As Jews, we have always been the refugee. It’s a part of our history, and now it’s incumbent upon all of us to help modern-day refugees.
I recruited over a hundred youth volunteers from local high schools, middle schools, and a university who dedicate their time each and every Saturday to help tutor and mentor refugee youth. The children I work with come from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria mainly, and they’re fleeing from war, persecution, and environmental disasters.
My main priority is to teach them math, vocabulary skills, and reading. I want them to feel confident in their abilities to sit down and take a math test and know they will pass. I want them to easily converse with their new friends. I want them to feel welcome.
It’s beautiful to see really shy kids slowly start to open up about themselves and a lot of times about their family condition, and I think that’s a really unique and special relationship they have with the tutors. Being a refugee is not a choice. It is something that’s imposed upon you. It is the very least that we can do to help them in any way that we can.