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Refugee Resettlement & Immigrant Justice

Our Work and Our Commitment

Inspired by our faith, Judea’s Refugee Resettlement and Immigrant Justice team
works to welcome newcomers seeking safety and refuge. We are a lay-led
subcommittee of the Social Action Committee and invite you to join us in welcoming
the stranger and helping newcomers build a foundation to be successful members of our
community. 

Click Here to Volunteer with Us

As part of our covenant with the world, we stand and act in solidarity with other
houses of faith to protect and defend our immigrant sisters and brothers.

SIGN UP HERE: to keep up with what the Refugee Resettlement Team is doing, please subscribe to our newsletter HERE

Unprecedented Levels of Need  

Ukraine, Afghanistan, US Border, over 100,000,000 individuals globally who have been displaced from their homes. We see on the nightly news that large numbers of
people are fleeing for safety, leaving their families, their homes, their professions
behind. Our initiative focuses efforts locally here in Durham and North Carolina.
However, we partner with organizations working nationally and globally,
including HIAS (originally the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society).

Judea Reform's Work 

Our community actively welcomes refugees and other newcomers in many ways.

  • Our grocery squad volunteers shop and stock refrigerators and pantries of newly arriving refugees being resettled by our partner CWS-Durham, expenses are reimbursed with receipts.
  • Our resettlement teams welcome and sponsor newcomers for a six-month period through a partnership with HIAS – finding and furnishing housing; assisting with enrollment in benefits and schools; preparing for and finding employment; offering language practice companionship, social, and emotional support. Since 2021, we have welcomed and resettled four Afghan families, a Ukrainian family, and are awaiting a family of five from Haiti.
  • We hope to form a CARE group with CWS Durham in 2024 to assist an established refugee individual or family in closing the economic gap by providing social and financial support toward their educational and employment goals.
  • Our community regularly supports specific needs:
    • For eight years, you have provided Back-to-school backpacks filled with age specific school supplies for refugee children
    • You’ve helped new arrivals stay warm with winter outerwear (coats, hats, gloves)
    • Our Grocery Squad shops and stocks refrigerators and pantries for up to 30 new arrivals each month.
    • We’ve furnished close to 20 first homes for newcomers – for the families we sponsored as well as many others welcomed by CWS.
    • JRC members volunteer with Iglesia Emanuel’s immigrant led food pantry that serves over 600 families per week in Durham.
  • We advocate for more welcoming policies:
    • We educate ourselves and meet with our federal legislators and their staff.
    • We work with national faith and secular partners to lift the voices of those who cannot.
  • We worship, learn from the teachings of the Torah and work for Tikkun Olam.
    • We observe the Refugee Shabbat with HIAS
    • We are a URJ Brit Olam Congregation
    • Judea Reform Congregation forms part of the HIAS Welcome Campaign
  • We partner with other faith communities to provide solidarity and support:
    • With other congregations in Durham we provided financial support for a family seeking asylum.
    • We provided companionship, solidarity and broke bread with an immigrant while he lived in sanctuary at their church.
    • Our delegation traveled to Lumpkin, GA, to bear witness to the inhumanity of immigrant imprisonment at Stewart Detention Center, where many from our area are sent. We learned of the important work of El Refugio hospitality mission.
    • We support the Immigrant Solidarity Fund to aid undocumented and mixed status families facing financial hardship due to recent ICE detention or deportation, emergency, or natural disasters.

Five Things You Can Do:

 

1. USE YOUR VOICE: Call your Representative and Senators and ask them to
take action to protect immigrants and refugees. Our monthly newsletter usually
includes a call to action. Find YOUR representative.


2. CONTRIBUTE: Please consider making a contribution to our Refugee
Resettlement Fund (donate to Social Action - Refugee Resettlement). We use
these funds to support resettlement work, including supporting the grocery
squad, sponsoring newcomers, furnishing apartments, and supporting partners
in our community.


3. VOLUNTEER: Change lives through volunteering (yours and the
newcomers!) For small, medium, and large volunteer opportunities visit
https://bit.ly/RRIJ-Volunteer-Interest


4. ADVOCATE: Our community partnerships are integral to our
commitment and our work! Please join us in demanding action to protect
people seeking asylum, refugees, and detained immigrants.  Learn more from
our partner organizations:

  • To resettle refugees locally we partner with CWS (Church World Service – Durham)
  • To support more welcoming policies nationally, we partner with HIAS (originally the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) and The RAC’s North American Immigrant Justice Initiative.
  • To advocate for immigrants in detention and assist their families we support El Refugio Stewart,  Siembra NC , La Semilla, and the Immigrant Solidarity Fund.

5. CONTACT AND CONNECT WITH US: 

Recognition

Our Work Has Been Recognized by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Our committee has received three mini-grants 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, to support
local immigrant organization partners in providing nutritional supplements, emergency housing aid and vaccine distribution, and to supplement fundraising to for our HIAS Welcome Circle resettling a Ukrainian family.

 

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. 

Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784