RefugeeOne & Refugee/Immigration Activities

Sinai Congregation strives to improve the quality of life of refugees in Chicago by partnering with RefugeeOne.  We are committed to help refugees become independent, self-supporting members of their new Chicago community. It is an opportunity to truly live the words of our faith, 

"You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." Deuteronomy 10:19

In 2016, we joined with RefugeeOne, a non-profit refugee resettlement agency that provides services to refugees and to volunteers. Every year, RefugeeOne assists over 2,500 refugees of all ages, ethnic groups, faiths, and backgrounds.

The need is great and there are many opportunities to help.


Support our 2nd Sponsored Refugee Family: Alain, Debora, Rapha, Omega and Citrine

Our second sponsored Refugee Family arrived in mid-April. Alain Ekofo and Debora Misombo and their three children were welcomed at O’Hare by a group of Sinai congregants and clergy. They are originally from the Congo but have spent the last nine years in India. Rapha and Omega are twin boys, 9 years old. Like many young boys, they love running around, playing with Legos and drawing. They have a younger one-year old sister named Citrine.
Sinai volunteers have been working closely with RefugeeOne to help the family to adjust to their new life in Chicago. This has included showing them how to use the washer/dryer in the laundry room, where to go food shopping and setting up Wi-Fi.

We continue to need support from the Congregation in many ways as we are committed to help the family for their first six months here in Chicago.

Opportunities to volunteer time at a single event or initiative: We need volunteers to take the family on outings to introduce them to Chicago. This is a wonderful opportunity for the families of Sinai to introduce their own children on how they can make a difference.

“As Needed” Professional Expertise and Access to Resources: Another way to get involved on an “as needed basis” is to share your special expertise or access to resources. We need people with special expertise (e.g., technology skills, medical training) and those with professional resources (e.g., access to dental services, knowledge of CPS systems and procedures). Family members speak French, so if you are fluent in French, we may need your help at key times. We will contact you if your expertise or access to resources is needed.

Click here to learn more about one-time volunteer opportunities for you and your family or to share your expertise and resources. You will be connected to our Sign-Up page.

Opportunities to volunteer time for an ongoing role: We need volunteers to help tutor English and/or provide help acclimating to this new culture.

Tutoring: Sinai volunteers help tutor English during regularly scheduled time. No experience is needed since we have textbooks and teaching manuals. Family members appear to speak some English, French and their native African language. While the family members study English at RefugeeOne, additional help is needed …consider becoming a tutor.

Family Support/Mentoring: Sinai volunteers visit the family regularly, acting as mentors in their transition to Chicago. With our first family, this included showing the teen aged boy how to get to his summer program, setting up the cable television and helping with the computer with our first family. And there is so much more to learn about life in America…consider becoming a mentor.

Click here to learn more about on-going volunteer opportunities for you and your family and be connected to our Sign-Up page. We will contact you as we better understand their needs.

Opportunities to provide financial support

On-going financial support is needed to continue to help our sponsored family. We use these financial resources to buy clothes for school, books, fund activities and add to household items.  Donate by clicking here

Sinai's First Sponsored Refugee Family: 2017

In early June 2017, a Syrian Kurdish family arrived at O’Hare after a long harrowing journey. They were immediately welcomed by Sinai families with banners and hugs. Sinai volunteers had earlier in the week filled an apartment with life’s necessities from laundry soap to linens, plates to pillows. Sinai volunteers drove the family of seven to their new home and celebrated with a dinner prepared just before their arrival.

Sinai volunteers acted as mentors, tutors and problem solvers over the three months they were in Chicago. While we were sad when they left Chicago to join family in New York, we know that we made a real difference in their lives…and we were all touched and moved by the experience of being with them on their journey.

Other RefugeeOne Activities

RefugeeOne has a regular calendar of donation drives which Sinai has and will continue to participate in. These include collection of clothes, household items, and school supplies. Please join us when these events are scheduled. For more information on our project partner, visit the RefugeeOne website.

Whether you’re looking for a regular volunteer opportunity, just have time occasionally, or want to donate goods or funds, there are many ways for you to support Sinai’s efforts at RefugeeOne and the refugee/immigrant communities. Contact Ann Fox at

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