Our synagogue has a long and proud history of social activism, including the sponsorship of a Vietnamese family during the “Boat People” crisis of the late 1970’s. Once again, we are responding to a worldwide crisis. Jointly, with Congregation Kehilla Shaarei Torah, we are sponsoring two families fleeing from the Syrian refugee crisis. We are working with Jewish Immigrant Aid Services to bring these families to Toronto.
The first family are Kurds from the besieged city of Aleppo. We are helping a father and son and a mother-in-law re-unite with their family members here in Toronto. We are eagerly awaiting their arrival. In the meantime, members of Temple Emanu-El and Kehillat Shaarei Torah were able to meet with their “anchor” family members already in Toronto and share the excitement about the reunification of their family. According to government sources, the expected arrival date of their family members is fall 2016. Once permanent housing is found, the Social Action Committee will be asking the congregation for donations to furnish their apartment.
Nina Diamond (2nd from left) with ‘anchor family’ members Khaulah, Mustafa and Juan Jartos
The second family is a Yazidi family of farmers from Northern Iraq – mother, father and 5 children. They have suffered greatly, including the loss of a daughter who has been captured and still being held by ISIS. They will be welcomed by their family members currently living in Richmond Hill and, through your contributions, we will also be able to help them get settled.
For more information on how you can help, please contact Nina Diamond, co-chair Social Action Committee.