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Kol Sasson Congregation is an inclusive, observant community in Skokie, Illinois
that strives to transform Jewish lives through critical inquiry
within the traditional framework of Halakha.


Due to the extreme temperatures tomorrow, we are postponing the event. Thank you for your interest, and we'll keep you posted!


Hi everyone, 

Happy Summer!

First and foremost, we want to thank you for volunteering your time this past year with the Ramazani family. It’s been a great year for all us to see their growth, have the chance to develop new relationships, and provide fun mentor and tutoring 
visits long the way.

Each of us has established different relationships and support with the family members over the year and we ask you to continue those relationships. For those of you who have not spent time with them - we encourage you to do so! They are still so excited to meet with us and learn new things. There are still so many opportunities available.  We don’t ask or expect you to spend your own money when you’re with the family, so please keep this in mind as you continue to do things with them. As the children are older and don’t need as much support,we’ll be aiming for a family visit every other week.Debbie will send out a separate email for those wishing to sign up for the next few months for additional support. Won't you consider helping out? 

Some bonding ideas that we have discussed with the family include:

Thrift Stores 
Read with them
Go to the park and hit some balls 
Library visits 
Visits to other produce markets/stores not on Devon.

Now that the family is somewhat secure in their schooling and acclimation to Chicago, our goal for support for the second year will be to teach the children how to swim. We are currently researching swim lessons in the area so we will need help driving the children to/from swim lessons. More info on this to follow. 

We will be having a "kickoff event" to spend some time with the family next week. Please let us know if you can join!

When: 6 PM, 7/18/19
Where: Playground at Greenwood Beach, Skokie (between Dempster and Burnham Place, just south of Dempster) 
What: Pizza and popsicles (we are asking that participantss help defray the cost of this food)

Please contact Debbie Lesch for further info!

Thank you again. We are very excited to continue our relationships with you and the Ramazani family!

Judy Sloane
Debbie Lesch
Brad Sugar



I thought I would share some quick, wonderful updates about the Ramazani Family, who as you know came to this country a little over a year ago with our community's help!

- Zawadi's graduation: Judy Sloane, who has been instrumental in arranging and providing tutoring to the entire family, attended Zawadi's high school graduation from Mather. Zawadi is the first high school graduate in the family. We have been working with him on his dreams to become a doctor, and he has been accepted to a few universities locally - putting him on track to be a first generation college graduate! Zawadi continues to help his family by driving for food delivery services in the area. 


- Sungura's graduation: Debbie Lesch, who has been by the family's side in nearly every way in the past year, attended Sungura's graduation from middle school - and introduced them to deep dish pizza afterwards!

- Dina's engagement: Dina, the eldest daughter, has recently become engaged to a man she had been dating for several years. Mazel tov!

The other children are doing excellent, and are looking forward to their second year in the states and Chicago! We are still looking for individuals and families who would like to be a part of their lives, even in a small way. There are many options, but the most helpful would ether be taking them (or some of them) out for a little fun every once in a while, or helping tutor the children in school. Please message me at 

Thanks to everyone who has participated in this effort so far! 


Dear Kol Sasson community,

The refugee family that we have sponsored, the Ramazanis, would love to be able to experience the American holiday of Thanksgiving this year for the first time. We are looking for a family who would be willing to host the family for the meal this year. They only eat halal meat so would not be able to eat turkey but other than that, I’m sure they would love to partake in the other customs associated with this holiday.

Please email me if you are able to host the family of six for the holiday.

Thanks so much!

Rebecca Minkus- Lieberman

Refugee One Initiative

It's been a few weeks since our family of 6 has arrived from Tanzania, and a lot has transpired. We felt like a large recap and update was warranted. 

As you know, with the help of many generous donors from Kol Sasson, we proudly raised over $10,000 in support of bringing a family here - which takes care of most of their needs for the first several weeks in the United States. We accomplished this in just a few weeks!

We were notified in late April that we were assigned to a family of 6 (ranging in age from mid 50's to 9 years old), who originally came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo but had spent nearly 21 years in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Almost immediately, we began an inventory of what would be needed for them via a google spreadsheet. In less than a day, members of Kol Sasson and so many others filled all of those needs. We were granted access to the family's apartment in West Rogers Park, furnished it, and stocked their pantry for several weeks. 

On May 16th, a few days before Shavuot - the family arrived in Chicago and was greeted by us at the airport. We were surprised but also happy to learn that they had relatives in Chicago (who only 5 years earlier were also taken in by RefugeeOne and a host community), who also greeted them at the airport along with us. 

Since their arrival, members of Kol Sasson have been visiting with the family several times a week, helping them acclimate to the US, learning English, taking them shopping, etc. There are still opportunities to be involved - feel free to be in touch if you are interested. 

There are too many people to thank to list individually, but suffice it to say it has really been a wonderful effort by our community. A lot of work remains (we still need to find them employment, ensure they have financial stability, continue with mentorship and consistent visits) but we are well on our way. 

Tizku L'Mitvzot!

Fri, September 18 2020 29 Elul 5780