Editorial

Nashville’s Jewish Community to Help Provide Aid to Afghan Allies

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This article was originally published in The Jewish Observer.
November 30, 2021
by Barbara Dab
The United States is currently seeing tens of thousands of Afghans pour into the country as Humanitarian Parolees. After spending weeks or months on military bases while awaiting processing, they are now in need of assistance, and Nashville’s Jewish community is coordinating efforts to do just that.

Through the combined efforts of the organized Jewish community and the Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE), funds are being raised to help resettle Afghan people in Nashville and to help them become acculturated in the United States. Eric Stillman, CEO of The Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee says, “The Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee is proud to partner with our congregations, agencies, and Jewish community organizations to participate in helping to resettle about 300 Afghan allies coming to Nashville from the approximately 50,000 Afghans allies who are coming to the US. Our Federation together with Jewish Family Service is leading a Jewish community volunteer effort to maximize our efficiency.”

According to Pam Kelner, Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Middle Tennessee, there is greater strength in a collective effort rather than individual organizations working alone. “This is a coordinated Jewish community response, and we are working with an established resettlement agency to make a bigger impact.” Kelner also says, “Many of the newly arrived Afghans assisted the United States government for a long time, and it is important to recognize their status as our allies, rather than refugees.”

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