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1185 Sheridan Road, Glencoe, IL 60022847.835.0724

What's new?  Maryna will start a new job soon and Mikhail is very close to a certification he needs to begin working too. They are very happy in their new apartment and happy to be closer to family members.

 

For 3 consecutive years NSCI has partnered with RefugeeOne to help resettle a refugee family here in Chicago, with the goal that the family becomes self-reliant 6-8 months after their arrival. 


NSCI’s commitment to refugee resettlement predates 2018 when we formed what we call 17: NSCI’s Refugee Resettlement Project, the name we’ve given to our most recent refugee resettlement efforts. Our efforts date back to the earliest period in NSCI’s history when the congregation welcomed our first assistant rabbi, Rabbi Arthur Bluhm and his family, who were rescued from the Nazis and brought here in 1938. Then later, in the 1970s, NSCI’s Board of Trustees revisited conversations about resettling international refugees. Detailed minutes exist in which our synagogue leadership strategized how best to welcome Vietnamese families who were fleeing oppressive legislation enforced by the communist regime. On January 16, 1980, NSCI welcomed the “Tran family,” refugees from Vietnam. Our community fundraised, rented an apartment for them in nearby Highland Park, cooked meals and tutored them in English. One family loaned their stationwagon and others helped the adults secure employment. Now, in our 101st year, NSCI remains committed to the important work of refugee resettlement, honoring the legacy of our founders and continuing to embody Judaism’s highest callings.

 

Open arms in Idaho…

 

Our Congolese refugee family Bubasha & Yoze, along with their three children, Shauri, Everina, and Nyota, were very excited to relocate to Idaho and be reunited with family this month. 

 

Arriving to Chicago during this challenging pandemic, initially our opportunity to be together was confined to Zoom fun--getting to know them with the help of Swahili speaking former Peace Corps volunteers (Maddy McNear & Dana Heyman) for whom we are grateful. 

 

In the past month, after their quarantine lifted, we finally visited with them in person, outdoors and began to know this brave family. While we are sad to see them leave, we know that resettling in a new country is so much easier with the support of loving family members who have already made a similar move, and we wish them continued success and many blessings as they build a life in Idaho.


An unexpected welcome…

 

Surprise. Just days after the Idaho departure, RefugeeOne reached out to us about another opportunity to help. The apartment was cleaned, re-equipped and stocked with food and necessities. With much joy at the airport, this past Thursday, we welcomed a Jewish Russian refugee family from Belarus: Maryna (43), Mikhail (43) and their son Mikita (19). No one in the family reads, writes or speaks English but they come with enthusiasm. They have close family who were relocated here in 2016, so we’re hopeful for a smooth transition. Stay tuned for more details and opportunities how to get involved.


17, a reminder

 

NSCI has given our congregation refugee resettlement efforts this name to remind us that 17 YEARS is the average time a refugee spends in a camp, in limbo, around the world.  They have fled war, persecution and terror and live in a state of uncertainty. Yes, 17 years.

 

 

 

 


Thank you to everyone who contributed money, groceries, furniture and household items, as well as the group of volunteers who helped set up the family’s apartment. Click HERE to watch a short video tour of the family’s lovingly decorated home.

 

 

 

 

 

To donate to 17: NSCI's Refugee Resettlement Project, please make checks payable to “NSCI” and write “Refugee Resettlement Project” on the memo line. Please mail checks to NSCI, Attn: Rabbi Daniels, 1185 Sheridan Road, Glencoe, IL 60022, or click HERE to donate online.

 

 

 

One of the most important roles of Co-Sponsors is to check in with the refugee family each week for their first 6 months in the country, helping the family practice English over text, WhatsApp or Zoom, drop off fun packages for the family to do on their own or virtually with volunteer families, answer questions the family may have about life in Chicago and much more! If you are interested in signing up to be a mentor for the refugee family, find a time slot and sign up below: 

Sign Up Here

How Does Refugeeone and NSCI Help the Family?

 

For more information from RefugeeOne, including valuable volunteer education, please click HERE.

Highland park Family Pays it Forward

Click HERE to read an inspiring article by Ray Richmond, who was able to "pay it forward" and help NSCI's new refugee family.

 

 

 

Chicago Jewish Coalition for Refugees

 

NSCI is a member of The Chicago Jewish Coalition for Refugees.

 

The Chicago Jewish Coalition for Refugees (CJCR) convenes the Jewish community to act in support of refugees and asylum seekers by: i) engaging in learning and dialogue about issues impacting refugees and asylum seekers; ii) connecting to volunteer opportunities to support refugees and asylum seekers locally; and iii) advocating for policies that protect refugees and asylum seekers. CJCR envisions the United States as a place where refugees and asylum seekers can live in safety with dignity.

Sun, December 5 2021 1 Tevet 5782