Refugee Support

Through HIAS PA's "adoption" program, a team of members from both BZBI and Society Hill Synagogue was matched with a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are wonderful, smart, funny people with so much love and desire to make their lives here. Initially, we committed to working with them for a year, helping them weather a difficult period and return to self-sufficiency, with guidance in career goals and education, computer and financial literacy, and housing improvements. Now that a year has gone by, we are extending our support for another six months through March, 2020.

The family's story:

The two loving parents. Suzan and Merthus, have six children, ranging in age from 22 to just born (a New Year's Day baby!). Their road has been a very long one, having fled Congo when the mother was pregnant with the first child, at which tie the parents were separated. After they were reunited they lived for many years in a refugee camp in Namibia while awaiting legal resettlement, officially recognized as refugees by the U.S. government. They were lucky enough to receive it three years ago, but they didn't have much support in acclimating to their new lives and a series of health and career changes recently has left them extremely vulnerable.  

Financial contributions are extremely welcome. They support the following:

-Providing summer camp and extracurricular experiences for the kids
-Contributing to rent while Suzana cannot work due to physical limitations after a complicated birth this past January
-Paying for job training in health care for Merthus, who was educated and worked as a nurse in Namibia, but who is forced to do menial labor here in the U.S.
-Resources permitting, paying for community college courses for the oldest child, who has successfully graduated from high school here in Philadelphia.

The nitty gritty:

Your contribution via GoFundMe goes to a dedicated fund held at Society Hill Synagogue.

If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to "Society Hill Synagogue Social Action Committee" with memo "Refugees" (important!!!) and mail to: Society Hill Synagogue, 418 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. 

Either way, your gift is fully tax-deductible. 

Thank you.

Thank you so much for supporting this effort. Your donation will mean so much to the family and make a real difference to their future. Our team will administer the funds, making sure they are used efficiently for the most urgent needs, and our continued relationship with the family will make your contribution go even farther. This is a great way to help new neighbors and stand for some of the central values of Judaism and of the United States.

Donations (0)

  • Samantha Hawkins 
    • $20 
    • 6 mos
  • Mary Fish 
    • $18 
    • 6 mos
  • Sheila Segal 
    • $75 
    • 6 mos
  • Zeke Tayler 
    • $18 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $72 
    • 7 mos


Anne Albert 
Philadelphia, PA
Society Hill Synagogue 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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