Co-Sponsorship Program for resettlement and support of refugees – initial call for AARC volunteer(s)!
We have the opportunity to participate with Beth Israel Congregation (BIC), Temple Beth Emeth, Jewish Cultural Society (JCS) and Pardes Hannah to sponsor a refugee family through Jewish Family Services’ (JFS) Co-Sponsorship Program.
JFS was established to support community resettlement efforts, and since 1993 they have resettled more than 1,000 refugees and other types of immigrants from all over the world. JFS is the only resettlement agency in Washtenaw County. It is one of very few resettlement agencies that provide a continuum of services from pre-arrival all the way through naturalization. The JFS services are holistic and focused on addressing all critical needs and long-term success of each client.
The Co-Sponsorship Program matches community sponsor groups with newly arriving Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders, refugees, and humanitarian parolees. Community sponsor groups will provide resettlement services in partnership with JFS with the goal of establishing a robust community of volunteers and a mechanism for refugees to develop long-term (12-month) supportive co-sponsor relationships.
Committed co-sponsoring groups will provide reception and placement services to new arrivals, which include: securing and furnishing housing, welcoming families upon arrival and ensuring basic needs, finding employment, conducting cultural orientation, and more. Upwards of 30 volunteers will be needed for the first 2 months of the family’s arrival.
Organizing for this co-sponsorship is just beginning, and at this time we are looking for one or two AARC members to serve on the initial organizing committee. If you are interested in serving as a point person for AARC, please contact Rena Basch (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, please note if you are interested but not able to serve on this initial organizing committee there will be many other ways to get involved, many support committees and volunteer roles to fill.
Today the words of the Haggadah are as poignant and vital as ever. “In every generation, a person is obligated to see themselves as though they came forth from Egypt.”