In socialaction, Syrian Refugees

By Jacqueline Friedland.

December 2015

Here is a brief update on the range of activities taking place related to the resettlement of Syrian refugee families and the Holy Blossom community.

There have been many members and non-members who have generously donated over the past two months. As a result, we are already looking at our third sponsorship opportunity. We have set a goal of roughly $40,000 per family of five to cover the required funds for private sponsorship set out by the government and provide some contingency for unexpected expenses that may arise during the first year.

Congregants have been able to sign the first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JIAS and send the first $20,000 required for the first family to be sponsored. The balance of the $40,000 set aside for this family will be sent to JIAS in accordance with its payment schedule.

A second Holy Blossom group is working with JIAS for the sponsorship of a second family and has independently identified families who will serve as a second Core Group, signing another MOU and has also raised the required funds.

We are now on our way with donations for a third family and numerous volunteers have already come forward to form the third Core Group and sign the MOU with JIAS.

JIAS is working with refugee families who have family members in Toronto. The volume of demands on JIAS is enormous but it is moving to settle arrangements for our first family of five, which includes three young children ages 2½, 5 and 9. They will be moving to Toronto with another six extended family members. Once these details are resolved, we will share more information with the Holy Blossom community. I would not expect that the first family we are assisting will be here before mid- to late spring. I will provide updates with more information as soon as I learn more myself.

Donations are still being accepted by telephone at the Foundation office (416-789-3291 ext 265) and online by clicking here. For all options, you need to indicate “Syrian Refugees”, and you will receive a tax receipt for this year.

Not only funds, but a range of meaningful donations of goods, possibilities for employment and other critical directions for support for the refugee families have been forthcoming from our community. More are of course welcome.

[feature_box title=”We are looking for storage space and transportation for furniture” title_color=”fff” header_color=”382″]With Holy Blossom currently under construction, storage space is a challenge! Can you provide an un-used garage or other storage area? We also need volunteers with time and transportation for furniture. Once this in place, we will begin collecting clothes, household items and furniture for the family. 

Please contact Jemma Helfman via [email protected] and let us know if there is storage or transportation you can contribute. If you have items to donate and are able to hold on to them until the family arrives, please also contact Jemma with details at the above email address. [/feature_box]

For the article: US rabbis envy Canadian counterparts’ chance to welcome refugees – Friday, December 25, 2015 – The Times of Israel, please click here.

Syrian Refugees Task Force

4697c862-1e8a-4501-a226-02dd37cc97beBy Jacqueline Friedland.

October 2015

Holy Blossom Temple members joined together on September 30 to express their interest in supporting Syrian refugee families who resettle in Canada. At this time, the most important task is to gather information about who wants to participate in the sponsorship of a family (or families) – either through financial support, front-line support in resettlement, or both.

With this communication is a link to a presentation prepared by Jewish Immigrant and Aids Services (JIAS) that provides much detail about the sponsorship process. http://www.jiastoronto.org/news-and-announcements/

I am also providing a link to LifeLine Syria, which is another source for information. http://lifelinesyria.ca/

There are numerous ways for members to be involved in addition to acting as a sponsor. The purpose of this communication is to collect names and information from those congregants who are interested in participating in a wide range of activities.

The purpose of the Syrian Refugees Task Force is one of facilitation and communication. I welcome volunteers to help with the Task Force as well as the activities set out above. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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  • Barbara Grossman

    Hello. I want to make you aware that pro bono legal assistance is available to sponsoring groups in Toronto to assist them with their sponsorship applications.The Refugee Sponsorship Support Program website can be found here: http://www.refugeessp.ca Lawyers in my law firm are volunteering through this program.

  • Caroline Ingvaldsen

    Thanks so much for this initiative: please add me to the mailing list for next steps and additional information.