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Welcome the Stranger   | Afghan Resettlement Project

The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love them as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:34

Project Updates

Feb. 20 | Our Guests

Every single person who has met Mohammed and Abdul is smitten. The young men are gentle, sweet, respectful and clearly driven and smart. They are quick to smile and have a great sense of humor. They relish experiencing life’s joys. They are extraordinarily appreciative of our efforts. 

Some General Background. When “Mohammed” and “Abdul”* fled from Afghanistan, they first were brought to another country and then brought to a state side military base where they spent about 5 months. They met at the base and by happenstance, were both sent to this area for resettlement.  They spent their first several days here in a hotel with several other Afghan men, awaiting assignment to a permanent home.  Catholic Charities and JCRC placed them together and we have been the lucky recipients ever since.    Learn more>

Jan. 10 | Our Temple Community Creates a Home

This past Sunday a Temple Aliyah volunteer crew came together to set-up and prepare the apartment for our soon to arrive refugee guests.  More than 40 members donated furniture, kitchen supplies, linens, rugs, lamps, a television, computers and more.  Then a crew of over 25 members picked up and dropped the items off at the apartment, placed furniture, unpacked, made beds, put towels up, cleaned, and made an empty apartment into a warm home. 

Our hearts are warmed by the special caring community that we are fortunate to be a part of. 

See photos of set-up day>

How You Can Help

Items Needed

Presently seeking donations of household and other every day items. Please consult this list to see what you can donate (should be new or in reasonably good condition) and let us know what you have by emailing:


Financial Donations are Needed!

Support our community’s efforts to resettle those who have come to the United States to seek refuge.  We will be responsible for virtually all of the Afghan refugees’ expenses until their paperwork for limited federal and state subsidies is processed and they receive government assistance. This will take several weeks, if not more.

We have committed to covering full rent, food, clothing, utilities, transportation, and other expenses until the refugees find work.  After that, we will subsidize rent and other expenses for up to one year. Our goal is to assist our new neighbors to begin a life in this country with an opportunity for peace, happiness and prosperity.

To make a donation, please visit the Temple Aliyah Donation page, and select "Welcome the Stranger Fund" from the drop down menu.

Here's how your donation can make a difference>>





How Did We Get Here

Wars make refugees. Afghanistan has been continuously at war almost fifty years, and in a sense, for centuries. Foreign troops from the British Empire, the Soviet Union and NATO, plus native insurgencies from Communists, Islamists and the Taliban, have created a near-permanent state of uncertainty in Afghanistan. Unsurprisingly, when American troops withdrew in the fall of 2021, a new flood of Afghan refugees was created. The suddenness of the troop withdrawal, and the bitterness of the division in the country, has created a unique and challenging refugee crisis. While all refugees and immigrants to the United State face immense physical, social, financial, psychological, and cultural challenges – as many of us know within our own family histories – these immigrants from Afghanistan face particularly acute issues and are upon us now in need of immediate assistance. 

Along with other area congregations, Temple Aliyah’s Social Action committee has joined a Jewish community partnership to sponsor the resettlement of refugees coming to the Boston area. There are several key areas where we will provide assistance, including housing, food, transportation, paperwork and legal procedures, orientation to the USA and Boston, and sources of social/financial/health support, and English. We have formed a variety of different subgroups to meet the needs of these refugees.

The key purpose of our assistance to Afghan refugees is to help them launch a new successful life in the USA. It is not passive charity; rather it is aimed at helping them be as independent as possible within their cultural norms and those of their new country.

 This webpage will keep you updated on the latest news about who and how we are supporting Afghan refugees, provides a link to making financial donations, links to learn more about the flow of Afghan refugees to the USA and Afghan culture, and more.


There are many resources online about the current state of Afghanistan, the refugee crisis, Afghan culture, and history. Below are some we recommend.  Keep checking back as we will be adding more resources.


Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange | Working with Afghans: Afghan Backgrounder

Switchboard: A Roundup of Resources Serving Afghan Refugees

Cultural Atlas: Afghan Culture and Religion


The Taliban Confront the Realities of Power (New Yorker)

Afghanistan has Become the World's Largest Humanitarian Crisis (New Yorker)

The Secret History of the US Diplomatic Failure in Afghanistan (New Yorker)

Opinion | Would you Sponsor an Afghan Refugee? (NY Times)


International Institute of New England (IINE) Afghan Cultural Orientation Webinar  (video)

Important Safety  Issues 

This is important information for anyone from Temple Aliyah working on this Project or with Afghan refugees in any context:
Because of the very real danger some Afghan refugees may find themselves in from the Taliban or other parties in the USA or still in Afghanistan, do not disclose any identifying information about the refugees: names (first or last), addresses (including the location of the apartment we have found for them!), ages, group relationships, and especially photographs!

Some people will mistakenly think that posting photos or personal details of the refugees will help with fundraising – this is dangerous not only to the refugees themselves but to the safety of their family members who are still in Afghanistan!

Questions and More Information

For questions or more information about the project contact:

Judy Sacks 

Aviva Jezer

Tuesday, May 24 2022 23 Iyyar 5782