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Refugee Initiative

Our Adopted Refugee Family

Beth-El is working with the Richmond chapter of the IRC (International Refugee Committee) as we support our "adopted" refugee family from Iraq, who arrived in Richmond in April, 2017. All household items for their new apartment have been collected by an outpouring of donations! Thank you!!!

Things Our Adopted Family is in Need of
If you can help with any of these items, please contact Beth Edelstein or Linda Price

Refugee Seder Recap

To Celebrate 2017 Passover, Beth-El held a very different kind of Seder: an interfaith celebration welcoming local Christian and Muslim friends and about 50 Muslim refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Here is a sample of some of the local and international coverage of this extraordinary event, attended by nearly 300 people:

Upworthy    NPR     Style Weekly    NBC12    Hias Blog    Fox News     NBC12

Jobs and Professional Contacts for Refugees

As our Muslim and Christian friends learned about the rituals of Passover, we all learned about the lives of several refugees and their harrowing experiences. We also learned from our partner, 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.

Do you have or know of a job opportunity for which a locally resettled refugee might be able to apply? Could you connect a locally resettled refugee with someone who would meet with them, mentor them, or make other connections?

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. 

Join the Task Force

Beth-El has organized a Refugee task force, with chairs Beth Edelstein and Linda Price, in order to do as much as we can to support refugees. If you would like to be a part of our Refugee Task Force, please sign up below.

Get involved in the Refugee Task Force!  Please provide your information so we can contact you.


Sun, July 3 2022 4 Tammuz 5782