Over 80 million displaced persons in the world. Ansche Chesed is acting.
We are Ansche Chesed, People of Lovingkindness, and believe that we can truly Welcome the Stranger by becoming a Community Sponsor, and help a refugee family resettle in NYC.
We need your help
Community Sponsorship averages around $40,000/yr. Our kick-off project to furnish a home for a family will cost about $7,000.
PLEASE – DONATE TO SUPPORT ANSCHE CHESED REFUGEE ASSISTANCE
PLEASE – VOLUNTEER AND BECOME AN ACTIVE PART OF THIS PROJECT
Why is Ansche Chesed undertaking this project?
Hachnasat Orchim, the mitzvah of Welcoming Guests, is an essential part of our teaching and we can put theory into practice.
Thousands of refugees are already on US military bases awaiting resettlement and thousands more are waiting overseas.The resettlement agencies are overburdened as they work to find and furnish housing and help refugees adapt to life in the US. Community Sponsors provide volunteers and funding to make this work.
Out first project with IRC (International Rescue Committee) is helping a family of five (including a new baby) from Afghanistan. We furnished and equipped their new home and introduced them to life in NYC. We’ll provide ongoing support during their first year here. We are also working with a single woman from Afghanistan, a mother and teenaged daughter from Myanmar, and three young men from Myanmar — two brothers and a cousin. We seek to provide the hospitality we learned from Abraham.
Join us in this project
You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut.10:19)
Do you have something to donate, furniture? Baby equipment? Email ACRA1928@gmail.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Community Sponsorship is a local solution to the global refugee crisis. It relies on harnessing the power of grassroots communities to resettle, assist and advocate for refugees.
Community Sponsorship is a public/private partnership between Resettlement Agencies and local faith and civic groups that effectively extends support for resettling refugees and increases their chances of successful integration and independence within their placed communities.
The Community Sponsorship Model improves on the long-term humanitarian tradition of welcoming in this country. It addresses gaps in our 40-year-old resettlement program. Under the existing U.S. Resettlement Program, refugees receive 90 days of government support which is managed through the Resettlement Agencies. After the first three months, refugees are left with little support, and often limited opportunities for community integration.
However, when neighbors come together as trained Community Sponsors to build scaffolding around resettling families, refugees are more likely to thrive in dignity and safety, integrate into the community, and find success as new Americans.
Because we truly want to be Ansche Chesed – People of Loving Kindness – and we believe in our mandate to Welcome the Stranger. Our community contains the resources needed to help families resettle in our city and can effectively fill a needed role in refugee resettlement.
We also believe that both as a community and as individuals we will learn from this process of direct engagement, creative thinking, and ethically-based responsibility as we reach across cultural divides to work with real human beings in need and help families different from – and also so like – our own.
Yes, certainly. We can donate to many organizations on the local and national level that assist refugees. We can and should advocate on their behalf with our elected officials. We can run food, clothing and furniture drives and direct these resources to local distribution agencies. These are all valid ways to help. However we believe that actively supporting a single family is our community’s best interpretation of the command to Welcome the Stranger.
After families are approved they are assigned to one of nine resettlement agencies who take responsibility for their case. These agencies work with community sponsors like Ansche Chesed based on the needs of the family. We expect to work with either HIAS, IRC, or Catholic Charities, three of the resettlement agencies active in the NYC area.
Our first project with IRC, (International Rescue Committee) is helping a family of five (including a new baby) from Afghanistan. We furnished and equipped their new home and introduced them to life in NYC. We’ll provide ongoing support during their first year here. We are also working with a single woman from Afghanistan, a mother and teenaged daughter from Myanmar, and three young men from Myanmar–two brothers and a cousin. We seek to provide the hospitality we learned from Abraham.
Most of all, this project needs savvy, compassionate New Yorkers with a little time and the motivation to help. Your common sense and life experience will be invaluable to this project.
Much depends on the size of the family and our ability to locate affordable housing. HIAS has a broad estimate of $14,000 for a single individual to $40,000 for a larger family. We have spoken with other synagogues in the NYC area who have resettled families and we have set our initial fund-raising goal at $30,000. If, as others have done, we have a surplus, we will be able to use it to assist another family.
The Resettlement Agencies require us to have certain funds on hand prior to assigning a family. In part this is because they need to be confident in our ability to follow through and also because there will be a number of front loaded costs in securing and furnishing the apartment.
We hope that we will be able to find housing in a neighborhood with familiar faces, near people from their own country or community. We will target our search in areas where shops and community organizations reflect the family’s background.
Yes! We view this as our biggest challenge. But a challenge, not an impossibility. Do you know someone who might help? Can you assist in this search?
Yes, but it is seldom sufficient. Each family member receives a one time stipend upon arrival and is entitled to Medicaid, SNAP and other benefits depending on circumstances. However until family members are employed there is invariably a shortfall.
Only some of our volunteers will actually interact with the family; others will do behind-the-scenes work. If you are concerned about interacting with arriving families there is absolutely no need to do so and there are still many ways to be involved.
According to HIAS, all clients from Afghanistan who arrive from military bases are vaccinated. However we will work to confirm their exact status and inform volunteers who may interact with the family.
We will require that volunteers who meet directly with the family or attend an in-person meeting to be vaccinated.
Volunteer and join with other Ansche Chesed members working on the many aspects of this project.