Refugee Resettlement Update – 2/10/17

As we finish another week of work and prepare for Shabbat, we celebrate the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the temporary restraining order on the Executive Order banning all refugees and halting entry into the country of people from seven majority Muslim countries.
Jewish Social Services celebrates this court decision that keeps our nation’s doors open to those fleeing persecution and prevents Islamaphobia from being enshrined into the law. We at JSS know the importance of keeping the borders open since we hear the stories of real immigrants everyday. Our legal services department has  been working with immigrants and refugees from  around the world including from the seven targeted countries for two decades. This fall we reinstated our refugee resettlement program and have welcomed three Syrian families to Madison. Our resettlement program was in the media a lot in the last week. See the latest pieces here:
I am pleased to report this week that four of the refugees got jobs and have begun working. We only have one more adult looking for work at this time. The families are getting settled as children begin school and daycare and they all begin to learn English. JSS has expanded its support for the families with a kind and wonderful Arabic speaking caseworker. Rihab Taha is originally from Sudan and has been living in Madison for over a decade. She is working with Becca Schwartz, our refugee resettlement coordinator, the families, and the volunteers to assure that each member of the refugee families get the support services they need to successfully integrate into our community.
We need your help as we continue to support these families and advocate to assure that refugees will continue to be allowed to enter our country. Here is how you can help this week.
1. Donate:
We need early morning volunteer drivers who can take one of the refugees to be at his job for a 6:00 AM start time while we work on assuring regular transportation. We would like volunteers to commit to driving once a week for the next 4-6 weeks (until warmer weather). The drive would be from near McKee road to West Badger Road area. For more details and to volunteer contact Paul at
Layla’s- Persian food with a local flare is hosting a series of fundraising brunches. There will be guest chefs from the seven countries targeted by the executive order. Last weekend was Syrian and Iraqi food and this week there will be Iranian food.
Madison Eats Food Tours — Share the Love Valentine’s Food Tour- A Refugee Benefit for JSS in the Atwood Neighborhood on Valentine’s Day.

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