It was a great feeling to make a small contribution to help a Syrian family settle into their new home in Maplewood / Shout Orange today. How did this local beautiful and humanitarian project come about?
Every day we read in the headlines about Syrian refugees fleeing their homes because of the violence. Since 2011, over 4 million refugees have left Syria and millions more are displaced within the country. Many nations have been taking them in, but many still need to find a new place to call home.
Because we live in a compassionate community, SOMA institutions and residents are answering this call. Three synagogues in South Orange ( Temple Sharey Tefiloh Israel, Oheb Shalom and Beth El) united in an effort to provide a safe place for a family to start their new life.
Together, they organized an efficient system to raise the necessary funds, find a home and fill it with all the necessary items one needs when you flee your home with nothing but the clothes on your back. So far, cash donations add up to a staggering $32,000. In addition, furniture, clothing, personal products housewares and just about everything else you can imagine, is also being donated to create a warm and welcoming environment for this weary family of 5.
For me, helping a Syrian refugee family get re-settled is such an important effort. Our country has always been a world leader in these efforts. Unfortunately, we learned a bitter lesson prior to WW II when Nazis threatened their Jewish citizens to leave the country. While hundreds of thousands immigrated (losing all of their possessions) to neighboring nations as well as South America, the US had strict immigration quotas and turned away thousand of Jews. We all know what the Nazis did with those that didn’t get out.
Here it is 2017 and a similar crisis persists, which is intolerable. While I can’t help save the millions still in need, I have a very accessible opportunity to help this family in a very small way. All I did was sign up, load my car with donated items at Sharey Tefiloh and unload them at this family’s new home in Maplewood. The effort is incredibly well organized by a group of volunteers. If each of us helped one family think of the difference we could make.
Help Syrian Family Resettle in Maplewood
While much has been donated, there are still items needed – plus cash donations are still being accepted. Right now we still need a dining room table and 4-5 chairs. If you are interested in helping, please go to the sign up page and check off how you want to contribute.
Learn More About The Syrian Refugee Crisis here and how you can help.