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Seeking new family liaisons

02/05/2022 04:48:03 PM


Leadership Team


Dear Dorshei Tzedek, Hillel B'nai Torah, and Reservoir Church Congregations, 

Under the joint partnership of Catholic Charities and the Jewish Community Relations Council, we have come together as a set of religious congregations to provide both financial and human assistance to the Afghan family we are supporting. They arrived December 21st following a traumatic sequence of events that forced them to leave Afghanistan last August and are now settling into their new lives in Cambridge. 

Dorshei members Rick, Alice, Jeff, and Beth have been engaged with the family on a very regular basis since their arrival six weeks ago. They have already arranged for the mom and dad to get English lessons, gotten the daughter into Head Start, showed them how to use a grocery cart and understand pricing... the list goes on... and on. Most importantly, they have formed deep bonds with the family and say, "we're getting back much more than we're giving!" 

Along the way, others from our communities have stepped up, helping with regular drop-off shopping and other tasks. The family is deeply grateful for your assistance! 

The family is settling into a routine now and the initial "sprint" is over. Beth, Jeff, Alice, and Rick will continue to visit with the family but are looking to "hand the baton" over to three or four new people to support the family on a regular basis for the next two months (longer if you'd like, but we plan to rotate). They will support you during the transition so you’ll have the benefit of their experience and expertise. We’re all committed to the long-term success of this family! 

If you say YES to (most of) the following bullet points, please contact Janet Penn ( for more information: 

  • I have a flexible schedule and can spend up to 10 hrs/week supporting the family. (We can't predict exactly, but it's likely 5 hours spread throughout the week with direct family contact and the rest via text, email, and phone with the family, organizations to apply for different benefits, and the leadership team) 

  • I'm interested in getting to know this warm, kind family and experience their incredible Afghan hospitality 

  • I enjoy troubleshooting and resolving problems as they arise, in consultation with the leadership team and current family support team 

  • I'm willing to drive them to occasional appointments or arrange with the leadership team for others to take them 

  • I’m willing to help fill out applications for affordable housing or other programs that will help the family become independent 

  • I'm interested in talking with the parents as they navigate future life issues such as job/career interests and liaising with lawyers about their immigration status. (Most of the conversations happen in English, with support from Google translate. For more technical discussions, you would have access to a few different Dari translators.) 

We want to assure you that we do not see this as an overwhelming task. You will have back-up support from the initial group of four, task group leaders, and the leadership team. Moreover, as Jeff, Beth, Alice, and Rick noted in the webinar, it has been an incredible experience for all four of them. 

If you and/or your partner want to explore this role, please contact Janet at to have a follow-up conversation. If this is not the right role for you, but you are interested in being involved in a more limited way (e.g. helping to fill out applications for affordable housing), please email Janet to share your thoughts. 

With appreciation for your consideration, 
The Afghan Family Leadership Team 
     Paul Hattis and Janet Penn, co-chairs 
     Annette Jacobs 
     Julie Korostoff 
     Meryl Epstein 
     Tony Broh

Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784