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In winter 2021-2022, Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County issued an invitation to congregations of all faiths in the Ann Arbor area to participate in their new refugee settlement co-sponsorship program.  


When contacted by JFS, Beth Israel Congregation and Temple Beth Emeth met to explore the idea of a collaboration between the two congregations, and soon met with other Jewish congregations to ensure the venture’s success by broadening the coalition.  The idea of supporting JFS and the refugees they serve was greeted with enthusiasm across the board.


The resultant six-member collaboration came together as Jewish Congregations Organized for Resettlement or JCOR, which includes BIC, TBE, the Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan, Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation, Jewish Cultural Society, and Pardes Hannah.  The Jewish Federation of Ann Arbor serves as JCOR fiduciary.


JCOR recruits volunteers from throughout the Jewish community of greater Ann Arbor. All volunteers register with JFS and complete the State of Michigan background check process. New volunteers then complete an online training course followed by JFS training for each of the specialized teams: Housing/Welcome, Employment, Education, Finance, Transportation, Cultural Orientation, Healthcare, and Child Care.  JCOR also has an On-Call Team of drivers and interpreters.  All JCOR volunteers work under the supervision of a JFS caseworker with whom we meet weekly.

Most of our personal family histories include stories of caring people who stepped up to help our 

grandparents, great-grandparents, or parents resettle in this country. Today, we are 

challenged to step up and help another generation of refugees. 

In August 2022, JCOR accepted responsibility to co-sponsor its first family of four from Colombia.  

Our Mission


Family Update | Sell Your Extra Car for This Good Cause | HIAS Refugee Shabbat

Family Update

The refugee family JCOR is supporting will mark six months in the United States in February as the newcomers celebrate their first American Valentine’s Day.  And there’s a lot to love in their half-year story.  Both parents now have full-time jobs, and each is seeking a second job to speed their transition to financial independence.  Their teenagers are doing well in school and have formed friendships with fellow students, neighbors, and children of other immigrant families in the area.  Their holiday school break began with an abundance of bright lights and joyful decorations in the tradition of their home country, and celebrations of the season included outings with a couple of JCOR volunteers and their teenage children.  As the family works apace to master English, the daughter, who has professed a passion for the study of languages, has blossomed into the family’s live-in interpreter.  


Sell Your Extra Car for This Good Cause

The father is taking driving classes and expects to have his Michigan operator’s license very soon.  The mother has begun to study for the driving exam and plans to get her license soon as well.


Mobility is a critical issue for the family, hence the need for the licenses and for a reliable, affordable vehicle large enough to accommodate a family of four that includes two teenagers.  The parents’ jobs are located beyond accessible mass transit routes, and their Jewish Family Services-subsidized transport arrangement soon will end.  Their current jobs will be jeopardized without personal transportation, and the dream of secondary jobs will be for naught.


JCOR is asking members of our affiliated congregations to help locate the used but reliable and affordable vehicle the family needs.  Write to if you or your family, friends, or acquaintances are planning to sell a vehicle that meets this description.  Tax-deductible contribution of the vehicle is also an option if you are in a position to make such a generous gesture of philanthropy to the family. 


HIAS Refugee Shabbat

The fifth annual Refugee Shabbat is February 3rd and 4th. As described by HIAS, Refugee Shabbat “is an annual opportunity to recognize the individuals and organizations within the global Jewish community who work on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers, and the forcibly displaced.” 


February 3:  Temple Beth Emeth will participate on Friday evening.  February 4:  Beth Israel Congregation and Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan will both have a dvar Torah dedicated to resettlement on Shabbat morning, February 4th. Beth Israel's service will be student-led.  


JCOR supporters are encouraged to participate in these services, regardless of affiliation.

We Need Your Support Today!

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