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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Refugee Sponsorship Sub-Committee

The Refugee Sponsorship Sub-Committee is a sub-committee of the Narayever Social Action Committee.

Can I receive a tax receipt for my donation?

Yes. The Narayever will issue a tax receipt for your donations submitted via cheque or made over the phone. If you donate online through Canada Helps, you will also receive a tax receipt, from Canada Helps.

What is a Sponsorship Agreement Holder?

A Sponsorship Agreement Holder is an organization that has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Government of Canada to help refugees from abroad when they resettle in Canada. These organizations are known as sponsorship agreement holders (SAH). They can sponsor refugees themselves or work with others in the community to sponsor refugees.

Many synagogues, including ours, are working with Jewish Immigration Aid Services (JIAS) to assist with their sponsorship efforts. JIAS will work with private sponsorship groups to develop sponsorship applications and to match sponsor groups with a refugee family.

What is a Constituent Group?

A Constituent Group is a group of people that has entered into an agreement with a SAH. The SAH authorizes the Constituent Group to sponsor under its agreement and provide support to refugees.

The Narayever is a Constituent Group.

How are people screened for entry into Canada?

Refugees are screened by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees as well as the Canadian government. Screening includes detailed security and health checks.

More detailed information on how Canada screens refugees can be found here:

Can we pick the nationality and religion of our refugee family?

The refugee sub-committee recognizes that refugees are diverse, and their experiences of persecution and the reasons for their displacement are varied and complex.

SAHs are responsible for identifying and selecting families to be sponsored. While our shul could decline to sponsor a family suggested by a SAH, it is much harder to specify the family we would want to sponsor. After several meaningful, open and careful discussions of this question, the decision was made to sponsor the refugee family provided by JIAS regardless of nationality and religion.

That said, the sub-committee is aware of community concerns over this issue. Many of us are working together to address these concerns, and possibly conduct awareness-raising or public education events in which we explore some of these issues and what we may be able to do as a community to respond to identified needs.

How much money do we need to raise?

Our fundraising goal is $65,000.

What happens if there is a surplus in the money raised?

If our family does not require this amount of money, any extra will be put towards involvement in another sponsorship.

How much money is coming from the Narayever?

Each year, on Erev Yom Kippur, the Social Action Committee calls on members of the community to contribute Tzedakah funds. The bulk of these funds is distributed to worthy organizations in Israel and in downtown Toronto. However, it has been the Committee’s tradition to withhold $5,000 each year for disaster relief. The Board of Governors approved a request by the Social Action Committee to commit the disaster relief funds for 2014-15 and for 2015-16 towards sponsoring a refugee family. The Board approved this designation of $10,000 towards refugee family sponsorship. None of the shul’s own operating funds is going towards refugee sponsorship, although the office staff has and will spend some admin time on processing donations and other support to the volunteers working on this project.

What if a person wants to contribute to our effort but cannot afford a financial donation?

The sub-committee welcomes individuals willing to offer their time, provide an in-kind donation, or offer a particular skill set to this initiative. Once a family is identified and we have some idea of their estimated time of arrival to Canada, we will be able to begin to organize housing, school registration for children, OHIP and SIN registration for the family, language training, and any other day-to-day needs the family may initially have. Volunteers to help with these tasks are essential to the success of our community’s initiative.

Note: If you have any items, skills or time to donate to this initiative, please contact Alia Rosenstock at

When could a sponsored family arrive?

It’s difficult to say due to all the changes to the refugee processing system announced by the new federal government. However, a sponsored family may arrive as early as spring 2016.

What is the length of our financial commitment to our refugee family?

The maximum length of our financial commitment to our refugee family is one year. If the family becomes self-sufficient in less than one year, we would only have to financially support them for that shorter time period.

What happens after the first year to our relationship with the family? What are the obligations, if any?

There are no legal obligations after the first year. However, we may decide to keep in touch with the sponsored family or provide some modest assistance in the second year. This will depend on our relationship with the family and their needs.

Where can we look for updates and information on our sponsorship efforts?

Updates and information on our sponsorship efforts will be make available via the Narayever Net weekly e-newsletter. The refugee sponsorship sub-committee communications team will work together with the Narayever communications committee to ensure that congregants can access information on the Narayever’s website.

Wed, October 21 2020 3 Cheshvan 5781