DJC Sponsors a Syrian Refugee Family, Special Notices

DJCIn the Fall of 2015 the Danforth Jewish Circle committed to sponsoring a Syrian refugee family…

It was incredible — but in the short week in-between Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, our Day of Atonement; the community stepped forward and responded with donations of over $53,000 (ultimately over $58,000) to privately sponsor a Syrian refugee family in need. The total was funded at least partly by a lemonade and cookie sale by DJC Children’s Jewish Studies students, Isaac and Jonah Shore McNab!

The DJC Social Justice Committee immediately went into action working with our Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) agency, the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) to submit an application to the government (Citizenship & Immigration Canada-CIC). Just recently we had confirmation from JIAS that the application is “moving forward” and we hope to meet the Syrian family we are sponsoring by late spring or early summer. They are a Kurdish Muslim family of seven (with five children who are: 11, 10, 8, 3 and 1 years-old). They also have family here (an “anchor family”) who are helping us to sponsor them and will work with us and JIAS to welcome the newcomers and help them to settle into Canada and their new home.

We are very excited (and challenged too) by this new journey that we are on. The response from our community has continued to be strong, thoughtful and multi-layered. People have donated their time, their furniture — even their special family heirlooms to help us prepare a home and also store everything until the family’s arrival. We are also grateful to Real Storage, the storage company near Eastern Avenue and Leslie Street who donated a storage locker to the DJC for all of the items we have collected thus far.

Read about this story as it unfolds and help us by donating your time, your ideas and your efforts. We will post here regularly and let you know what’s happening and how you can help.

The Danforth Jewish Circle Social Justice Committee @ djcSocialJustice@gmail.com


LOOKING FOR COMMUNITY GARDEN VOLUNTEERS

The Chair of our Social Justice Committee, Sharron Kusiar, has two allotment gardens at the Leslie Street Spit and every summer she donates the produce of the second garden to a different non-profit.  This year, the DJC-sponsored Syrian family is


ALL MOVED IN!

It has been just over two months since the DJC-sponsored newcomer family first arrived in Canada on March 20! Once the immediate settlement tasks were completed, we went about finding the family a permanent home. Since moving day, a tireless


A PLACE TO CALL HOME

The Social Justice Committee is happy to report that we’ve found an apartment that will be a permanent home for the Syrian newcomer family we are sponsoring. Things have been busy but going well for the family in what will certainly


THEY’RE HERE — WELCOME THE NEWCOMERS!

We are thrilled to share with the community that the seven member Syrian refugee family we began to raise funds for to sponsor back at the 2015 High Holy Days have now arrived safely in Toronto.  A small welcome team


GETTING READY TO WELCOME A NEW CANADIAN FAMILY …

The Social Justice Committee has some very exciting and very recent news to share with the community — the Syrian refugee family of seven we are sponsoring and that we’ve been waiting for since November of 2015 has finally been


HIGH HOLIDAYS-2016: REFUGEE SPONSORSHIP UPDATE

As the “high holidays” are now upon us, we would like to briefly update the community on what has been happening over the past year regarding the DJC’s initiative to sponsor a Syrian refugee family: Since last fall, when the


EID GIFT BASKETS FOR SYRIAN FAMILIES

As Jews, we can easily imagine what it was like for our relatives (and some of us) to come to Canada as new immigrants without a firm grasp of the language, culture or local customs. Then think back to what


TAKING STOCK: A REPORT ON OUR REFUGEE SPONSORSHIP PROJECT

A t this past week’s AGM, Kathy Glazier, the Project Lead for the Syrian family sponsorship initiative, representing our Social Justice Committee, presented a report summarizing where the project has been thus far and what we can look forward to


TEACHING NEWCOMERS TO FISH

As the arrival of the DJC-sponsored Syrian family approaches, volunteers from the community came together on Sunday, May 15, to learn about Syrian culture, understand how trauma may impact the family’s experience, and consider how the experience of the team


“THEORY INTO PRACTICE” — PART 1: THOUGHTS ON HELPING A NEWLY ARRIVED SYRIAN FAMILY

In April, the DJC Social Justice Committee was contacted by the Welcome Project, a private sponsoring group working with government-assisted refugees (GARS). Unlike the privately-sponsored initiatives, there is little one-to-one assistance for GARS. When the Welcome Project group reached out to