Sukkat Shalom: Migrant + Refugee Support

Sukkat Shalom: Migrant + Refugee Support

Sukkat Shalom logo

Sukkat Shalom (Shelter of Peace) is Temple Micah’s initiative to help welcome refugees to the United States and to our community. Our work connects us to national organizations like HIAS.

Sukkat Shalom continues to respond to the rapidly changing situation facing people who are desperately seeking to make a safe and secure life for themselves and their families. For more information contact sukkatshalom@templemicah.org.

Support Our Work

 


Upcoming: 2024 Planning Meeting

Join us Sunday, April 14 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. as we reimagine the shape our work will take moving forward into 2024 and beyond. 

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Sukkat Shalom 2023 Highlights

The work of Sukkat Shalom with the national HIAS legal services program, with sponsored families in the DMV, and in other actions to build a “Shelter of Peace” for refugees and migrants continued throughout 2023. All of these efforts are made possible by the generous financial support of Temple Micah members and friends, and by a dedicated team of volunteers.

Read 2023 Highlights

Sukkat Shalom Impact Report 2017-2022

Sukkat Shalom 2017-2022 Impact Report

Our Impact Report outlines what we have accomplished since Sukkat Shalom was established in 2017 through the end of 2022. 

Since 2017, we have:

  • Supported two Afghan families – helping them find steady employment, providing English lessons, assisting one of the family members in completing training as a medical assistant, and more;
  • Funded HIAS’ first Migrant Paralegal, who enabled HIAS attorneys to increase their caseload by 30%;
  • Provided legal support to migrants and those seeking to leave Afghanistan;
  • Advocated for fair and humane immigration policy;
  • Worked closely with local partners to respond to emergent needs, providing clothes, coats, boots, diapers, and computers to asylum seekers and immigrants, including families recently bused from the border to Washington, D.C.

Read Impact Report

How We Got Started

In early 2017, a group came together at Temple Micah to actively oppose the harsh immigration policies of the Trump administration.  We called the group Sukkat Shalom (Shelter of Peace). Our first major project was to sponsor a refugee family in partnership with Lutheran Social Services (LSS)

Since 2017, more than half of our community has participated in Sukkat Shalom’s efforts, with donations and on-the-ground work. We have, among other things:

  • Sponsored and resettled two Afghan refugee families
  • Provided pro bono legal work to assist refugees stuck in Afghanistan in 2021, and pro bono health care for the families we are sponsoring
  • Fully funded a Temple Micah Migrant Support Paralegal who is working with HIAS.
  • Provided hundreds of school supply-filled backpacks for recently arrived Afghan refugee children (thank you, Machon Micah families!)
  • Provided regular financial support to other DC area congregations who are sponsoring, assisting or sheltering refugees
  • Supplied thousands of diapers and dignity kits (soap, dental products, etc) to HIAS and LSS for refugees in this area and in Juarez, Mexico
  • Donated to a number of nonprofits working with refugees and asylum seekers, including those working to relieve suffering at the border

Sukkat Shalom Trip to the U.S./Mexico Border – 2019

Temple Micah’s HIAS Migrant Support Paralegal

Sukkat Shalom is thrilled to have created with the leadership of HIAS – and to be fully funding – the Temple Micah Migrant Support Paralegal position, and to introduce you to HIAS’s first ever Migrant Support Paralegal, Erin Namovicz.

Erin Namovicz smiling

Erin Namovicz

The Temple Micah/HIAS partnership is unique for American Jewish congregations. When Sukkat Shalom learned, during our 2019 trip to the Mexico/Texas border, that the primary need was for legal assistance for refugees and asylum seekers, we undertook a year-long, deep conversation with HIAS leadership to figure out how best to target our support. With your help, we created the Migrant Support Paralegal position at HIAS. This is sacred work that we are honored to be sharing with our friends at HIAS.

Temple Micah’s first HIAS Migrant Support Paralegal, Erin Namovicz, has been hard at work since January 2022, helping clients applying for asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, U-visas, unlawful presence waivers, and work permit applications. Her work has been instrumental in providing quick service for HIAS’s clients.

Good Neighbor Program: Supporting a New Family

Since 2017, we have worked closely with our local refugee resettlement agency Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, LSSNCA, to support families new to our area. In the wake of last year’s emergency exodus from Afghanistan, Sukkat Shalom committed to reprise its role as a Good Neighbor Partner. In February 2022, we were “matched” with a young Afghan family of four—dad, mom, a 3-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl—and now have the great honor of providing a welcoming home for them in Silver Spring as they begin to rebuild their lives. We thank the many Micah members who have generously donated their time and resources to help with the family’s transition, and look forward to updating you on their progress in the months ahead. 

How You Can Help
Thank you to everyone who has already donated furniture, home goods, and school supplies. Your support is still needed! You can help our new family build their home here by donating gift cards. Please see this list of their most needed items, which we will update regularly. This enables our Sukkat Shalom team, together with the family, to purchase groceries, clothes, toys and more. Highest priority needs are for general merchandise stores like Target or Walmart.  These donations through Sukkat Shalom are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. If you’d like to donate, please mail gift cards to the office at Temple Micah (along with the cards, please indicate your name and the amount that is loaded on each card). 

Temple Micah
c/o Sukkat Shalom
2829 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007

For more information, please contact us at SukkatShalom@TempleMicah.org.

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