We have focused on a wide range of issues related to immigration including education, advocacy and service. 

If you are interested in helping with this effort, please contact Joy Brownstein.

Our activities include:


We are working with five other Westchester synagogues and a local church as part of a HIAS-guided Westchester Resettlement Coalition: Bet Am Shalom, Sinai Free Synagogue, Woodlands Community Temple, Temple Beth Shalom, Congregation B’nai Yisrael, Shaarei Tikvah, and South Presbyterian Church.

In true Bet Am Shalom style, this is a broad congregational effort. Many members have volunteered to participate in one or more of the WRC committees to help refugee families with healthcare, education, employment, housing, transportation, community connections and other essential activities.  And many more members have generously donated to a specific fund to help support the resettlement of a new family each year.

Over the last few years, we have resettled two Afghan families and a Ukranian family. We helped each family get and furnish an apartment, find jobs, navigate the health care system, enroll and educate their children in school, learn to drive, and many other aspects of daily life. We will be welcoming a new Ukrainian family soon.

Read about our past efforts in this Reconstructing Judaism article.


Our new Director of Family Education and Engagement, Lisa Jacobs, and our Hebrew School educators are actively involved in our social action efforts incorporating immigration and racial justice activities into the Torah La’am curriculum, through lessons, activities and outside speakers. We also sponsor programs to educate congregants of all ages about a range of topics associated with immigration. Past activities have included:

  • Annual speaker event, Havdalah and buffet dinner catered by local refugees. Speakers have included a Dreamer, immigration lawyers and a refugee from Afghanistan.
  • Annual speaker on immigration for our post B’nai Mitzvah middle and high school students, such as a refugee teen from Iraq, HIAS, and Afghan refugee.
  • Afghan cooking class taught by a local refugee from Afghanistan

Examples of our past hands-on service activities include:

  • Westchester Resettlement Coalition: Volunteer to help refugees integrate into our community. Volunteers are needed for the following committees: Transportation, Education, Housing Set-Up, Fundraising, Communications, Healthcare/Public Assistance and Employment. Volunteers are also needed to form small “welcome circles” for each family and serve as the core group that coordinates services for each family.
  • El Centro Hispano:  Distribute food and clothing two Thursdays each month from 3:00 – 5:00 PM. Organization’s mission: Assist, support, and strengthen Hispanic families; help them become self-sufficient; and ease their transition into their new culture while maintaining and enriching their own. El Centro Hispano is at 346 South Lexington Avenue, White Plains.
  • Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE): Coach, guide and mentor 9-12th graders. Organization’s mission: Partners work with students to ensure they are ready for, enroll in, and complete college. YPIE confronts the challenges of a low-income, urban school district by providing families with equitable access to the critical tools and services necessary for college success.

If you are interested in helping with this effort, please contact Joy Brownstein.