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Refugee Benefit Dinner

Congregation Brit Shalom has been approached to participate in a local effort to support immigrant families in State College who are in the process of seeking asylum. In response to a grassroots organization called Immigrant Families Together, several individuals in our community have welcomed these families and are organizing support. These families are here legally and are being represented by attorneys in their efforts to remain in the U.S. This is an opportunity for Congregation Brit Shalom to act on one of the important principles of our faith and tradition—concern for the stranger in our midst. Rabbi Ostrich wrote very eloquently about this in THIS WEEK IN THE TORAH, February 1: Mishpatim: How are we to treat people from other places? Within our country, there are often differences with which we need to contend, but what happens when people seek to join us from other countries? Though we certainly have the right and the responsibility to maintain our borders and to protect our country, we also have an obligation to respect the humanity of the immigrants who arrive upon our shores or at our borders. The Torah reminds us that they are human beings and not political footballs, but the political process seems more focused on politicking than approaching these human beings with respect and fairness. How can you help? The main needs at the moment are funds to cover legal fees, provide gift cards for food and other daily needs, and to provide transportation for family members to and from Pittsburgh for ICE hearings. To kick off these efforts, we are planning a pre-service Shabbat dinner on Friday, April 5th at 5:30 P.M. There will be no fixed price for the meal, but everyone is encouraged to make a donation to support this family. Dinner will be vegetarian soups and salads. If you want to help with the fundraising dinner, contact Esther Siegfried ( If you want to help with transportation or make a direct donation, please contact Tamar London ( If you have other ideas or suggestions, feel free to contact either of us.

Earlier Event: March 24
Film Series: Three Identical Strangers
Later Event: April 5
Shabbat in Song with Michelle Katz