Supporting Our Neighbors!

Anshe Emet Synagogue and Na’aseh,
Our Social Action Group, Need Your Help
in Supporting Our New Migrant Neighbors!

Please read below to learn about the many ways in which you can help our neighbors in need. Any support you can provide is truly appreciated and will go a long way to bringing joy and comfort to our new neighbors.

Dear Friends:

As you know, Anshe Emet Synagogue is mentoring several families currently residing at the AIC shelter on Irving Park and Marine Drive.  One family is moving into a new apartment and they need help obtaining household items to furnish their new home.  We have attached a wish list.  If you would like to assist the family, please purchase one or more of the listed items
(or equivalent) or donate used, like new items.  Please contact Jamie Wendt,  to arrange for pickup.  The family is moving at the end of the month
so we would like to have all donations by January 31.  Thank you in advance or your generosity!

Mentorship Program

Become a mentorAnshe Emet is launching our family mentor program with residents of the American Islamic College shelter at Marine and Irving Park.  We need families, individuals, or groups of friends to volunteer to mentor a family living at the shelter.  Spanish language abilities are not necessary—just a willingness to welcome a new family to Chicago and help them adjust to their new city. We will hold an orientation meeting and form a mentor support group to share learned experience and smooth the way. Please volunteer or pass this to someone you think might be interested. Contact

What does it mean to be a mentor?We aim to create a friendly relationship that the migrant family can call upon for help deciphering life in Chicago. This may mean an occasional cup of coffee, kids playing with kids, homework help, introducing the family to parks, libraries, and museums as a counterpoint to the bleak shelter experience, or practice with English conversation.  You will discover their needs as your relationship grows.  This is about relationship building and helping the family to build a foundation for their new life in Chicago.

What is the commitment? There is no required duration. However, we suggest anticipating a 2 to 6 month engagement. It may depend, in part, on how well your family adjusts to their new life.  If your relationship goes well, you may find you have made a long-time friend. 

How much time is involved?We suggest mentor/mentee families meet approximately every other week at the outset of the relationship, at mutually convenient times.  Communication by phone and text may occur at any time.  Frequency of meetings will evolve as the relationship evolves. 

Legal Assistance

Assist with Applications for Temporary Protected Status and Work PermitsAES is gathering lawyers and others unafraid of paperwork interested in helping eligible individuals (Venezuelans and others) with Temporary Protective Status and Work Permit Applications. We will help staff legal clinics under the auspices of a sanctioned pro bono organization. You don’t need to be an immigration lawyer, have any specialized knowledge, or have an active law license. Spanish is helpful but not required. We will provide training. Please help spread the word that this group is forming. Please contact Janine Landow-Esser at for more information and to join the group. Thank you!

Amazon Gift List

Purchase gifts or supplies to help furnish children’s resource rooms at the shelter. The Amazon Resource Room Wish List will help furnish the resource rooms at the shelter, where kids can play, read, do homework, and relax, and we want to make them as comfy and cozy as possible!

Advocacy Needs

Urge Congress to stand with asylum seekers. Call on our national leaders to reject anti-immigrant, anti-asylum regulations and legislation and instead to invest in concrete solutions that expand our capacity to welcome. Click hereCall your U.S. Senate Offices to ask them to support and cosponsor the Afghan Adjustment Act (S. 2327 for Senate, HR 4627 for the House). The Afghans evacuated here need a pathway to permanent residency, and this legislation has massive bipartisan support across the country. Ask your U.S. House members to support and cosponsor HR 1325, the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act. This essential legislation will shorten the waiting period for work authorization for asylum seekers down to 30 days, giving asylum seekers a chance to work and support themselves and their families, and extending that permit for as long as their asylum case is pending.

Housing Needs

Saint Mary of the Lake Catholic Church (Sheridan at Buena) is seeking housing for the migrant families that have arrived in our community. The Church will pay the rent and cosign the leases. They are looking for:

  • 2-3 bedroom apartments
  • Reasonable rents
  • Lakeview, Buena Park, Ravenswood, Wrigleyville, Uptown
  • 6-month leases preferred

This is a great opportunity for landlords to receive steady rent payments while helping out new neighbors. Landlords: Please contact Jake Koertgen at with questions or to express interest.

What Else Can I Do?

Please send financial support to help Anshe Emet assist our new neighbors with vital and necessary materials.