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re: Refugee Seder

04/13/2017 02:46:20 PM


Thank you for participating in our community Seder on Tuesday. Our special guests - refugee families living in Richmond - felt welcomed by our congregation. We learned from the refugees and Reestablish Richmond that the most pressing need is jobs. There are many educated and experienced refugees: computer techs, procurement experts, human resource experts, journalists, engineers, stonecutters, bricklayers, builders, fashion designers, accountants, and a microbiologist. Many are working as custodians, maids, and factory workers and are not making enough to support their families.  At the Seder, some of our congregants connected specific refugees with others who may help.

Many of you have asked how you can help the refugees directly, and here's the call to action: If each of us could connect one refugee with a potential job in our field, or connect them with someone who would meet with them, mentor them, or make other connections, as a community, we could change the lives of hundreds of families in Richmond.  

Please send an email to Kate Ayers at, with your name, your company or your connection and a potential job or project that you may need help with. They will follow up and make a match with the refugee community. They will pre-screen the candidates to be sure they have the necessary skills. All refugees have proper work documentation when they arrive, so they are able to go to work immediately. 

Many of us come from refugee families, and we know that finding a job in a foreign country is not easy - but if one person opens a door - it can change a family's life forever. Reestablish Richmond and other groups do a great job taking care of basic needs, but these people need jobs. I hope that our community will lead the way in Richmond. 

Many thanks for your commitment, support, and your presence at our seder tonight. 


Rabbi Michael Knopf

Sun, July 5 2020 13 Tammuz 5780