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In September 2015, the Social Action Committee formed a Refugee sub-Committee. Shortly afterwards, several members of this sub-Committee attended a JIAS workshop at the Prosserman JCC on private sponsorship. Pippa Feinstein offered to chair the sub-Committee and invited interested congregants to meet at the Narayever to begin a series of conversations about sponsoring a refugee family.

Conversations to date have been productive, and have included sub-committee members’ diverse perspectives. Meetings are meant to be an open and respectful space for meaningful and intelligent dialogue.

Meetings called by the sub-committee took place four times between September and December 2015. Issues discussed included:

  • Whether the sponsorship should be undertaken through the shul or as a separate but affiliated group
  • Security concerns around the nationality and religion of refugee families
  • Research about how refugee families were being selected, the extent to which ethnic minority status was a factor in determining need, whether there were groups at special risk and the extent to which the shul might be able to determine sponsorship of a family in a high risk situation.
  • Concerns that other necessary fundraising initiatives will be given lower priority
  • Which Sponsorship-Agreement Holder should the Narayever work with
  • The need for whether sponsorship efforts should be accompanied by public/adult education
  • Possibilities for the shul to become involved in refugee-related advocacy

At the October meeting of the Board of Governors, the Social Action Committee informed the Board that it would present a motion to sponsor a refugee family at the Board’s next meeting.

On November 22nd, 2015, the Board of Governors approved the motion to sponsor a refugee family.

On November 24th, a sub-committee meeting was held to discuss fundraising, in-kind donations and the development of a communications plan. These initiatives are now underway.

On December 8th, Pippa announced that we had raised $35,000.

On December 18th, we had raised almost $45,000.

On December 22nd, we were at $59,000.

On January 11th, Pippa announced that we had raised our goal of $65,000.

More details on our process will become available as the Narayever continues to communicate with JIAS, other sponsoring groups in Toronto, and as we engage in fundraising.

Wed, October 21 2020 3 Cheshvan 5781