July 5, 2017

11 Tamuz 5777


Dear Beth Sholom community,

“ואהבתם את הגר, כי גרים הייתם בארץ מצרים.”  “You shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” –Deut. 10:19

The CBS Tzedek Tirdof Social Justice Committee is excited to announce that its first major project will be the direct and ongoing support of a new refugee family in our community, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC).  We see this as a fulfillment of the mitzvah to love the stranger in our midst.  We will move forward with this significant initiative if we determine that we have a critical mass of volunteers; more on this below.

Supporting a refugee family is a major undertaking requiring many volunteers for various tasks, especially as we prepare in advance of the family’s arrival in the community and then, after they arrive, help orient them to numerous aspects of daily life in America that we take for granted: how to navigate a grocery store, use public transportation, sign children up for school, get a library card, shop for clothing, and much more. The goal is to help the family become self-sufficient as quickly as possible.

We will be guided every step of the way by the IRC, one of the most significant refugee resettlement agencies in the world. They will train our key volunteers, who will then coordinate the project and work with other volunteers.

While the Syrian refugee crisis has received the most media attention of late, the global refugee crisis is dire, and IRC resettles families from several countries in addition to Syria, including Sudan, Congo, El Salvador, and Iraq.  All families arriving as refugees are in desperate need of support.  We will not know the country of origin of our refugee family until shortly before their arrival.  It is important to note that all families have gone through many months of vetting by the UN and multiple US governmental agencies.

We know that Beth Sholom is a unique, giving and sharing community, and we hope that this is a mitzvah that will speak to many of our members.  If you are interested in being part of this meaningful project, whether in a significant way or a small way, please read the FAQ below and then fill out this online form.  Even if you have already expressed your interest in being involved, please complete the form anyway so that our information can be centralized.

At this stage, our task is to determine whether we have the person-power to undertake this exciting challenge.  If you would like to be involved, kindly complete the form no later than July 18 (the earlier the better).

Please feel free to forward this email to people not affiliated with Beth Sholom who may be interested. We are also reaching out to other faith communities in the area as potential partners in this project.

If you would like more information, please read the FAQ.  If you have additional questions, feel free to contact Tzedek Tirdof co-chairs Rabbi Lee Paskind (732-668-1982, ravlsp914@gmail.com) or Rabbi Julia Andelman (andelman@gmail.com).

I hope that you will all consider being part of this important initiative.


Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky
Congregation Beth Sholom

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Congregation Beth Sholom | 354 Maitland Ave., | Teaneck, NJ 07666 | Tel 201-833-2620

© Congregation Beth Sholom | Website by Agile Digital Solutions, LLC

Congregation Beth Sholom
354 Maitland Ave.,
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Tel 201-833-2620

© Congregation Beth Sholom
Website by Agile Digital Solutions, LLC