In just two weeks, Congregation Shalom collected two U-Hauls worth of needed items for migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Donations included 500 pounds of clothing, with 1,300 pairs of socks, 217 coats and 66 backpacks. The coats are needed because some migrants are on their way to colder climates.
Nina Edelman, congregant of Shalom, was inspired by a sermon by Rabbi Emeritus Ron Shapiro, which led her to organize the local High Holy Days clothing drive.
“Thank you to the sorting/packing committee: David and Diane Wolfson, Judy Shapiro, Nancy Gorens-Edelman, Beth Rattner and Juan Guitan,” Edelman said. “Most of all thank you to Rabbi Shapiro and Judy for bringing this crucial humanitarian situation to our attention.”
Members of Congregation Emanu-el of Waukesha read an article about the Shalom effort in the Chronicle and made a Yom Kippur appeal to join in, according to Shalom. The Waukesha congregation delivered a huge carload the morning after the holiday.
According to news reports, migrants are being held and then released from government facilities in large numbers. This leaves it to shelters and volunteers in the Tucson, Arizona area to help some of these former detainees. Shalom and the Tuscon Jewish community worked together on the project.
“We were refugees to the United States because we were Jews. Now we assist other immigrants because we are Jews,” Edelman said.
Donations by check can still be made to The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and brought to the Shalom office to be sent with other checks collected. Congregation Shalom is at 7630 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Fox Point.