Welcoming the Stranger

Faith-based organizations are often among the first responders to help refugees fleeing their home during war and political upheaval, and the current crisis in Afghanistan is no exception.  Perhaps it is because of the over 30 references in the Torah, also referred to as the Old Testament in Christian tradition, to “welcoming the stranger.”  We Jews know only too well the pain, fear, and confusion of fleeing our homeland in search of a new more peaceful, secure, and hopeful future for ourselves and our children.  The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) which helped welcome, support and acculturate many of our ancestors, now has a religiously diverse staff and network working to resettle refuges of all faiths from around the globe.

Nashville will soon become home to several hundred Afghan refugees in search of the same sort of safety and hope our ancestors sought to find in the “Golden Land.”  Working with organizations including Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE), Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), and Catholic Charities, we have already begun to share how we in the Jewish community can assist in this life saving effort.  The Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee is already sharing that information via email, and our volunteer portal allows you to register to help with volunteer needs in this area: Nashville and Middle TN Jewish Community Volunteer Program (galaxydigital.com)

We will learn more about these efforts in an upcoming JCRC Lunch and Learn program on Friday, November 12 at noon via zoom. Join attorney Ross Margulies for an update on the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and how individuals in Nashville can help assist Afghans evacuees reach the United States. 

Other upcoming JCRC Programs:

Monday, November 15 at 10:00am, virtually:  Christian Picciolini, peace advocate and former violent extremist.  After leaving the hate movement he helped create during his youth, he began the painstaking process of making amends and rebuilding his life. To register, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tools-for-breaking-hate-christian-picciolini-tickets-190612586377

Co-sponsored by the Tennessee Holocaust Commission and the Vanderbilt Holocaust Lecture Series

Noa Tishby Event Wrap Up

Thank you to all who participated in person or virtually for our program with Noa Tishby.  We sold out of all the books we ordered, and a second shipment is on the way.  These books will be available for $18 through the Jewish Federation office.   Community Shlicha, Noam Harari, lead a lunch and learn conversation about the book, and we look forward to a book group panel discussion on the book in December. 

For information about any JCRC programs, or to suggest events of interest, please contact Deborah Oleshansky deborah@jewishnashville.org


Add Comment
Subscribe to posts