This past Sunday Rabbi Klein and I had the privilege of meeting the Syrian family our community is helping to resettle. It was truly a priviledge to meet them and to begin getting to know them a bit. It was clear to us that they had been through a great deal. Knowing that their lives will be so much quieter and more secure now truly warmed my heart. Our TSTi Chairs Sheryl and Alan have done an amazing job. We are grateful to them, and to all of you who have and continue to volunteer, for doing this important, and holy, work. 

Here is their most recent update. 

SETTLING INTO MAPLEWOOD

This week, the Syrian family we are sponsoring started their life in America. Every outing has been an adventure. So far, they have been to the library, many stores in downtown Maplewood and Target! Seeing everything new through their eyes has been a wonderful experience. 

During their tour of downtown Maplewood, several people who have heard of our efforts approached the family with warm welcomes. We joked with them that they were famous. They have already enjoyed local favorites like pizza and ice cream. They seemed to enjoy the small town feel of Maplewood.  

The rabbis from all three congregations also visited with the family in their home to personally welcome them to our community. We’ve had several conversations about Jewish history, why the Jewish community is helping to resettle families, and talked about our experience settling Russian refugees. They were very interested and appreciative.
The entire family is eager to learn English, and our English as a Second Language (ESL) team met with each of them to develop an individualized learning plan. We have several volunteers who have been providing critical Arabic translation skills, though we could use more Arabic-speaking volunteers to help out with this, particularly those who are available during the day. Please contact Ora Warmflash ora.warmflash@gmail.com.

The education team is working with the school district to enroll the school-aged girls in appropriate programs. 

Volunteers have been driving the family to their appointments, and many have prepared home-cooked meals, which the family has thoroughly enjoyed. This truly is a community endeavor. Thank you for your continued support of this important effort!
Sheryl Harpel sherylharpel@gmail.com

Alan Levine alevine.mustang@verizon.net

TSTI Steering Committee Co-Chairs