For many Americans, summer camp means bunk beds, bonfires and bug spray. But a unique five-week day camp program in Toledo, Ohio has helped a group of recently resettled Syrian refugee women and children adjust to life in the United States.
On July 22, HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield joined Amy Weiss, Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay's director of refugee and immigrant services, and Syrian activist Subhi Nahas for a panel discussion as part of the 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
Charlotte Magazine recently published a feature story about a Syrian family who finally found refuge in the United States after a four-year ordeal. The happy ending to a challenging chapter in their life was imperiled by the first executive order, which halted travel from seven Muslim-majority countries and suspended the refugee admissions program.
“It seemed tailor-made, to do something that I would really enjoy and I could add value to,” said Fisher, who holds an MBA and a degree in accounting. “I thought it would be fun, and also very, very worthwhile.”
For more than five years, JF&CS Pittsburgh has offered support specifically tailored to the needs of high school students. What started as a small summer program now reaches upwards of 60 high school juniors and seniors per year at two schools in the area.
With the same level of determination he applied to his journey to the U.S., Boscoe refuses to let his circumstances determine his future—giving up is simply not an option. “I am so appreciative of the help I received from everyone here, but it is up to me to make sure I move forward,” Boscoe said.