“Make your Toarh a regular, say little and do much, and receive all people cheerfully” Rabbi Shammai, Pirkei Avot 1:15

Bet Torah began its Immigration Initiative as we were touched by a personal community experience- one of our own community was being deported after living in the United States for many years, and working at our synagogue. His story, became our story.

Other than the Indigenous People of our country, we are all immigrants, and in some generation past, our families also came here for a better life.  Our immigration initiative at Bet Torah is born of the need for us to stand with those who are doing just that in our current time and need us as strong advocates, partners, and neighbors.

If you would like to learn more about our work and partnerships, please email Linda Dishner. Linda has spearheaded this initiative over the past several years,  including advocacy and travel to our southern border.

Current Initiatives

Resettlement of Refugees

Bet Torah Social Justice volunteers are working as part of an inclusive team to welcome refugees into our Northern Westchester community. We are working with HIAS and IRIS, which has previously worked extensively in Ct.

As you know, Bet Torah’s Social Justice Committee has been collaborating with several religious, nonreligious, and unaffiliated groups/individuals to form a new group called: ReSET Westchester, Inc. ReSET’s goal is to assist refugees in the resettlement process and welcome them to our community.

We have a myriad of volunteer activities, some simple, some more involved.

In the next  few weeks ReSET’s job will involve finding suitable housing, obtaining furnishings and other personal supplies for the family. Once the family arrives, we will be helping them acclimate within the community, as well as assist them in finding employment, childcare, education, financial assistance, etc. They will need help with everything from grocery shopping to how to use the train, register for services at local non-profits and start a bank account.

We have many volunteer opportunities from the very simple to the very involved, and we will need financial donations, as well.  If you are interested in volunteering and/or finding out more, please complete this Volunteer Form  or email resetwestchester@gmail.com. We need lots of volunteers!

 

Already a Part of Our Community

By partnering with Hearts and Homes for Refugees, our local group of volunteers have resettled an Afghanistan young gentleman in Mount Kisco!  We have set him up in an apartment, and he is currently acclimating to our community.  He is a professional who speaks English and is a joy to know. He is very appreciative of everyone’s effort.Please contact Linda Dishner at lrdish19@gmail.com or Elaine Merker at socialjustice@bettorah.org.

ReSetWestchester

Bet Torah has joined a growing number of houses of worship, civic and youth organizations, and non-affiliated volunteers to create an entity with the mission of welcoming and aiding refugees. This group is called ReSetWestchester.  We are currently working with both Catholic Charities and HIAS, the two Resettlement Agencies in Westchester to be able to resettle a family. We have been accepted by HIAS.  We are now in the process of organizing and training, with the likelihood that we will be resettling a family before the end of 2021.

 


We partner with Neighbors Link whose mission is to is to strengthen the whole community by actively enhancing the healthy integration of immigrants. We partner with HIAS (The Hebrew Immigrant Aide Society) whose vision is to stand for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom. HIAS is guided by our Jewish values and history, and brings  more than 139 years of expertise to our work with refugees.

We participate in local Jewish groups that advocate for the rights of immigrants and refugees in Westchester.



Neighbors Link Food Delivery Program
Thank you to all the drivers who have participated in delivering meals to families who have COVID-19 and are unable to leave their homes. Unfortunately, more drivers are expected to be needed in the upcoming months. The school lunch program for quarantined families operates on Monday and Thursday mornings from Fox Lane High School. The dinner delivery program is on Wednesday evenings and operates out of Stone Fire Grill. Also needed on a monthly basis (Thursday evenings) is the delivery of boxes of food from NL, heavy lifting is required! If you are interested in being on the list of potential drivers, please email Linda Dishner at lrdish19@gmail.com.
☕Neighbors Link Receives 70 Gently-Used Microwaves and Coffee Makers
A huge THANK YOU to congregant David Miller, for putting us in contact with crew of the recently-wrapped film, Tick Tock (2022 release date).  Because of COVID-19 restrictions, cast and crew were given microwaves and coffee makers, many of which were never used.
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Not only were 70 microwaves and 25 coffee makers donated free of charge, but they delivered them right to Neighbors Link’s doorstep.  This donation will go a long way for their clients who have no access to kitchen facilities.