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How could I say "no"?

10/06/2021 08:22:47 PM


Annette Jacobs, Co-Chair

When I was first approached about co-chairing the Afghan Refugee initiative for CDT, my immediate response was “no, absolutely not”.  I had managed for 45 years in my professional career, and as I retired, my one promise to myself was that I would now be a “worker bee”.  No more being responsible for others.  However, my family called out to me.  Like many of you, I am from a family of refugees on both sides.  And, on both sides, we were not welcomed in this country.  The mantra I learned from a very young age was “the Jews need to take care of themselves, for no one is going to take care of us”.

But, in the spirit of Tikkun Olam, I was being asked to offer a different experience for a family.  How could I say “no”?  So, I changed my mind and said “yes”.  A large part of my saying “yes” was that I knew I had the DorsheiTzedek congregation with me, a congregation with a substantial commitment to social justice and fairness and a big heart.

I was, however, not at all prepared for the generosity that is being shown by all of you.  The day Bob Warren’s letter went out, we were overwhelmed with financial donations and hit our initial target in the first day.  As I read the email about the amounts of money coming in, I sat at my computer crying.  I just love, love CDT, and only wish I’d found it long before I did.  I will remember that 1st day of your generosity forever and during all the bumpy days that will, inevitably come.  Plus, so many of you are already offering furniture, household items, clothing, creative ideas about how you can contribute your time, knowledge, energy, skills to this effort.   We are overwhelmed, energized, and humbled by your offers, excitement, contributions.

I hope this Afghan family will never have to say “the Afghans must take care of themselves, for no one is going to take care of us”.

Sun, May 19 2024 11 Iyyar 5784