As 2023 begins, JCARR is grateful for many things.
UKRAINIAN FAMILY UNITED
We are thrilled that the Ukrainian family members are now re-united and settling into their apartment. We look forward to assisting them as they work towards independence.
We are thankful for the support of family, friends, and synagogue youth.
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL STUDENTS SUPPORT JCARR
L’DOR V’DOR - From generation to generation. Recently, our hearts have been lifted by youth-led activities at JCARR synagogues supporting refugee resettlement work. Teens at Temple Emanuel and Congregation Mishkan Israel made significant, meaningful contributions to JCARR’s Welcoming the Stranger mission.
At Temple Emanuel (TE) in Orange, Maya Katsovich and Ava Shanbrom co-chaired TE’s Hanukkah Basket project. This long-running program identifies organizations that work with children and prepares baskets for specific children designated by those organizations. JCARR, Fellowship Place, Fair Haven Health Clinic, ‘r Kids, and Jewish Family Services received baskets this year. Both girls experienced this program first as religious school students, and later they watched as their older siblings chaired the effort. This year they worked together to help people have an exciting holiday season. Maya and Ava contacted the agencies to identify needs and created flyers to solicit the requested items. With the support of staff and madrichim, they involved the entire religious school in assembling and wrapping the baskets and writing notes to the recipients. They were excited to introduce an innovation - having the older students write personal letters.
Maya said, “As co-chair, I feel like it’s a different perspective than when I was little. I remember the older kids helping me, and watching the younger kids fills me with nostalgia and pride in a TE tradition.” Ava says, “I enjoyed helping the TE community come together in a way that I haven’t seen since COVID. It was great to have everyone working together as a community.”
The girls enjoyed working together. As a team, they shared responsibilities and complemented each other’s strengths. They look forward to co-chairing the project, building on their experience, and hope to start mentoring the next co-chair(s). Their enthusiasm for the project is contagious. Todah Rabah TE, Maya, and Ava.
At Congregation Mishkan Israel (CMI), Eli Rudikoff and Pierson Canavan represented JCARR at CMI’s Mitzvah Mall. These longtime friends were excited to work together. Eli helped his mother with her JCARR volunteer activities as a younger child and shared his knowledge of the organization with Pierson. The boys educated themselves about JCARR’S mission and created a trifold poster board highlighting JCARR’s work. They thought about the message they wanted to convey and how to present that best. They answered questions such as “What is a refugee?” Both are articulate and tailor their responses to the student’s level. Students could then choose to donate to JCARR and/or another organization represented at the Mitzvah Mall. They also had JCARR’S Welcoming the Stranger note cards available for those who wished to purchase.
An unexpected bonus was that their presentation resulted in the 2020 B’nai Mitzvah class choosing JCARR as one of three organizations to receive money that the 2020 B’nai mitzvah parents pooled for a charitable donation. Due to COVID, the selection process was delayed. The 2020 B’nai mitzvah students listened to student representatives of various organizations. Afterward, they voted on which agencies would receive a donation.
Because the Mitzvah Mall is a seventh and eighth-grade project, this was Eli and Pierson’s second and final year as JCARR representatives. They enjoyed working together, learning more about JCARR, and sharing their knowledge. Pierson says. “It was an enjoyable experience, and I like how it helps people look for the life they deserve. “ Eli agreed. “I was surprised at how much I learned and was able to share.” Both boys think it would be wonderful to find additional ways to involve teens in JCARRS’s work. Todah Rabah CMI, Eli, and Pierson.
Your contributions sustain JCARR’S work.
To donate to JCARR, go online to https://jewishnewhaven.org/refugee-resettlement/give. Or send checks, payable to The Jewish Federation, with JCARR in the memo line, to The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge, 06525. We greatly appreciate your support!