new lives will be like. May we have many happy surprises waiting for them.

There are three ways you can help the Welcoming the Stranger Sponsorship Project:

Volunteer
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 Household Goods and Supplies
You can see what we still need by taking a look at this Signup Genius List.

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. 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 dondet@detmavin.com 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 https://www.lexrap.org 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

- 60,000 people from Afghanistan are in need of resettlement following the resurgence of the Taliban and the withdrawal of U.S. troops last month. They are currently being housed in 8 military bases in the U.S.while they are undergoing extensive security and medical screening.

- 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.”

 

Sun, October 24 2021 18 Cheshvan 5782