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Refugee Shabbat 3-5-2021

Temple Sholom Celebrates Refugee Shabbat -- March 5, 2021 at 7:30pm

Please join us as Temple Sholom marks Refugee Shabbat on March 5 at 7:30pm. HIAS (a nonprofit organization that stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom) will provide a short video introduction. Temple Sholom has invited a representative from RAP (Refugee Assistance Partners) to speak about the program and families who have begun their resettlement in Union County.

This is a list of 15 ways that anyone can take action for refugees and asylum seekers in the week leading up to and following Refugee Shabbat, as well as on the actual Shabbat itself:

1. Bless with Intention – As you welcome Shabbat on March 5th (or the date of your choosing), use this reading before reciting Kiddush (the blessing over the Shabbat wine) to set an intention to act in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers around the globe.

2. Find the Facts – Check out this list of articles and videos to learn more about the global refugee and asylum crisis and share these resources with family and friends. Zoom or FaceTime family and friends to discuss what you have learned!

3. Do Your Research – Do some research to find out which state or local issues are affecting

refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants on the local level in your area and explore how you

can make a difference.

4. Advocate to Elected Officials – Send a message to the Biden administration and/or your

Member of Congress. Check the “Speak Up” section of this page for the latest resources for

taking advocacy action with HIAS

5. Join the “Jews for Refugees” Facebook Group – Joining this group is a great way to connect with thousands of other committed individuals across the United States and around the world, access up-to-the-minute information about the Jewish response to the refugee crisis, and share actions that you are taking. Click here to join.

6. Shop at Refugee and Immigrant-Owned Businesses – Consider doing a Google search for

refugee-owned restaurants and shops in your local area. Check out lists like this one, this one,

or this one to purchase refugee-made products from around the world.

7. Learn a Language with Refugees – Sign up to learn Arabic, Armenian, French, Kurdish, Persian, or Spanish by employing a refugee as a teacher through NaTakallam. You can even purchase “Gift of Conversation” packages for family and friends eager to learn. Professional translation services also available for individuals and organizations worldwide.

8. Provide Housing – Sign up to provide short-term housing for refugees through HIAS’ partnership with (scroll down to the section labeled “Help HIAS Clients with Housing” for more details).

9. Volunteer Remotely – Whether you are an experienced educator or attorney, have language

skills, or are interested in sharing what you love about your community with newcomers, we

invite you to learn more about volunteer opportunities near you. You can also contact your

local resettlement agency to find out about additional volunteer opportunities.

10. Donate Goods – Donate old technology (PCs, printers, tablets or PDAs, mice, sound and video cards, etc.) through PCs for Refugees. Donate new or gently-used baby carriers to refugees through Carry the Future. Your local resettlement agency may also have other specific needs.

11. Support Refugees and Asylum Seekers – In the week leading up to Refugee Shabbat, set up a Facebook fundraiser to benefit HIAS’ work. For assistance setting up a personalized fundraiser page, please email

12. Become a Welcome Campaign Congregation – If you are a member of a synagogue, check this list to see if your community is part of HIAS’ Welcome Campaign, an action network uniting congregations across the United States in response to the largest refugee crisis in history. If your congregation is already signed up, contact synagogue lay leadership and clergy to find out how you can get involved. If not, contact synagogue lay leadership and clergy to encourage them to join.

13. Donate to a Bond Fund – Consider contributing to a bond fund to assist in releasing immigrants from detention.

14. Organize and Speak Out – Organize a rally or public action outside of a detention center and advocate for immigrants in detention to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

15. Design a Welcome Art Scavenger Hunt – Together with a group of people who live nearby (local friends and family or members of a religious school class), create and decorate signs expressing your support for refugees and asylum seekers to hang in your window visible to the street. Over the weekend of Refugee Shabbat, hop in your car or take a walk to find all the signs in your neighborhood. Consider taking a socially distanced picture in front of each home and then creating a photo montage to post to social media or to Tweet to your local elected officials or Member of Congress with a request to support refugees and asylum seekers.


Sun, March 7 2021 23 Adar 5781