Welcome Circles For Afghan and Ukrainian Refegees Sponsored by JIAS

Are you interested in being part of a 5-10 person Welcome Circle for a refugee family, most likely from Ukraine or Afghanistan?. The Social Justice Committee is interested in forming a Welcome Circle, either with DJC members or in partnership with another synagogue. Moving forward with this project depends on having enough volunteers from the DJC community to be the core of the Group, and solicit partnerships, if necessary. 

Types of supports can include:  helping with government forms, signing up for services such as OHIP, bank accounts, Presto and library cards, (and explaining how all of the foregoing work in Toronto), practicing English, tutoring children, shopping for groceries, and connecting the family to resources such as food banks and housing options.  The Welcome Circle may also take the family to medical appointments and school meetings, help them get oriented to the city, and socialize informally, to help the family practice their English, and feel a sense of belonging. 

The Welcome Circles are set up by Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS), which provides input to Welcome Circles, helps to link the families to JIAS settlement activities, such as conversational English, government benefits and tutoring for children.  

The time commitment for a Welcome Circle is 3-6 months, and the activities will be both virtual and in-person, so a car may be helpful, as most refugees cannot afford to live in the downtown Toronto area. The amount of time/week required will depends on the needs of the family.  If you would like to participate, please send a personal message via the DJC Facebook page to Sybil Berk or not on FB, please email her by November 30 : sybilberk@gmail.com 

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