With the whirl of political events unfolding around us, we often have the feeling that we are powerless to make a difference. Now, in our own small corner of the world we have an opportunity to practice the mitzvah of gemilut chassadim (acts of loving kindness). Jane Grossman and Gail Wright have been working with HIAS to create this project.
HIAS has been protecting and serving refugees & immigrants for over 130 years, dating back to 1881. Initially, HIAS stood for “Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society,” coming to the aid of Jewish refugees in crisis. Over the years that acronym no longer represents their mission, which is to protect and aid refugees of all faiths and ethnicities. They kept the name HIAS, which currently is the only Jewish (non-profit) organization whose mission is to help refugees globally.
To this date the organization has served over 4.5 million in need. It is likely that HIAS has in someway impacted all of our lives. From serving new arrivals to Ellis Island to reuniting and resettling families from Hungary, Cuba, Afghanistan, Egypt, Vietnam, Iraq – the list is endless. As she has shared with us, Rachel Levin and her family were supported by HIAS upon their arrival in the country.
We are excited to be working with HIAS and supporting a family from Iraq that will be arriving in the US sometime in February:
- Ali Kareem Ali Kahn (father, age 33)
- Asma Al Hamadani (mother, age 24)
- Abbas Ali Kareem (son, age 9)
- Abdulkareem Ali Kareem (son, age 6)
- Asinat Ali Karem (daughter, age 5)
We have been given a list of items that HIAS puts in the apartment for the family. We decided to use Perfect Potluck (Perfect Potluck for Immigrant Family) as a way to keep track of items that we will provide the family.
On Sunday January 22nd, at the end of the program with Lonnie Nasatir of the ADL, we will collect all the items as well as join together to create something special for each of the people in the family.
If you are not able to attend the program on January 22nd, please get the items you are donating to Jane Grossman or Gail Wright prior to the event. If shopping isn’t your forte and you’d prefer to make a donation to put towards items on the list, that works too. Again, please get any financial donation to Gail or Jane by January 17th.
- Jane Grossman: firstname.lastname@example.org; (847) 754-6424; 207 East Saint Andrews Lane, Deerfield, IL 60015
- Gail Wright: Gailwrig@gmail.com; (847) 612-7387; 159 Timber Hill Rd., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
Jessica Schaffer, of HIAS, will provide more information about the family as well as HIAS at our learning program on Friday night January 6th.
Thanks in advance for your support!
Marc, Jane and Gail