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Tikkun Olam - Helping refugees

Refugee Shabbat is just a start – here are some ways to take action in support of refugees and asylum seekers

Take Direct Action

  • Provide assistance to refugees and asylum seekers in Vermont by volunteering locally – needs range from transportation to housing, tutoring and mentoring and more - contact U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Vermont (USCRI) at and the Central Vermont Refugee Action Network (CVRAN) at


  • Goods – contact CVRAN and USCRI VT for specific local needs
  • Clothing –Shalom Shuk at Ohavi Zedek provides vouchers to USCRI to distribute to their clients - 
  • Funds – many organizations including
    • HIAS –
    • International Rescue Committee –
    • USCRI VT -
    • CVRAN –
  • Air Miles – Miles4Migrants partners with HIAS and others -

Get Educated


Ways to Help Ukraine

Advocate - Demand that the Biden administration grant Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainian citizens who are already in the U.S..  This would allow Ukrainians to stay in the U.S. after their visas expire while the fighting is ongoing and they remain at risk if they return to Ukraine.

Donate – The following organizations are providing humanitarian relief to refugees and people who remain in Ukraine:


Another way you can help!

You can select items from the wishlist and have them sent to the wishlist addressee (Daniella).  The items are being collected in Brooklyn and shipped through Nova Poshta (Ukraine's competitor to Fedex) to Ukraine for distribution.  

Item list:

Tikkun Olam


Our World Needs Repair - We Need Your Help

"…I say to Him, ‘God is it okay to luff strangers?’ And God says to me, ‘Yitzak, vat is dis strangers? You make strangers. I don’t make strangers.'”
-Kitchen Table Wisdom

At the end of August 2021, President Biden established a coordinated effort to help evacuate our Afghan allies and bring them to the United States. (Read more here: DHS Resettlement of At-Risk Afghans)

Most people left Afghanistan under emergency circumstances and were brought to military bases in the United States. After months of waiting while being processed by various branches of the U.S. Government, Afghans are now being resettled across the country, including in Vermont. 

Just these past two weeks, 50 people arrived in Burlington and are staying with host families throughout northern Vermont. 

In addition to Afghans, we are still resettling refugees from across the world who have been waiting for years to find a new home. 

How Can You Help?

The housing market is tight across Vermont, and housing resources are of utmost importance. When people arrive in Vermont after their journey, USCRI staff provides welcome and transfer to a host family, where people generally stay for 2-4 weeks before moving into a more permanent home. If you have room to spare in your home, USCRI would be grateful for the opportunity to place people with you. So far this week, we have welcomed individuals and families ranging from 3-11 people. If you have the space, we can fill it!
For more information, please contact Jennie Gartner, Community Partnership Coordinator: or our volunteer coordinator, Dee Dee, at

While Afghans are arriving, we are simultaneously resettling refugees who are also in need of places to begin their lives here. If you own a property, or know someone who does, we are always looking to add to our inventory of rentals (apartments, rooms, houses, etc.) Please contact John Linden, Housing Coordinator:

(USCRI is a 501c3 organization and receipts will be provided for any donations)
GOODS: USCRI has a longstanding partnership with Shuk Shalom Shuk Thrift Store at Ohavi Zedek which accepts clothing donations on our behalf, and then provides refugees with vouchers to purchase their own clothing. Our office in Colchester also accepts donated goods in “like new” condition. That list is here: Goods Donation List

CASH: In addition, you can donate money directed to help refugees resettle in Vermont. DONATE- USCRI Vermont - USCRI ( All of the money given in this manner will stay in Vermont to help USCRI Vermont welcome our new neighbors. 

When refugees are admitted to the United States for resettlement, their travel is arranged under a loan program by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Refugees sign a promissory note stating that they will repay the interest-free loans to cover the cost of airline tickets over a pre-determined period. These payments are used to reimburse the U.S. Government for the funds it provided to IOM for refugee transportation.

USCRI oversees the repayment process for the refugees that we resettle. By guiding the clients through the repayment process our loan counselors help refugees gain basic financial literacy and establish good credit in their new country. The repayment of these loans enables the U.S. Government to continue to assist refugees. Please contact Michael Chamness ( if you would like more information. 


There are many ways to help people arriving in Vermont. Twice a month we host volunteer orientations on Zoom to provide an overview of the different ways you can be involved. That schedule is here: Volunteer Orientation Schedule. 

Here is some more information about USCRI Vermont, and how you can get involved in our Community Partnership Program:

Community Partnership Program

USCRI Overview of Programs

USCRI Programs History

Questions? Please contact Jennie Gartner Community Partnership Coordinator ( or Matt Thompson, Coordinator of Programs ( Thank you!


Tikkun olam is central to JCOGS. We repair the world through acts of care and lovingkindness, an essential component of our Jewish values. We come together as a Jewish people when we care for those in our larger community. Recent projects have included:

We welcome you whether you want to help with one project or be part of our committee as we plan future tikkun olam projects. Be part of our commitment to repairing the world.

For more information, contact co-chairs of the tikkun olam committee, Lynne Gedanken at and Amy Wenger at

Wed, March 22 2023 29 Adar 5783