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Refugee Resettlement & Immigrant Justice

Our Annual Refugee Backpack Drive is Virtual!

Between the pandemic and restrictive immigration policies, we are "virtualizing" our annual back-to-school backpack drive for refugee children this year. School is starting out online in our area, and refugee and immigrant families supported by CWS need our help. If you can, please contribute via our Refugee Resettlement Fund and 100% of all contributions will go to our refugee resettlement partner, Church World Service (CWS) Durham. 

Any amount is welcome but here are some ideas for what your contribution can do. 

  • $18 - elementary school resupply
  • $36 - middle school resupply
  • $54 - a month of internet (Durham high school students will be learning remotely)
  • $90 - graphing calculator for high school student
  • $180 - food for a week for a family
  • Contribute via  and select "Make a donation" and then pick "Social Action - Refugee Resettlement"  or send a check made out to Judea Reform Congregation now through August write "Refugee: Alternative backpack drive" in the memo (send to 1933 W Cornwallis Rd., Durham, NC 27705).

If you prefer, buy grocery cards and mail to CWS Durham - 112 S. Duke St., Suite 4B, Durham NC 27701

For more information on this project email


You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the Land of Egypt. -Exodus 23:9

JRC’s Refugee Resettlement and Immigrant Justice Initiative works to make sure America remains a place which welcomes immigrants seeking safety. No less than thirty-six times the Torah commands us to be welcome, just, and inclusive of the strangers among us.
We are committed to helping newly arriving refugees build a foundation to be successful members of our community. As part of our covenant with the world, we stand and act in solidarity with sister houses of faith to protect and defend our immigrant sisters and brothers. Join us in acts of solidarity.  We are a lay-led subcommittee of the Social Action Committee.

You shall not subvert the rights of the stranger or the fatherless. -Deuteronomy 24:17


Call your Representative and ask them to take action to protect immigrants in detention centers or release them. Staff and detainees at Stewart Detention Center (where several Judea members visited last June) have tested positive for COVID-19. Detainees are not able to practice social distancing or maintain hygiene (soap is not provided, for example). Medically vulnerable immigrants should be released immediately. Find YOUR representative.

If you can, please consider making a contribution to the Immigrant Solidarity Fund administered by CWS Durham. 

Recently arrived refugees are in need of English tutors/conversation partners. You can volunteer from the comfort of your home to tutor using a pre-set curriculum and the WhatsApp messaging application. Contact CWS Durham’s Volunteer Coordinator Sina Naseri for more information. For other volunteer opportunities email

Please join us in demanding action to protect detained immigrants at Stewart Detention Center by signing this petition and spreading the word. And sign up here for monthly updates and occasional advocacy alerts.

Learn more and share more - Aprende mas y comparte mas! Our upcoming education and engagement programs are going virtual this summer with a three-part grant funded webinar series. This series will offer an excellent opportunity for in-depth learning and expert analysis on the harsh and unjust realities of immigrant detention centers, labor issues, and why we say “Never Again!”  Join us and to hear from leaders of organizations  that we regularly volunteer with and fundraise for.To learn more about this dynamic program made possible by a grant from the  Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative, co-sponsorship with JRC’s Adult Education Committee, and collaboration with many community partners, email us and put RRIJ panel in the subject line.

More about JRC’s Refugee Resettlement & Immigrant Justice

Our work has been recognized by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

In 2017 our committee’s exemplary organizing, advocacy, fundraising and direct service social action in support of refugees and immigrants was recognized when Judea Reform Congregation was honored with the biennial Fain Award for engaging, innovative, and impactful social justice work. 

In 2020 our committee was awarded a mini-grant by the Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative to supplement and expand the ongoing refugee and immigrant justice educational and engagement work within our congregation and community, through Educational panel discussions and webinars with our partner organizations and leading advocates for social justice for immigrants and refugees.

You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the Land of Egypt. -Exodus 23:9

Our community partnerships are integral to our commitment and our work!

The Eternal said to Abram, "Go forth from your land, your birthplace, your father's house, to the land that I will show you". - Genesis 12:1

Connect and contact us:

You shall have one standard for stranger and citizen alike: for I the LORD am your God - Leviticus 24:22 

Family separation moral state of emergency

Moral Emergency: As crying children are taken from their parents’ arms, the American Jewish community must not remain silent.

To those who are targeted by the cruel policies of the present administration, know that the Jewish community hears your cries. We will take risks to support you, and we will demand that our nation’s leaders take action. We will not abide the claim that people didn’t know or understand the extent of your suffering; we will not allow your torment to be in vain. Jewish leaders have declared a Moral Emergency. Stand with immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, with the children, and with their parents. Join in declaring: Not here. Not now. Not in our name. Individuals sign on here.

Fri, August 14 2020 24 Av 5780