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Jewish groups kick into high gear as Afghan refugees begin to arrive in US

9 25 1

JTA — Jewish communities around the world are reactivating their refugee-support networks as they prepare to help resettle Afghans who have fled the Taliban takeover of their country.

In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Afghans have been airlifted from Kabul after the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan with the US exit from the country after 20 years. Many will spend time in another country while they wait to be admitted to the United States, but some are already arriving – and needing support as they adapt to a sudden relocation and a new country.

The importance of welcoming strangers is so deeply rooted in Jewish tradition and experience that immigration issues have long enjoyed a bipartisan consensus in Jewish communities even amid deep polarization on other topics. Many cities have social services agencies that began to support Jewish immigrants and now work with new arrivals of all backgrounds, often coordinating with HIAS, formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, to identify refugees and meet their needs.

Those agencies — and the Jewish communities that support them — are now scrambling to prepare for a wave of new arrivals as the United States wages an around-the-clock effort to remove as many people as possible who supported the US military mission in advance of an Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.

In California, Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley and Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay are preparing to support 130 families, according to J., the Jewish News of Northern California. The East Bay organization has been helping Afghans resettle for years, but has never tried to support so many families so quickly, the newspaper reported.

“This whole thing........

© The Times of Israel

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