Welcoming The Stranger
Our 120-person and growing Syrian Refugee Resettlement Team has welcomed two Syrian refugee families. We have various committees working on the many pieces to be successful with the help and guidance of our partner, Jewish Family Services of Metrowest. These tasks include a housing search, fundraising, household setup, accessing government services, integrating the family to our communities and with US customs. Save A Life, Save A World.
Fall 2017 Update
Many of you have asked about how the Syrian refugee families are progressing. We are very encouraged and pleased with how each is doing. Both fathers in the families are employed. One is a successful tailor who also is doing private tailoring (thank you to those who have donated fabric) and landscaping when not at his place of employment. The other father is working full-time at a grocery market, stocking shelves. The adults in both families are working very hard to acquire English language skills. During the summer they have had individual tutors from both TBE and JFS (Jewish Family Service), and in the fall they will resume their community ESL (English as a Second Language) programs.
The age appropriate children attended summer camp for 3 weeks, enjoying soccer and swimming. They are excited to be in their 2nd grade, 3rd grade and pre-school classes, and the older ones are even playing games in English. One of the children who is too young for preschool participates in an early intervention program.
JFS is working with the families to establish goals and look at their budgets.
Our amazing volunteers have also stepped in to help other newly arrived Syrian refugees including the family which arrived in July and is supported by Temple Sinai in Brookline.
We are impressed with how loving, calm and steady the parents are with their children, with how they have created warm and comfortable homes (thank you to the generosity of many congregants) and with the connections the families have made with other Syrian families. They are, of course, quite concerned about the devastation in Syria and the harm that could come to their families who remain. However, they are grateful to feel safe and are able to focus on progress.
None of this would have been possible without the daily hard work of our volunteers, and without the support of our community. We are grateful for your support in this incredible and sacred act of Tikkun Olam.
TBE members and Syrian Refugee Resettlement Team Leaders, Ed and Barbara Shapiro Recieve the 3rd Annual Sharp Rescuer Prize
The Sharp Rescuer Prize promotes humanitarian work in the example of Waitstill and Martha Sharp and seeks to empower rescuers today who sacrifice for others. This social justice award is awarded annually in honor of the Sharps and their commitment to the Unitarian Universalist core values of justice and compassion. The Sharp Rescuer Prize supports people like the Sharps and Marina Goldman (the award's first recipient) and the associated organizations in carrying out their selfless work.
We have a google group! If you want to recieve updates on our effort's accomplishments and needs, please contact Sandy Aronson.
Our Committes and Leaders:
Fundraising - Michael Gilman
Housing Search - Debbie Gotbetter
Household Setup - Emily Hoadley
Accessing Services - Eva Sartori
Family and Children Integration - Laura Gilman
Click here to watch Rabbi Joel Sisenwine's 2016 Rosh Hashanah sermon which includes details on our resettlement campaign.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.
- Martin Niemoller