When Rabbi Emeritus Ron Shapiro at Congregation Shalom gave a recent Friday night sermon on life near the border, after he visited down south, it inspired congregant Nina Edelman.
This struck Edelman and she has organized a local High Holy Day winter coat drive for migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Yes, winter coats.
Working with Shalom and the Tucson, Arizona Jewish community, Edelman has identified and is working to fill a need. According to news reports, migrants are being held and then released from government facilities in large numbers. It winds up falling to shelters and volunteers in the Tucson area to serve these former detainees as best they can.
The released migrants are often looking to make their way to relatives in colder climates and they’ve got no winter clothing. So Edelman is asking for people to help her fill up a U-Haul with new winter coats for adults, children and babies; new or gently used adult backpacks; and new adult and children’s socks. This is, she points out, something that local families can do together for a good cause.
Edelman restates what she’s heard before: “We were refugees to the United States because we were Jews. Now we assist other immigrants because we are Jews.”
The U-Haul was slated to sit outside Congregation Shalom around Rosh Hashanah and is expected to return for erev Yom Kippur, Tuesday, Oct. 8 before both services, beginning at 5 p.m. Also, on Yom Kippur, Wednesday, Oct. 9, before services, beginning at 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., and before the afternoon service, from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.
Donations will also be accepted in the days between the holidays, inside the building in the school entrance and the Pivar Foyer. Congregation Shalom is at 7630 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Fox Point. 414-352-9288.
Donations will be packed and shipped after the holidays. The Jewish Community Relation’s Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona is assisting Edelman with this project, she said.