Our congregation heard Rabbi Sisenwine’s “call to action” to respond to the heartbreaking crisis in Ukraine. At the time of this writing (end of May), one couple has already sponsored and welcomed a woman who is fluent in English and exploring job possibilities. Another couple has had their application to sponsor a family approved.
The process for bringing Ukrainian refugees to the States differs greatly from the one required to help previous refugees. Now, individuals may sponsor families; requirements and timing are greatly reduced. At our May 25 gathering, Rabbi Sisenwine, Ed Shapiro, Debbie Gotbetter, Lina Musayev, and Michael Gilman not only emphasized the urgency to address the displacement of over 14 million people, but also described how our experiences in resettling families will provide guidance and support in multiple ways. Following that meeting, 39 people expressed great interest in helping—several as sponsors, many as volunteers, and some as donors. However, to provide the support for families that our members could sponsor, additional financial contributions are needed.
To donate: Support the New Americans Immigration Fund (be sure to select the fund from the dropdown menu). You can also mail a check (10 Bethel Road, Wellesley, MA 02481) payable to Temple Beth Elohim noting in the memo line “New Americans Immigration Fund.”
In addition, it is not too late to volunteer in any capacity — to sponsor, to serve as a primary volunteer, to offer transportation on occasion, to assist with ESL.
Update on “our” Afghan families: both men are now working, and the older children have received scholarships to attend pre-school in the fall. Doing well!