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JCOR - Jewish Congregations Organized for Resettlement

UPDATE ON JCOR, JEWISH CONGREGATIONS ORGANIZED FOR RESETTLEMENT

Newcomer Family Updates (11/16/2022)

JCOR volunteers are actively engaged with our newcomer family members, a mutually rewarding endeavor, as the 90-day anniversary of their arrival approaches.  The family members are taking steady strides in their transition to life in Michigan, including a shopping trip with JCOR to acquire winter-ready boots and socks, jackets and sweaters, gloves and scarves.  So equipped, their transition from balmy sunshine and gentle breezes to Michigan’s approaching snow and ice will be challenging, but not punishing. 

The teenagers are adapting well to middle school and high school, respectively, and the younger sibling has joined his school’s instrumental music program.  Both are rapidly acquiring English language skills, have received new prescription eyeglasses, and now can access the internet from home as needed for schoolwork.  Mom and Dad are actively engaged in the daunting process of searching for jobs, with help from JFS and JCOR in identifying employment opportunities and providing translation services and transportation for interviews.  The entire family is gaining a better understanding of the AAATA schedules, so much so that the parents’ first set of bus passes recently had to be renewed.  Parents and children regularly attend English as Second Language lessons.  They are all excited to acquire English skills, and the daughter—who has a knack for languages—has expressed an interest in learning additional languages, including specifically Chinese.

Festive Musical Moments, December 11 @ The JCC
JCOR looks forward to welcoming the community to our first fundraising special event, Festive Musical Moments, on Sunday, December 11, 4 to 6 p.m., at the Jewish Community Center.  The concert will feature performances by some of Ann Arbor’s most accomplished instrumental soloists and ensembles, all followed by light refreshments, catered by Carly Balmer, under the kosher supervision of Rabbi Will Keller.  

Proceeds from the event, as with all donations to JCOR, will benefit directly the services provided by JCOR volunteers to the refugee family members during their first year in the U.S. Additional information and tickets are available at jcorannarbor.org or jewishannarbor.org.

JCOR Has a Website!  JCORANNARBOR.ORG
In October, JCOR volunteers built and launched the new JCOR website, jcorannarbor.org.  This valuable tool helps JCOR member congregations and volunteers stay connected and informed.  The page also provides an easy pathway for the broader community to learn about JCOR and for potential volunteers and donors to make contact.  Now that it’s built, we need a volunteer or two to keep it current.  This is a tech, not writing role; all content will be provided.  Please consider if you, or someone you know, might be able to fill this critical need.

JCOR is a collaboration among Beth Israel Congregation; Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan; Ann Arbor Reconstructionist CongregationJewish Cultural Society; Pardes Hannah; Temple Beth Emeth; and the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor, which provides fiduciary oversight for all funds donated and disbursed in support of JCOR. We are grateful to the volunteers, donors, and Boards of Directors of these congregations who collectively make JCOR possible, and we look forward to the next exciting steps in this critical and joyous expression of Tikkun Olam.

Beth Israel's JCOR Co-Leads,

Michael Appel, mappel1961@gmail.com & Deborah Greene, greenedm@umich.edu

 

Original Information:

Most of our family histories include stories of caring people who stepped up to help our great-grandparents, grandparents, or parents resettle in this country. Today we are challenged to step up and help another generation of refugees.

You have seen the news: The United States initially expected to admit 125,000 refugees this year. Then 80,000 more arrived from Afghanistan. Now, an additional 100,000 Ukrainian refugees are expected.

Jewish Family Services (JFS) is working tirelessly to do its share here in Washtenaw County and is requesting OUR help.  

To this end, representatives from Beth Israel Congregation, Temple Beth Emeth, the Jewish Cultural Society, the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation, Pardes Hannah, and the Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan have come together to form Jewish Congregations Organized for Resettlement (JCOR), whose purpose is to support resettlement of a refugee family. Also, the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor will provide fiduciary oversight for all funds donated and disbursed in support of this purpose. And now we need YOU!

Volunteers are needed for committees that will work in partnership with JFS staff to help refugee family members reestablish their independent lives here and orient to American culture. With training from JFS staff, we will do this by helping refugees with: housing, transportation, and employment; healthcare and financial planning; and childcare, schooling, and adult ESL classes as necessary. We also need a cadre of on-call volunteers to help with short-notice critical needs, like last-minute transportation or child care coverage. 

Altogether, we are seeking 30 to 50 volunteers, who can be available up to three hours per week during the first two months after the family’s arrival. The time commitments will decrease gradually as the family members become more independent during their first year in the United States.

Of course, we need help with fundraising. JFS recommends collecting $7,000 to $20,000 over the course of the family’s first year. Of this, $4,000 should be available upon the family’s arrival to help cover initial costs. 

No one congregation will be singularly responsible or individually committed to provide a specific number of volunteers or a specific amount of funding. But we believe that collectively our Jewish Community can make a difference for our new arrivals and help JFS meet its decades-long dedication to resettlement.

Click here to access JCOR’s on-line volunteer sign-up form, where you will find more information about the volunteer committees and choose the one in which your expertise, your experience, and your passion for Tikkun Olam will have the greatest impact.  

Additionally, all JCOR volunteers will complete the JFS volunteer form which will facilitate the required background check for all JCOR volunteers. Please complete the JFS form now.

Click here to access the secure Federation/JCOR donation website.

Thank you! The family members we help resettle today will be the grandparents of tomorrow. As a volunteer in this effort, YOU will make a difference to their future generations!

For more information, please contact:

Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan:
Fruma Taub, frumataub@gmail.com
Charles Weaver, weaverchas@gmail.com

Beth Israel Congregation:
Michael Appel at mappel1961@gmail.com
Deborah Greene at greenedm@umich.edu

Jewish Cultural Society:
Julie Gales, jgales@mindspring.com

Pardes Hannah:
Linda Jo Doctor at linda.jo.doctor@gmail.com

Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation:
Alice Mishkin at alice.mishkin@gmail.com

Temple Beth Emeth:
Midge Cone at midgelipmancone@gmail.com
Lauren Gold at laurengoldmd@yahoo.com

Or email: JCORAnnArbor@gmail.com

Thu, December 1 2022 7 Kislev 5783