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Kol Sasson Congregation is an inclusive, observant community in Skokie, Illinois
that strives to transform Jewish lives through critical inquiry
within the traditional framework of Halakha.

Refugee One Initiative

It's been a few weeks since our family of 6 has arrived from Tanzania, and a lot has transpired. We felt like a large recap and update was warranted. 

As you know, with the help of many generous donors from Kol Sasson, we proudly raised over $10,000 in support of bringing a family here - which takes care of most of their needs for the first several weeks in the United States. We accomplished this in just a few weeks!

We were notified in late April that we were assigned to a family of 6 (ranging in age from mid 50's to 9 years old), who originally came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo but had spent nearly 21 years in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Almost immediately, we began an inventory of what would be needed for them via a google spreadsheet. In less than a day, members of Kol Sasson and so many others filled all of those needs. We were granted access to the family's apartment in West Rogers Park, furnished it, and stocked their pantry for several weeks. 

On May 16th, a few days before Shavuot - the family arrived in Chicago and was greeted by us at the airport. We were surprised but also happy to learn that they had relatives in Chicago (who only 5 years earlier were also taken in by RefugeeOne and a host community), who also greeted them at the airport along with us. 

Since their arrival, members of Kol Sasson have been visiting with the family several times a week, helping them acclimate to the US, learning English, taking them shopping, etc. There are still opportunities to be involved - feel free to be in touch if you are interested. 

There are too many people to thank to list individually, but suffice it to say it has really been a wonderful effort by our community. A lot of work remains (we still need to find them employment, ensure they have financial stability, continue with mentorship and consistent visits) but we are well on our way. 

Tizku L'Mitvzot!

Wed, March 20 2019 13 Adar II 5779