When Michael Gilman, Debbie Gotbetter, and Ed Shapiro join forces, the energy and results are incredible! In just the last several months, they have gathered and advised sponsors for four Ukrainian families, identified and guided numerous core and support volunteers, and found housing and raised monies.
The first Ukrainian refugee the IJI has sponsored is a mother whose son attends Bates College on scholarship (arriving prior to the start of the war) with excellent English and professional skills. We are confident that once her work permit comes through she will obtain a job. In addition, the same family is sponsoring her mother, who (at the time of this writing) is on her way here.
A second family—a mother, father, and a 10-year-old daughter whose medical needs (not severe) has allowed the father to join them—is settled in their own apartment.
Although sponsored originally by a half-sister in California, a mother and her two teen daughters are being assisted by our congregation. She is in this area because the grandmother of the teens lives in Wellesley. We are in the process of sponsoring their closest friends—also a mother with two children.
The imperative of this effort was highlighted in a Facebook posting from the Ukrainian college student at Bates that his very dear friend was killed by a bomb in Ukraine.
Update on our two Afghan families: The fathers are working; appropriate-age children are registered for school. They are safe and adjusting to life here in the States.
We are enormously grateful to our sponsors, to the volunteers (planning educational, medical, employment, and government services, driving to mosques and churches, working on English acquisition, etc.), and to our donors. Through Michael’s initiative, we have secured a $4,000 grant from URJ-Religious Action Center. But, we are still in need of additional funds. Click here to donate (by sure to select New Americans Immigration Fund from the dropdown) or mail a check with New Americans Immigration Fund in the memo line to Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Road, Wellesley, MA. 0248. Thank you for your support!