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		                                    Immigrant and Refugee Relief		                                </span>

Perhaps our most active of the initiatives, these efforts are chaired by Janie Fishman and Leslie Walden. They have a volunteer core of 115 members and the committee primarily collaborates with other organizations. Projects are either ongoing, time/season sensitive, or programmatic. They are:

Ongoing:

  • Emergency Response: The group will organize participants on an as-needed basis, such as helping to settle a family that makes it to Atlanta in partnership with the Federation and providing gift bags and clothing to Afghan refugees in partnership with New American Pathways.
  • Food Distribution: A grant through the Religious Action Center (RAC) enables us to partner with Temple Emanuel to distribute food within the city of Atlanta.
  • The group supports and engages with the Islamic Speakers Bureau and initiatives through that organization.
  • The group partners with others who arrange meetings with GA representatives to raise issues impacting the immigrant/refugee community.
  • They are looking to better integrate with the CAC and see how to address the housing, hunger, and resource dearth in Sandy Springs.

Seasonal:

  • Summer Camp: Through Friends of Refugees, the group volunteered at a summer camp in Clarkston this past summer. The experience was fruitful and they can see both doing it again next year and deepening the relationship with the organization (Friends of Refugees) to engage in more ongoing efforts.
  • Holiday Gifts: Through a partnership with Ser Familia, the group sponsors a family by purchasing all requested gifts for Christmas. Volunteers make donations either to Sinai or via venmo and one of the group members makes the purchases on Amazon/WalMart.
  • HIAS Refugee Shabbat: The group encourages the clergy to devote time during the Friday night service and Torah study the next morning to raise awareness about initiatives.
  • Lobbying on Refugee Day: One communal day held during the legislative session in which those organizations in Atlanta who are devoted to issues impacting the immigrant/refugee community meet with legislators.
  • Voter Registration: We distributed Spanish/English flyers, created by the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), to seven non-profits in Sandy Springs. The flyers encourage citizens to vote in the upcoming election and explain what they need to do.

Programming:

  • We are planning at least one trip to tour Clarkston to better understand the opportunities and challenges on the ground.
  • We are exploring another trip to El Paso to see the situation at the border and travel into Mexico to see the situation on the Mexico side of the border as well. This project would be done in partnership with HOPE.
  • Once conditions become safer for volunteers, we plan to visit El Refugio again, a program scheduled but interrupted by Covid.
  • We are planning a visit to the Sandy Springs Community Assistance Center to better understand the needs of the Latino community in Sandy Springs.

To learn more about – and get involved with – our efforts in this area, contact Rabbi Samantha Trief.

 

 

Sat, December 10 2022 16 Kislev 5783