Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, New York

The CBE Refugee Task Force

is a group of volunteers moved to act by the global refugee crisis.

The task force is engaged in a number of initiatives including direct action to assist refugees here in the United States and abroad as well as other immigrant communities here in the United States, building coalitions with other New York City synagogues to educate the community and to push our legislators to protect refugees and immigrants, community education and political advocacy.

Our direct assistance work ranges from collecting donations and furnishing homes for new arrivals in NYC to organizing drives and filling aid containers going to Syria. We assist refugees, asylum seekers and those facing risk of detention or deportation due to their immigration status.

To widen our reach, we have developed relationships with other grassroots groups, resettlement agencies and immigrant rights groups.

We are privileged to have a home at CBE and are grateful for the support and encouragement of our clergy. All are welcome to participate in our group, including members and non-members of CBE.


Neutrality when life is at risk is not a Jewish value. Silence in the face of injustice is not a Jewish value. The Jewish thing to do is to take a stand, to speak, to act.
— Rabbi Rachel Timoner

What We've Achieved

  • Provide ongoing monthly food support for asylum seekers

  • Assisted over 50 families in providing and delivering essentials to their new homes such as baby supplies, furniture and textiles

  • Presented numerous educational events including an art gallery with speakers on refugees in Greece, lecturers on refugees in Israel, a panel comprised of refugees, a book reading with a discussion and community fair, and films including The White Helmets and City of Ghosts

  • Facilitated drive to provide communication materials for detained immigrants

  • Coordinated "days of action" for letter-writing and phone calls advocating for refugees and asylum seekers

  • Facilitated 4 drives of goods to be delivered to Syria

  • Spearheaded a core group of members in collaboration with other synagogues to sponsor a refugee family

  • Provided support to numerous families separated at the border by fundraising and coordinating reunification efforts with Immigrant Families Together