Oct. 19-20 has been designated National Refugee Shabbat by HIAS, the 130-year-old Jewish immigrant aid society. The following programs will be held at area synagogues:
Congregation B’nai Israel of Basking Ridge
Friday, Oct. 19, 6-7:30 p.m.
Temple Emanu-El, Westfield
Saturday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-noon
Fun Club for Refugees — Volunteers offer ESL training, tutoring, games, and other fun and practical ways for refugees to practice their English skills. Volunteers needed. Contact Jennifer Tananbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alissa Berger at email@example.com.
Friday, Oct. 26, 6 p.m.
Following evening services, Abdullah Mahmood, a 15-year-old refugee from Iraq, will share his story at Shabbat dinner. Abdullah and his family, as well as a dozen other families, are participants in Temple Emanu-El’s Saturday Morning Fun Club for Refugees.
RSVP required for dinner. Call Temple Emanu-El at 908-232-6770.
Congregation Beth Hatikvah, Summit
Friday, Oct. 19, 6:30-9 p.m.
Dairy potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by services at 7:30. During Shabbat evening prayers, hear from one member family about their experiences tutoring children of a Syrian refugee family. Call 908-277-0200.
Congregation Shomrei Emunah, Montclair
Saturday, Oct. 20, 9:30 a.m.
During Shabbat morning services Rabbi David Greenstein will speak about creating a society where every stranger and wanderer feels safe in our borders. The congregation supports recent refugees through its refugee assistance group.
Temple Sha’arey Shalom, Springfield
Friday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m.
Dr. Karen Gaffney, professor of English at Raritan Valley Community College, will discuss her book, “Dismantling the Racist Machine: A Manual and Toolbox” (Routledge, 2017). Shabbat evening prayers will focus on the immigrant experience, including poetry dedicated to parents and children who have been separated at the border.
Temple Beth Am, Parsippany
Friday, Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Rabbi Andrew Sklarz will offer a prayer for refugees during Shabbat services.
Temple Ner Tamid, Bloomfield
Friday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m.
Rabbi Marc Katz will address the refugee issue during his Shabbat evening sermon, “We were wandering Arameans: Judaism and the legacy of the refugee.”
Bnai Keshet, Montclair
Friday, Oct. 19, 6:30 p.m. dinner, 7:15 panel
Dinner at Bnai Keshet prepared by refugees from Syria through United Tastes of America. $20 per person. Register at bnaikeshet.org/event/national-refugee-kabbalat-shabbat.html.
Following dinner, a panel of experts and refugees discuss the current crisis and tell their stories. Speakers include Abdul Alargha from Syria, Ivan Grosz from Romania, Bnyad Sharef, advocate, and Lori Nessel, director of the Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall University School of Law.
Saturday, Oct. 20, 7:30-10 p.m.
Benefit concert for Make the Road NJ, an organization dedicated to immigrant rights advocacy and legal defense. Evening features music, spoken word, art, and food. $30 suggested donation.
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2-3:30 p.m.
Presentation on volunteer opportunities for immigrant and refugee support and advocacy by First Friends, a non-profit organization providing volunteer visitations, resettlement assistance, and advocacy to people in detention.
Call 973-746-4889 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.