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


“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


THE STRANGER AT OUR SEDER TABLE

Over the past two nights at the Passover seders you attended, did the conversation amongst your family and friends lead to a discussion of the plight of thousands of Syrian refugees and how they are strangers in many new lands?


PRIVATE SPONSORSHIP – A CANADIAN MODEL WORTH EMULATING

In a recent article in the Washington Post weekend magazine, freelance journalist Robin Shulman writes, “In the United States — which has the largest refugee resettlement program in the world but does not permit private sponsorship — lawmakers and refugee advocates


“YOU KNOW THE HEART OF THE STRANGER”

Musings on a pre-Passover Torah study with Rabbi Miriam… One week ago, on Sunday, April 3rd, 13 people weaved their way through a Greek parade on the Danforth to negotiate an obstructed pathway to the Auditorium at “Beth-minster” for a


SYRIAN REFUGEES CHAT WITH TOURISTS ON THE ISLE OF LESBOS

Daily we are inundated with media stories and images of the plight of Syrian refugees in Europe and beyond. Watch this refreshing and revealing video about basic human kindness and connectedness (video is 22 minutes in length).


“THEORY INTO PRACTICE” – PART 2: THOUGHTS ON HELPING A NEWLY ARRIVED SYRIAN REFUGEE 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 they reached out to the DJC, eight


OPPORTUNITY TO HELP GOVERNMENT ASSISTED REFUGEES (GARs)

As many of you know, the DJC community has shown an incredible amount of support — both financial and in-kind — for the resettlement of a Syrian refugee family who we are privately sponsoring.  The Jewish Immigrant Aid Service (JIAS), our


ITEMS WE STILL NEED FOR THE FAMILY

“WHAT DO WE LEAVE? NOTHING MUCH — ONLY ANATEVKA — ANATEVKA!” Who could forget those haunting lines from the Broadway musical and award-winning film, “A Fiddler On The Roof“? At the DJC we are sponsoring a Syrian-Kurdish family of seven


SPEAK ARABIC OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOES?

The DJC Social Justice Committee is looking for a volunteer from our community who speaks Arabic.  Recently we found out that the parents of the Syrian family we are sponsoring do not speak any English and although we will have


INTERFAITH RESPONSES TO THE SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS

Doug Saunders of the Globe & Mail hosted a fascinating discussion on interfaith responses to the Syrian refugee crisis as part of World Interfaith Harmony Week. The event was held on February 9th at “Congregation Darchei Noam“, a reconstructionist synagogue in