The Ahavath Achim Refugee Initiative (AARI) was created by AA congregants out of identification with the Jewish people's historical experience as refugees from a variety of lands, and as immigrants to the United States. We are inspired by:
- "Do not oppress the stranger, because you know the heart of the stranger for you were a stranger in Egypt" (Exodus 23:9).
- "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…" (the words of Emma Lazarus inscribed on our Statue of Liberty)
Our purpose is to create opportunities to partner with Atlanta's local refugee communities and to support the agencies that advocate on their behalf. We aspire to engage in collaborative, action-oriented efforts including advocacy, education, and the provision of direct support.
During this holy season as we welcome the year 5782, we realize that there are many that have been forced to flee their homelands to come to a new country, fearful, and facing uncertainty. Most of us are only two or three generations distant from those refugee experiences ourselves, grateful our families survived the life-threatening turmoil in their homelands and could receive any help their new communities could offer. AARI is helping us pay it forward and offers four meaningful ways to make a difference:
- Collection of household necessities/equipment and assistance in setting up apartments
- Essential item kit assembly (kits include personal health and hygiene items)
- Collection of monetary donations for purchase of household essentials and/or items for essential item kit assembly.
- English language tutoring
If you would like to donate a household essential or essential item kit, please contact Patsy Little (firstname.lastname@example.org; 770.823.7609) who will provide you with instructions on how to deliver them near the synagogue. If you are unable to make the delivery yourself, Patsy will arrange for a committee member to pick up the items for delivery. Please DO NOT drop off any items at the synagogue unless pre-approved by Patsy. Any items left unattended at the synagogue will likely be considered a bomb threat, and authorities will be called.
You, your family and friends, and, indeed, this entire congregation, can start this year with a wonderful mitzvah!