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TBE’s Immigration Justice Group is now fully engaged in resettling Ukrainians under the Uniting For Ukraine private sponsorship program. To date, there are three TBE member-sponsors and three Ukraine family units who have been welcomed by our volunteers. All of this has happened in the weeks following the May 25 informational meeting called by Rabbi Sisenwine.

Each of these families is surrounded by a core group of volunteers responsible for community connections, education, employment, and healthcare. Our first arrival, Olha Peredelskii, has been reunited with her son, who is attending Bates College on scholarship, and is now residing in
temporary housing offered by a TBE member until she is able to start work and find a place of her own. As she is fluent in speaking English, Olha has been helping us welcome the other families. Her husband remains in Ukraine fighting with the defense forces.

The Myroniuk family arrived last week—the mother, Olena, with two daughters, Marlia and Arina, ages 10 and 13. The father, Sasha, remains in Ukraine fighting in the war. The family sponsor, related to the Myroniuks, reached out to TBE from California as Olena’s mother resides in Wellesley in senior housing and the family wished to be close to her rather than going to California. They are being housed by TBE members on a temporary basis in a basement apartment that is a part of the members’ home.

On June 23, we welcomed the Pylypenko family at Logan Airport. The father Andrii; mother Tetiana; and 10-year old daughter Daria are pictured above with TBE sponsors Peter and Lisa Weinstock, member Ed Shapiro, and Lucia Panichella of JFS Metrowest. An Afghan family that JFS was assisting relocated from Framingham to California and we were able to take over the lease for that apartment. The family’s cute dog had to be left behind in Ukraine, and while not a substitute, Daria found this stuffed bear on her bed to cuddle with. The setup volunteers made sure the apartment was warm and welcoming, with a fully stocked fridge and pantry. The Pylypenkos gratitude on entering their new home was a joy to see.

Our reputation for resettling individuals and families has become known beyond our immediate communities, and requests for assistance have found their way to TBE’s general mail box. The only thing holding us back is the need for more funds. While temporary housing on first arrival has been donated, we know we need to transition to more permanent housing for what will be a minimum two-year stay and, as you know, rents are very high in areas proximate to our TBE volunteers. The bulk of the funds in the New Americans Immigration Fund (NAIF) remain dedicated to assisting the two Afghan families we have been helping since February and while they now have first jobs, their contribution toward rent and other household expenses is only a start. Delays have occurred in getting US government papers that will allow the Ukrainians to work, and we estimate needing some $25,000 per family for rent and other essentials. Our TBE sponsors of Ukrainians have been told that the NAIF would provide the financial resources for assisting them in their sponsorships.

Thank you for considering this urgent request. While we have potential TBE member sponsors in the wings who are ready and wanting to welcome Ukrainians, the only restraint is making sure we have the funds to provide successful resettlement. Should you have questions, please contact Michael Gilman.

If you are unable to donate now, we can still use your help as a volunteer in assisting Ukrainians resettle here in the US. Certain volunteer tasks do not require extended commitments of time. Providing transportation for doctor appointments, shopping, etc. is a major need and a one-shot commitment. Let us know your availability for this support volunteer role or if you have more hours you can give. Thank you, again!

Support the New Americans Immigration Fund here (be sure to select the fund from the dropdown menu). You can also mail a check payable to Temple Beth Elohim noting in the memo line “New Americans Immigration Fund.”

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