our story

In winter 2021–2022, Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County invited congregations of all faiths in the Ann Arbor area to participate in their new refugee settlement co-sponsorship program.

In response, Beth Israel Congregation and Temple Beth Emeth, assisted by the deft leadership of our founding coordinator Harvey Somers, formed a collaboration which soon expanded to Jewish Congregations Organized for Resettlement (JCOR), comprised of six member organizations: Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan, Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation, Jewish Cultural Society, and Pardes Hannah along with BIC and TBE. The Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor serves as JCOR’s fiduciary.

JCOR works in partnership with JFS, which provides orientation and training and guidance to JCOR volunteers who work under the supervision of a JFS caseworker.

In August 2022, JCOR accepted responsibility to co-sponsor its first family of four from Colombia.

JCOR’s first refugee family arrived in Ann Arbor following an arduous journey from their home in Colombia in August 2022.  In less than 12 months, both parents were fully employed, both teenagers had completed their first year of school in the U.S. in good form, and big sister had a summer job. The father earned a driver’s license, and the family purchased a (used) car which saves $700/month that previously paid for contracted transportation to and from work.

NEW FAMILY HERE November 27!

At times like this when enmity and war seem to scream at us from every headline and broadcast news report, we are reminded of how important and how complicated it can be to pursue Tikkun Olam.  Perhaps apropos to this moment, JCOR is extending our communal hand in friendship and service to a new refugee family on November 27:  a Yemeni family of five including father and mother, a seven-year-old son, and his four-year-old and 11-month-old little sisters.

JCOR volunteers will be there to welcome them, wrap them in warm greetings and cold-weather outerwear, and accompany them to their temporary lodgings in a single-room extended stay hotel—a difficult environment for two adults and three lively little ones.

JCOR volunteers will facilitate the family’s move to long-term housing as quickly as possible and we’ll need all hands on deck for the move-in.  Let us know at jcorannarbor@gmail.com if you or someone you know can lend a hand.  We’ll post the move-in date here as soon as it’s set.