26 August 2021
Washington, DC, August 26, 2021. The DC region is a key hub for Afghan refugees resettling in the United States on Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). With a critical influx of new refugees fleeing Taliban rule in Afghanistan, The Jewish Federation’s United Jewish Endowment Fund (UJEF) has partnered with Lutheran Social Services National Capital Area (LSSNCA), a key leader of resettlement efforts, to further this urgent work.
Approximately 500 refugees are being resettled in the DC region in August, with the potential of another 500 through September. LSSNCA has identified a significant funding gap of $1.8 million for these efforts, which includes housing, employment support, transportation, food, and acculturation, among other services.
In partnership with a number of Jewish funders, Federation’s UJEF has granted more than $375,000 to LSSNCA to help close this gap and ensure those in need are welcomed and provided basic needs, employment, mentoring, and a new community to call home.
“Across multiple faiths, the concept of welcoming the stranger is a core tenet. This role takes on additional urgency during life-threatening situations like today’s in Afghanistan,” notes Gil Preuss, CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. “In times of humanitarian need, the Jewish community often seeks to channel philanthropy where it is most needed, guided by our culture, learning, and values. UJEF is uniquely positioned to help them do just that—in this case, by connecting them with the unparalleled efforts of LSSNCA.”
“This generous funding through Federation’s UJEF comes at a critical time as we are significantly scaling up our operations to resettle Afghan Allies and their families in the DC region,” says Kristyn Peck, CEO of LSSNCA. “This gift will be used directly to support case management and housing costs so we can relieve the financial stress on our new neighbors as they are working towards self-sufficiency. We are so grateful for our partnership with the Jewish community and Federation as we work to advance our shared goals of creating welcoming communities and embracing our new neighbors.”
“Many of the immigrants seeking to resettle here have supported the United States in Afghanistan, and need our help now,” added Preuss. “As Jews, we can deeply identify with their plight. And as Americans, we have a moral responsibility to help them settle here safely.”
To support these ongoing efforts, donate today to The Jewish Federation’s Fund for Afghan Resettlement.
About The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington mobilizes and partners with Greater Washington’s diverse Jewish community to build and sustain vibrant Jewish life and our changing world, elevated and invigorated by Jewish culture, history, values, and ideas. Through our United Jewish Endowment Fund, Federation helps local philanthropists maximize their impact, and elevates the Jewish community’s efforts in addressing broader, multi-faith, communal initiatives.
About Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area
Since 1917, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) has promoted welcoming and compassionate communities with the help of partners and volunteers. Today, LSSNCA serves the Washington Metropolitan Area through refugee and immigrant resettlement, workforce development foster care for unaccompanied refugee minors, adoption services, CARE for Newcomers, healthy relationships education, and Youth Haven.