We are grateful for our volunteers.
Sue Nobleman is one of JCARR’S newest volunteers. She quickly found her niche and is a valuable addition to the team. Recently Sue shared her thoughts and feelings about this opportunity.
My motivation to volunteer with JCARR stems from my lifelong desire to continually educate myself and others, along with helping to find answers and solve problems. As a retired school librarian after 14 years and retired attorney whose practice focused on Elder Law, my volunteer work with JCARR perfectly matches those interests. In both professional roles, I learned to be very persistent. My ability to research questions, track the details, and seek answers is very helpful.
Currently, my primary role in JCARR is as one of two designated Family Partners (FP) working with Family 7: an Afghani family consisting of a mom and her three daughters. Her husband is working on obtaining the necessary documentation to enter the US, and they are all eager to be reunited. As an FP, I liaise between this family and the various JCARR committees. As a family need arises, I determine which committee can best address that issue and contact that committee. Our focus is always on how we can assist this person in a way that promotes independence.
Seeing the family settling in and adapting to their new lives in New Haven is gratifying. There has been a dramatic improvement in the family’s English skills. The mom attends English classes with her youngest child five days a week, and the two older children attend elementary school. While transitioning to a new culture is challenging, this family continues to learn and grow in their new surroundings.
“I can’t imagine how I would fare if I suddenly found myself in a new country. I am continually impressed by this mom’s fortitude in dealing with things we take for granted, such as paying bills, navigating grocery shopping, and learning English. I have gotten to know her husband through What’s App and marvel at his upbeat mood, given the family’s circumstances. Both husband and wife have a wonderful sense of humor and continually express their appreciation for JCARR.”
On a personal level, being a JCARR volunteer allows me to educate myself on what it is to be a refugee in this country and gives me insight into what life was like for these families in their home countries. I have attended informative online sessions on the resettlement of refugees. At the same time, I enjoy learning about immigration law, an area in which I have no experience. Finally, this work helps me to understand more clearly that we are all part of the human race, that no matter what our religion or cultural background is, humans will migrate to be safe, and that we share more values than not in terms of what we want for our children and loved ones.
Being a volunteer with JCARR is a highlight of my retirement. I find all the volunteers to be kind and caring, with each bringing their expertise or interest to the group. I encourage anyone interested in helping others to contact a volunteer with JCARR to learn more about this experience. Your time commitment is what you want to give.
REFUGEE SHABBAT SERVICES
If you want to learn more about resettlement work, consider attending one (or more) of JCARR’s Refugee Shabbat services. Refugee Shabbat provides an opportunity to hear about the actions taken to fulfill the commandment to Welcome the Stranger. JCARR congregations and congregations throughout the country and worldwide are raising awareness of the many efforts involved in resettlement.
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!