Welcoming The Stranger: Protecting The Refuge

An message from Rabbi Shira . . .

“Ibrahim Halil Dudu is a master tailor. He’s also a Syrian refugee living in Ontario, and when the bride next door’s zipper broke, he came to the rescue.

Jo Du was being helped into her gorgeous white wedding dress this week when a tooth on the zipper broke. It was Sunday in Guelph, Ontario, and no tailor shop was open.

An enterprising bridesmaid knocked on a neighbor’s door to ask David Hobson if he might have a pair of pliers they could borrow. Mr. Hobson took in the situation – the bridesmaid, the lacy white dress, and a request for pliers – and said, ‘I’ve got better than tools. I’ve got a master tailor.’

David Hobson had a family of Syrian refugees from Aleppo living in his home for a few days: a mother, father and 3 children. A local businessman, Jim Estill,has helped 50 Syrian families enter Canada and settle in the Guelph area – people from one of the most hellish landscapes on earth, brought to live in one of the safest, tidiest and most serene towns in Canada.”

The full article can be found on NPR (“An Act of Kindness, From One Immigrant To Another.”)

We have the rare chance to do the same: to reach out and take in a refugee family. We can translate the post-election paralysis and worry that many of us are experiencing into action to make a more compassionate and welcoming community right here, where we live. The Westchester community has partnered with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in applying to the US State Department to resettle 10-12 Syrian refugee families in Westchester. We don’t know if the application will be accepted; we don’t know if our congregation will get a family. But in order to be eligible, we need to line up a cadre of volunteers. We will need help to welcome and host, to drive and to translate. We will need help to find schools, employment, medical care and housing. We will need furniture, clothing, books and toys. People to tutor and support. We will need a welcoming community.

If you would like to help, please click on this link to fill out a simple, one-page form:


Or, if you prefer, call the temple office and we’ll help connect you: 914-949-4717

Once we helped refugees because they were Jews: today we help refugees because we are Jews.