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Utah Jews for Refugees

You're invited to join Utah Jews for Refugees (UJR). UJR serves as a forum for communication within the Jewish community of Utah, on what groups and individuals are doing in support of refugees, to announce refugee-related events and activities, to announce volunteer needs for refugee assistance, and to ask questions. A number of the Jewish groups in Salt Lake City are already doing good things in support of refugees, and we want our community to know about that. While we have not yet established a distinct program in and of itself, we are now part of the State of Utah’s refugee service providers group, and offer to assist in ways that we can. UJR is a partner with HIAS, the national Jewish Refugee Resettlement Agency, and we are in their network of other Jewish coalitions around the country supporting refugees. 

Contact Eric Goldman if you would like to be a part of this group, or if you have any questions.

Utah Jewish Volunteers Helping Afghan Evacuees



Thanks to everyone from Kol Ami who tuned in for our meeting Thursday, November 18, 2021 about how Jewish community volunteers can help the Afghan evacuees who are arriving in Utah in the coming months. Special thanks to Pamela Silberman from the local office of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), who described how 765 Afghan evacuees are coming to Utah, including 130 who have arrived already. Pam also told us that the Afghan evacuees are in addition to the 600 "regular" refugees coming to Utah in 2022 from all around the globe, which is the most since 2015.


IRC is asking Kol Ami and CBY members to consider three ways to help, which you can sign up for using our online form now or anytime in 2022: 

  • Make your rental property/apartment available for use by IRC at a below-market rate (must be a separate unit with kitchen, etc.)
  • Sign up for our apartment setup team. This means being available on a week or two notice to spend a day setting up a new apartment for an arriving family. All materials and furnishings are provided by IRC, plus the moving truck. Our role is to provide the labor to set it all up in an empty apartment so the family can move into their new home. Once we reach 5 – 10 volunteers, we'll be in business. 
  • Express interest in participating in and donating toward Kol Ami/CBY's Community Sponsorship program with IRC. This isn't going to start until sometime in 2022, but we want to see who's interested now so we can follow up once the program gets going. Again, we would want to have at least 5 – 10 people interested in this. The exact parameters of the program are still being developed by IRC, but the idea is that we would be able to "adopt" a family and work with them on an ongoing basis as they get settled here in their new home over the next year or more. 


Again, the sign-up form for those three options is located here


In addition to the community effort described above, people also asked about ways that individuals can help on their own, so here are some links that Pamela asked us to share about that: 

 

In addition, the Utah Section of the National Council of Jewish Women is dedicating part of their annual holiday season "Shalom Salaam Tikkun Olam" effort to helping gather supplies for the Afghan evacuees coming to Utah. For information, email Eileen Hallet Stone.


Thanks everyone for your interest and support for this effort!

---
Matthew Weinstein
Co-chair, Kol Ami Social Action/Social Justice Committee 

P.S. The short video we watched about the American Jewish community's historic commitment to helping refugees is here.

Sat, August 13 2022 16 Av 5782