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Rabbi Bellows

A Message From Rabbi Bellows, August 14, 2022 / 17 Av 5782

Dear Friends,

In 2017 a strong, dedicated group of CBA volunteers helped welcome a Syrian refugee family into life in America. We have been asked again if we would volunteer to help another family.

Congregation Makom Solel Lakeside knew about our work with our beautiful Syrian family and has asked us to join them in volunteering to work with a family for the first six months after they arrive. In their reaching out, Makom Solel Lakeside writes:
We have already collected the funds to be paid to RefugeeOne and our members have donated the furniture and household goods to furnish an apartment. RefugeeOne finds an apartment for the family.
Our big need now is for volunteers who will work with the family for the first 6 months after they arrive. We typically divide volunteers into two groups-(1) mentors, who help orientate the family into living in Chicago and (2) tutors, who help the family, particularly children, learn English. In the past, mentors have visited the family on Saturdays and tutors on Sundays, but we can be flexible. We go in pairs. We hope to have enough volunteers so that each person will visit the family only once or twice per month during the 6 month commitment. Most of the families live on the north side of Chicago, particularly in West Rogers Park. To keep down the time commitment, we hope to have a total of 16-20 volunteers. We currently have 7 members signed up, although some of them will be out of town during the early months of 2023.

If you are interested in joining a CBA-Makom Solel Lakeside partnership in working with a refugee family, please let me know. We will offer a zoom meeting of introduction, further details, and information soon. If you would like to attend the zoom meeting, also let me know.

It is holy work to welcome the stranger. I hope you will join us.

With Blessings,
Rabbi Bellows