I am confident one of the reasons Louise Penny was nominated to receive The Order of Canada was her genuine concern for people. When she heard about Temple El Beth Shalom’s project to sponsor two Syrian refugee families she thought about it and responded “This synagogue, this Jewish community, is bringing in Muslim refugees. If they can do that, then surely I can help. So, in Michael’s name, I’m donating $35,000 to the cause.”
The Temple’s journey to sponsor two families, one from Jordan and one from Lebanbon, began a year and a half ago when a member of the congregation had a family member live through a similar experience, said executive director Shellie Ettinger.”It’s mind boggling in terms of the reaction, and how quickly people responded and how passionate they are about helping.”
The first of the families will arrive in March and the second shortly after that. But there is still much to be done in preparation. And that is why I am writing this. From the time the Temple raised the $30,000 guarantee per family to the federal government the congregation would support the family for the first year, the congregation has been actively preparing in tangible ways. They have and continue to, collected household items and furniture. If you would like to participate in that giving go to www.templemontreal.ca Gift Cards will also be accepted so the families can buy personal items they will need upon their arrival.