(Photo courtesy of Jewish Family Services)
This year, Jewish Family Services (JFS) settled 24 refugees in Delaware — short of its goal of 50, but with the back-and-forth of U.S. immigration policy over the last 10 months, meeting such goals is a challenge.
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster,” said Basha Silverman, CEO of JFS of Delaware. “There have been a lot of ups and downs.”
JFS meets refugees as soon as they get off the plane, and helps them with finding things like jobs and healthcare.
“We find many people who want to help, but there is a lot of misinformation about what a refugee is,” said Silverman. “There are a lot of incorrect assumptions and undeserved judgement.”
That misinformation inspired Silverman and Anna Hamiltion of the First Unitarian Church in Wilmington to hold a series of free events that would help educate, open a dialogue and bring the community, advocates and newly placed Delawareans together. With the help of Public Allies’ Maddie Driban, “Movies That Matter — The Refugee Experience” at the Delaware Art Museum was born.
The first event is this Sunday, Oct. 29 from 2–6 p.m., with a screening of the film The Good Lie, about the Lost Boys of Sudan and discussion with former “Lost Boy” Reverend Thon Moses Chol and Dr. Jill Biden, as well as a performance by Martin Hargrove.
On Monday, Oct. 30 from 5–9 p.m., the screening will be The Impossible, which deals with the timely issue of natural disaster displacement. Speakers include Dr. Tricia Wachtendorf and Dr. Jennifer Trivedi of the University of Delaware Disaster Research Center (which was recently visited by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg).
On Saturday, Nov. 4 from 5–9 p.m., they will screen the short documentary The White Helmets, about volunteer rescue workers in Syria and Turkey. Guests include U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield and a newly-placed Delaware family.
While the events are free, registration is required. Click here to register for tickets.-30-
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