Refugee Resettlement Program
What is TBA’s Refugee Resettlement Program?
- TBA, through its Tikkun Olam Committee, has joined Montgomery County Interfaith Refugee Resettlement Neighbors (MCIRRN), an interfaith coalition of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim congregations assisting about 16 refugee families who have settled in the DC metropolitan area. These families are from several countries, including Afghanistan, Cuba, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, and Colombia.
- We are currently assisting four refugee families — three Syrian and one Colombian. (The families include 4 to 6 people each.) We are working alongside two Catholic churches — St. Rose of Lima in Gaithersburg and St. Francis of Assisi in Derwood —and with the Islamic Center of Maryland in Gaithersburg.
- We are helping these families by tutoring them to improve their English language skills, arranging medical and dental care, delivering food, helping the children with their studies and serving as liaisons with their schools, exploring opportunities for job training and employment, and more. Our assistance will vary as the families become more settled and their needs change.
- We assist other MCIRRN-affiliated families as needed and likely will work with additional families in the future.
How can I get involved?
We need many volunteers with a variety of skills and abilities — and varying levels of time that they can give to this effort. These efforts include:
- Hands-on and face-to-face opportunities, such as tutoring, mentoring, and providing transportation.
- Serving as a resource in needed areas, such as public benefits, health care, and budgeting.
- Contributing to periodic collections to benefit the refugee families
- Donating gift cards for use by the families (please bring to the Temple office) and/or making monetary donations toward these efforts — by check to TBA, with Tikkun Olam-refugee in the memo line; or via ChaverWeb, to Tikkun Olam-refugee.
- Learn more about volunteer opportunities and other ways you can help, and to volunteer for the Refugee Resettlement Program.
Assisting with benefit issues
We are looking for a volunteer who can help families with benefit issues – principally SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid. This would entail occasionally accompanying them to P.G. County offices to ask about benefits. If you would like to help out (even if you don’t know anything about these programs now), please contact Mark Joffe.
Updating list of volunteers who help drive our refugee families
We have a group of volunteers who help drive our refugee families to appointments, when needed. We typically send a note to the group asking if anyone would be available on a particular day and time to help. Please contact Mark Joffe if you are interested in helping this way.
Sherry Nason, Gail Roe, and Ron Lobel are co-chairing TBA’s Refugee Resettlement Program. Contact them or Mark Joffe for more information. To be added to our email list or to volunteer, contact Gail Roe. Thank you for your interest in and support of this effort!
What other organizations is TBA working with?
- We are supporting the efforts of Human Rights First, a nonprofit that helps asylum seekers living in the DC area. Currently, these families are mostly from Latin America and Africa. We have assisted Human Rights First with targeted collections and are exploring other support that we can provide.
- We are also supporting the work of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), which works to protect refugees worldwide who have been forced to flee their homelands for ethnic, religious, and other reasons.
Information of Interest about Refugees
We’ve established a Google Group to facilitate the sharing of ideas, concerns, upcoming events, and similar information related to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. To gain access to the group, contact Nancy Navarro.