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Immigrant Support

In partnership with the Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI) and Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain.

As refugees and asylum seekers have arrived in MA in ever-increasing numbers, Governor Healey recently declared a state of emergency in the state shelter system, which has reached its capacity. There is a new CDT initiative to respond to this refugee housing crisis by organizing a  synagogue-wide effort to support the Immigrant Family Services Institute. We invite you to join us - please read on for details.

IFSI is a local nonprofit that is supporting hundreds of recently arrived immigrants from Haiti, who are fleeing violence and poverty. Most of the newly arriving families are currently residing in motels throughout the state. These families often arrive with just the clothes on their backs and are in need of basic supplies for daily living.

Bethel AME is a fellow GBIO congregation in Jamaica Plain that has welcomed immigrants before and is well known to CDT. Partnering with IFSI, they are in the process of welcoming 8-9 immigrant families in the near future, whom they will house on site. When the families are here, there will be opportunities for CDT members to get involved with English conversation, child care, transportation, etc.  

The immediate needs we are addressing include:

  • Gently worn winter clothing, including coats, hats, gloves, boots, sweaters, long sleeve shirts, pants, and heavy socks. All sizes, from baby to adult are needed. 

  • Diapers, baby wipes, and feminine hygiene products (needed throughout the year).

  • 24 new towel sets for the initial families that Bethel AME is housing.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Bring gently used washed, or new, WINTER clothes to CDT and place them in the buckets outside Margaret’s office. Coats are especially in demand.

  • Donate money for our diaper and feminine hygiene campaign.  $36 buys 175 diapers and wipes, or bulk feminine hygiene supplies.  

  • Donate money for towels. $24 buys one towel set. Feel free to donate in multiples of $18/$36 to purchase towel sets.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 so we can support these families throughout the year. 

There are two ways to donate:

  • Go to the online payments CDT website. Under donations, select “Immigrant Support Fund” and put in the notes section whether you are donating to: (a) purchase towels, (b) diapers, or (c) wherever it’s needed most.

  • Write a check to CDT and in the memo specify as above, and mail to: Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, 60 Highland Street, West Newton MA 02465.

All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.




If you have any questions, please email: Janet Penn ( and Meryl Epstein ( We look forward to working with you on this vital new Tikkun Olam project.

Fri, December 8 2023 25 Kislev 5784