The Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration (WJCI) has received just over $150,000 in grants from the UJA-Federation of New York, The Jewish Federations of North America, and The Shapiro Foundation to support its ongoing work of resettling Ukrainian refugees. WJCI has opened up a matching microgrant application accessible to community members who want to engage in Ukrainian resettlement. Certified Welcome Circles can apply for up to $5,000 to support newly arrived Ukrainians in Westchester, Rockland County and the Northwest Bronx. For details and an application, interested parties can visit www.wjci.org or access it here.
The United States expects to temporarily absorb 180,000 Ukrainian refugees, including those living here before the war began. Over 100,000 have already applied as part of Uniting for Ukraine (U4U), and 40K have arrived. The new grants will help WCJI build capacity, provide vital resources, and mobilize communities in Westchester, Northwest Bronx, and Rockland County to help establish Welcome Circles (W.C.s) to help displaced Ukrainians.
Besides funding, WJCI’s other offerings include support, resources, and training from HIAS and Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS). WJCI’s other key partners include HIAS, St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Neighbors for Refugees, Upwardly Global, Community Resource Center (CRC), and Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health.
“We are honored to be able to step up to help the Ukrainian community during this time of immense need,” said Holly Rosen Fink, Co-Founder and President of WJCI.
A Welcome Circle is a resettlement model powered by HIAS that harnesses the efforts of local agencies and community volunteers, who help individuals or families begin new lives in their community. These groups enable new arrivals to secure housing, employment, school enrollment, English language education, and financial assistance. HIAS-certified Welcome Circles formed in partnership with WJCI may apply for a microgrant of up to $5,000 to support their work. The application can be found at wjci.org.
Since the start of the war on February 24, the UJA-Federation of New York has provided more than $16 million in emergency funding worldwide, which includes funding to address the urgent needs of refugees in Ukraine, Europe, Israel, and New York. The JFNA grant is part of a $1 million Ukrainian Resettlement Grant Initiative to resettle and support Ukrainian refugees seeking safety in the U.S.
In early 2022, WJCI partnered with UJA-Federation of New York and The Shapiro Foundation to help 15 local resettlement groups resettle Afghan refugees, effectively aiding nearly 100 Afghan refugees to come off army bases around the country.