Did you know that you, as a member of Sinai Free Synagogue, are successfully helping to resettle displaced Ukrainian families right here in Westchester? The story goes back a long way.
Back when our grandparents were coming to America from the shtetl, they got much-needed help from the Hebrew Immigrant Assistance Society (HIAS). So successfully did they help our families integrate into their new country that HIAS moved on to helping new generations of immigrants make their home in America.
Now HIAS has become our partner in bringing new neighbors to Westchester. Our very first family came in March from Ukraine to Mount Vernon, an older couple and their adult son. At first the family lived in a small room in a friend’s house, then they were welcomed into the home of an SFS family for a few weeks until they could find a family home, Finally they were resettled into their own apartment in Mount Vernon furnished with donations from synagogue members and a local resettlement organization (Neighbors 4 Refugees). With the help of current and prospective SFS members, they’ve been set up for preliminary immigration status, benefits, health and dental care, and there is some monetary support from a dedicated fund. The son is now working two jobs to support his family, while his parents await permission to work in the country. They are eager to create connections to their new community, despite the loss they feel over their homeland.
Now there is another Ukrainian family that has moved to Yonkers, that SFS members have been helping to support. This time, however, synagogue members are doing this Tikkun Olam as part of a larger coalition called the Westchester Resettlement Coalition (WRC). Our synagogue is one of six synagogues making up the WRC who have come together to support newly arrived families in lower Westchester. Using much of what we learned from resettling our first Ukrainian family, SFS members have been very active in the WRC and its work to resettle this Ukrainian family into a fully furnished apartment in Yonkers. There is another Ukrainian family in the building who we expect will be an important source of support and guidance for the family. Please see the letter from Westchester Resettlement Coalition for more details about this work! WRC November 2022 Newsletter
What can you do to help? Keep in touch through the SFS and WRC websites. There may be a need for your time, skills, and certainly financial or material contributions.