Refugee Resettlement Initiative Update

Posted on August 11, 2022 by Ronnie Weyl, Refugee Resettlement Committee

Highlights of the Past Year

Since November 2021, TBE congregants have responded to the urgent needs of Afghan evacuees and other refugees settling in central New Jersey. We have donated time, personal resources, and items to support resettlement efforts, covering basic needs like food, clothing, transportation, technology essentials, and other needs that arise. THANK YOU!

When Interfaith-RISE found a one-bedroom apartment for the three Afghan brothers TBE “adopted,” our TBE family went into full gear to help set up the apartment. Congregants contributed household items; kitchen supplies; dressers, a desk, kitchen table and beds; trucks to transport these items and their time to make deliveries; clothing; a TV; and more. The brothers moved into their new home on January 30.

Our TBE volunteers have helped them navigate the health care system to ensure they received much-needed care; found them jobs; helped prepare them for their driving test; driven them to doctor’s appointments and errands; and worked with them on their asylum application.

Our Temple-wide efforts have also extended to other refugees in need assistance. We held a winter-coat drive for Afghan refugees living in our community or staying at Fort Dix. In the spring, we held a Mother’s Day Drive to collect diapers, baby wipes and bibs for infants, and feminine products and hand lotion for moms who are new to this country and facing an uncertain future. We collected $2,000 worth of donations. This past year, another generous donation provided eight laptop computers to our brothers and other refugees.

Refugee Resettlement Initiative Going Forward

Refugees from Guatemala, West Africa, El Salvador, Ukraine, Haiti, and other countries continue to make their way to central New Jersey, and Interfaith-RISE reports that their needs are great. In October, TBE’s refugee resettlement committee will hold a Zoom session for all TBE congregants to explore our capacity to provide support to another family and to identify creative ways for different affinity groups at TBE to intersect with our refugee resettlement efforts. More details will follow, but if you are interested in participating, please email

Used Cars — Future Need

The other day, we shared with our TBE family that our refugee resettlement committee was looking for a functioning, reliable, gently used car to provide transportation for the three Afghan brothers TBE “adopted” this past year. Today, we’re pleased to share that our partners at the Muslim Center of Greater Princeton found a used car for the brothers. This donation will transform their lives, helping them go to and from work and become more independent.  Given the growing number of refugees making their way to central New Jersey, the demand for used cars remains, and our committee still welcomes donations!

Contact to learn how you can donate your used car in good condition to Temple Beth-El, receive a tax deduction, and do a mitzvah. If you don’t have a car to donate, please talk to your family and friends, who might want to donate a used car.

Call to Action

One of the activities of TBE’s refugee resettlement committee is to advocate for a just and humane immigration system. To that end, we encourage you to take a few minutes to make your voices heard.

  1. Ask your Member of Congress to support the Afghan Adjustment Act: In August 2021, the U.S. military withdrew from Afghanistan and tens of thousands of Afghans were evacuated to the United States. Temple Beth-El has been helping to ease the transition of three Afghan refugees, who fled Kabul one year ago and made their way to central New Jersey. Let’s help them and tens of thousands of other Afghans – – including human rights advocates, educators, interpreters, and others who worked alongside U.S. and coalition forces – – have a real chance to find safety in this country for the long-term.  This act also could help reunite one of the brothers with members of his family, who remain in Kabul and are suffering from food insecurity and much more. The Afghan Adjustment Act has bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Afghan Adjustment Act will allow Afghans who were granted temporary humanitarian parole in the U.S. to apply for legal permanent residence, giving them the opportunity to rebuild their lives in safety, knowing their immigration status is secure and avoiding lengthy legal processes that would unnecessarily burden them and the already stressed asylum system.
  2. Advocate for Asylum Seekers at the Border: The Jewish Center of Princeton/ Interfaith Refugee Resettlement Committee and our interfaith partners have launched a letter-writing campaign to support the end of Title 42 and promote the reinstatement of the right to asylum. Since the implementation of this public emergency health order in March 2020, immigration officials have used Title 42 to prohibit asylum seekers from petitioning for asylum in the United States and expelled those who have crossed the border. 1.8 million immigrants and asylum seekers have been impacted. To learn more click here. We invite you to send a letter to Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Bookerand ask them to support reinstating the right to seek asylum and ending Title 42. Click here.

Thank you to those of you who have supported the sacred work of welcoming the stranger.


TBE’s Refugee Resettlement Committee

Ronnie Weyl, chair
Rande Aaronson
Jonathon Andell
Liz Cohen
Debbie Herman
Robin Osman
Jacki Skole
Brian Wood