When the war in Ukraine broke out in February 2022, JCARR volunteers immediately contacted Rabbi Michael Farbman of Temple Emanuel, who speaks Russian and traveled to Poland in April to support Ukrainian refugees.
“We’re here to help; let us know what we can do,” they told the rabbi. And so he did.
Rabbi Farbman and his son Samuel traveled to Spain in August, where the two men volunteered with Ukrainian refugees supported by Beth Shalom, a Reform synagogue in Barcelona. One of the families they met there has now made its way to Connecticut, and JCARR — the Jewish Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement — is springing into action to help provide the family with a ‛softer landing’ as they take their first steps toward a new life.
Over the past seven years, JCARR has helped resettle seven refugee and asylum-seeking families from five different countries, guiding them through a myriad of hurdles as they make a new life in the New Haven community. The recently arrived Ukrainian family of five is not only the eighth family the volunteer organization is helping to resettle, it is also a family whose ties to the community are more personal.
The parents of three daughters, ages 22, 18 and 9, Yury and Olga are college educated and have worked at various jobs, including owning and operating their own travel agency. The family’s eldest daughter has already made her way to New York and is building her life there; while Yury is in Connecticut. The rest of the family has until mid-January to enter the United States.
JCARR is already at work, helping this Ukrainian family find housing, furnish their home, enroll in school and ESL programs, get medical care, apply for social services, and secure jobs and pro bono immigration legal assistance. The family is eager to gain proficiency in English, and the daughters plan to continue their education.
In addition to this Ukrainian family, JCARR is also actively working to help resettle an Afghan family headed by a single mother, a Syrian family that includes adults with disabilities, and an asylum-seeking family with four children.
JCARR’s goal is to help these refugees access and navigate the resources that will empower them to build their lives in the New Haven community. How do they do it? With hard work and the generous support of the community.
To help JCARR assist refugee families, please donate online at jewishnewhaven.org/refugee-resettlement/give; or send a check payable to the Jewish Federation, with JCARR in the memo line, to the Jewish Federation, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525. Attention: Amy Holtz. All donations go directly into JCARR’s bank account.
New volunteers are welcome! For more information, contact Jean Silk, JCARR Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.