We want to provide an update on the Azizis, the refugee family we are sponsoring, and offer some more ways to get involved with them. Thanks to so many volunteers from Woodlands and Bet Am Shalom, we are happy to see that they are adjusting very happily to American life.

The dad, Saber, has been been working part-time doing facilities maintenance work while attending both ESL and OSHA training courses. We are hopeful we will find him full-time employment soon. Volunteers have been helping to him to understand the OSHA information and to prepare him to get a driver's license to help him get a better job. (SEE NOTE FROM RABBI MARA, BELOW)

Shameela, the mom, has been saying her first sentences in English!! She attends ESL classes 4 days a week, and has a couple of volunteer tutors, also, who are working to develop her general conversational English, as well as language to help with her new seamstress business. She was never fully educated in Afghanistan, but is interested in returning to school when her English is more fluent.

The children, are amazing! Mozammil (12), Hedye (9), Zaynab (7) and Zuhrah (4) are all attending school, making friends, and beginning to communicate in English. Hedye and Zaynab celebrated their birthdays recently and experienced the American excitement of birthday crowns in school. Zuhrah can sing every word of "Let it Go" from Frozen in perfect English. Mozammil is participating in afterschool soccer. They have been taking extra ESL classes, thanks to volunteer drivers getting them to school on Saturdays. We also have volunteers tutoring them, taking them to library events, and escorting them to a few local fun, family events.

We are also very pleased to say that, thanks to the work of a volunteer, the children have been given very generous scholarships to attend an 8-week, full-day day camp where they will learn to swim(!), have opportunities that did not exist in Afghanistan, and continue to expand their language and cultural orientation. 


We put out a call for clothing donations a couple of months ago. The congregation was very generous. As a result, we do not need any more clothing donations at this time. Come the autumn, we will issue a list of what we need for the autumn and winter months. 


If you are interested in volunteering as a driver, tutor, escort, or in any other way, please let us know. Also, let us know if you are interested in using Shameela's seamstress skills for clothing alterations, custom-made drapes, curtains, tablecloths, or clothing.

The Azizis are so grateful for our help, and the outpouring of love is truly overwhelming! Questions about the clothing drive, seamstress or upholstery work or getting involved - email Leslie Litsky at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please put, "Refugee Family-Camp" in the subject line.



Dear Friends,


As most of you know by now, Woodlands and Bet Am Shalom are resettling an Afghan refugee family, who arrived in November, under the auspices of HIAS.  The family consists of a mom and dad and four children ages 12, 9, 6, and 4.  The dad, through the generosity of a congregant, worked part-time in light construction and facilities maintenance during the winter and is currently working part time in retail.


These are just temporary positions and don't support the family in the way they need to survive. We MUST find a full-time job for the dad ASAP. Please take a minute to consider whether you can help directly and/or share this plea with your network.


The father has experience in light construction including plumbing, painting, sheet rocking, handyman tasks, facilities maintenance, etc.  He has also completed OSHA training.


CAN YOU THINK OF ANY POSSIBLE JOB LEADS? Think of friends, friends of friends, and anyone in your network that may have some connection to this kind of full-time employment.



  • research job leads and job fairs

  •  help prepare him for specific job interviews

  •  help him up job listings in the One Stop Employment Center in White Plains

  •  reach out to your own networks and contacts

  • support the dad in responding to employers

If you are interested in joining a great team of folks who are helping this family or simply have information on job leads, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


In Maimonides's hierarchy of tzedakah, the highest form is helping a person sustain him/herself, particularly by helping them find employment. Please think of how you can help in this very important and very commanded way!