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DC Federation raises $375,000 to help resettle Afghan refugees

CM 28/08/2021


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WASHINGTON – As the first wave of Afghan refugees arrived in the DC area, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Endowment Fund announced it raised over $375,000 to help the resettlement efforts.
“With a critical influx of new refugees fleeing Taliban rule in Afghanistan, the Jewish Federation’s United Jewish Endowment Fund (UJEF) has partnered with Lutheran Social Services National Capital Area (LSSNCA), a key leader of resettlement efforts, to further this urgent work,” the Federation said in a statement.
Approximately 500 Afghans arrived in the Washington area this month alone, with the potential for 500 more next month, the Federation said. “LSSNCA has identified a significant funding gap of $1.8 million for these efforts, which include housing, employment support, transportation, food, and acculturation, among other services,” the statement reads.

Gil Preuss, CEO of the DC Federation, said that as the situation in Afghanistan unfolded in the past few weeks, the organization held conversations to check how it could assist Afghans who arrived in the US.
“What we decided to do was work on two fronts,” he said. “First, we looked around to see who was the primary organization in the Washington region that was bringing in and working with refugees. And [we realized that] Lutheran Social Services was the key organization.
 A boy holds a soccer ball as he and other Afghan refugees board a bus taking them to a processing center upon arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, US. (credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS) A boy holds a soccer ball as he and other Afghan refugees board a bus taking them to a processing center upon arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, US. (credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
“We reached out to them to understand what their need was and what was happening, and asked them two things: one, what was the funding gap that they were expecting to have over the next several months? And also, what other support they needed? The overall funding gap that they project at the moment is around $1.8 million.
“We reached out to some of the donors who are involved with us at the Federation and through our endowment funds, and just spoke to them individually. And the total amount of $375,000” was collected, he said, and that there was “a real desire to help out as much as we can and to make it as smooth as possible.”
The second front, Preuss said, was through the local Jewish Community Relations Council, which is working with synagogues in the region.
“The way the resettlement works: it’s best if there is a synagogue, church or a mosque working with a family or two to help them resettle, as opposed to just bringing them over and not knowing anyone,” said Preuss. “The JCRC had a conference call with 91 people from different local synagogues and the leadership from Lutheran Services to talk about what they can do as volunteers to help out these families.
“Some have already arrived, I believe around 400 are already here,” he said. “We expect another 150 to 200 in August, and then another 300 to 400 in September. They will be primarily living in different parts of northern Virginia.”
According to Preuss, faith-based communities will provide support by helping the refugees get a driver’s license or jobs, among other things. “It just gives it more of a personal relationship,” he said.

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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