What we do

SOCIAL ACTION

 

WJCI mobilizes congregations and individuals throughout the metro New York area with unique opportunities to support asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrants through various actions. 

For upcoming events and actions visit  What YOU Can Do  and ACT (Action Changes Things) sections.

Highlights of some recent projects:
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Coat Drive - benefited refugees residing at Ft. Dix. WJCI teamed up with UJA-Federation of NY, Upwardly Global, Afya, Mid-Westchester JCC and the Shames JCC to mobilize the areas 52 synagogues. SEVEN truckloads of essential items were delivered to the army base in October. Hundreds of volunteers donated, sorted, and packed thousands of supplies taken directly to Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst.  WJCI also collected additional coats through a New York City synagogue effort and make-up for Afghan refugees at Fort Dix-McGuire. 

High Holiday Elul Project 2021 - mobilized synagogues to hold collections, fundraise and welcome children who arrived to the United States alone. WJCI's efforts helped the Abbot House, Children's Village and Grannie's Respond. 

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Mitzvah Season 2021 Last year, WJCI had a kick-off mitzvah season event sharing actions with synagogues to benefit local organizations, Community Resource Center (CRC) in Mamaroneck, and Neighbors Link in Mount Kisco, organizations committed to improving the lives of Westchester's new immigrants. 

EDUCATE

 

WJCI strives to educate our community about the issues facing refugees, asylees and other immigrants through multiple channels including town hall, seminars and quarterly informational meetings, newsletters and action alerts.

Missed a Live Educational Event?
Catch Up On Our YouTube Channel

refugee shabbat project HIAS

WJCI offers a speakers' bureau covering a wealth of refugee and asylee experiences. We can help you build support and understanding for the stranger through Refugee Shabbat powered by HIAS. With more than 80 million people worldwide who have fled their homes due to persecution and violence, we are now witnesses to one of the most significant humanitarian crises in human history. Join synagogues throughout Westchester, the country and the world for this remarkable experience and reaffirm our commitment to welcoming refugees and asylum seekers. To see this year's participants click here.

Refugee Shabbat 

Refugee Shabbat, held annually in March is an educational opportunity for congregations, organizations, and individuals to learn more and reaffirm our commitment to current immigration issues in the United States and around the world and dedicate a Shabbat experience to refugees and asylum seekers.

WJCI is proud to be a HIAS regional co-sponsor of Refugee Shabbat.

Images from Refugee Shabbat 2022

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Learn about an Afghan Adjustment Act here and why it is important.

Meetings with Legislators

Meetings and conferences play a crucial role in protecting  refugees. WJCI members have met with legislative teams from New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand’s office, and with our local Congressional Representatives Jamaal Bowman, Mondaire Jones, and Sean Patrick Maloney to advocate for human rights and social justice for our local and national immigrant communities. These meetings are an opportunity for our members to speak out for those who do have a voice.

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UJA J-TEEN REFUGEE EDUCATIONAL DAY

JTeen Leadership Zoom Workshop
Right to council

RIGHT TO COUNSEL

WJCI hosted a unique community-wide "action" with Westchester Right to Counsel (R2C) as an introduction to the issue of the lack of right to counsel for families (low income, immigrant, people of color, etc.) who have been hit hard by the pandemic and may be facing eviction when the moratorium on evictions is lifted. It concluded with concrete steps that each community can impact our local legislators. Interested parties can share this registration link with their community:

JTeen Leadership workshop

BORDER REPORT: CHILDREN IN NEED

June 6, 2021 WJCI hosted a countywide zoom event to educate our community about advocating and providing critical support to immigrant children impacted by the situation at the southern border. Speakers included Rabbi Shoshi Levin Goldberg from Temple Israel Center, Andrea Rudnick from Team Brownsville, Eddie Chavez Calderon from Arizona Jews for Justice, Bertha M. Rodriguez, Esq. from Community Resource Center (CRC), and Marti Michael from Grannies Respond/Abuelas Respondent. WJCI also heard about other ways to help children from the border living right here in our community at the Abbott House in Irvington and Children's Village in Dobbs Ferry.

JTeen Leadership Workshop
Immigrants rights through a jewish lens

IMMIGRANTS RIGHTS THROUGH A JEWISH LENS

WJCI’s December 2021, event "Immigrant Rights Through a Jewish Lens" added meaning and joy to the last night of Hanukkah as we lit the last Hanukkah candle, shared personal refugee stories, listened to Klezmer tunes from Jay Elliot, and learned from our impressive panelists Rebecca Kirzner, HIAS, Rabbi Margo Hughes-Robinson , T'ruah, Noelle Damico, The Workers Circle, Rabbi Les Bronstein, Bet Am Shalom Synagogue and Patrick Young, New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC).

JTeen leadership workshop

ADVOCATE

 

WJCI advocates for policies that transform immigrants’ lives. We stand up for human rights and social justice around the major issues facing immigrants today, including citizenship, food insecurity, healthcare, housing, and employment.

LETTERS AND CALL CAMPAIGNS
August 2021-February 2022
See earlier actions here.