Beth Emet - The Free Synagogue

Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

Sunday, January 13 - Sunday, February 10

Rohingya volunteer

The Beth Emet Social Action Committee together with Beit Sefer is planning a collection of gently used (or new) toys and books for the Rohingya children who live in Rogers Park.

Imagine children without toys or books. Imagine children who play with discarded items they find outside like bottle tops, string and scraps of paper they use to make paper airplanes.

Imagine these same children going to school and not understanding what their schoolmates and teachers are saying and that there is no one at their school who can translate what is being said.

These are Rohingya children whose families fled persecution and violence from their homes in Myanmar. The majority of Rohingya refugees have fled to Pakistan while others have gone to Asia and the Middle East. Some Rohingyas have made it to the US; about 600 have settled in Milwaukee and 450 in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

The Rohingya Cultural Center was established in Chicago and offers adult ESL classes, after-school tutoring, social services, and social activities. Several volunteers from Beth Emet participate in the moms and tots classes modeling appropriate play and limit setting for the moms.

Last year many Social Action Committee members donated toys to the Community Centers for these classes. This year we are asking the whole congregation including children to donate gently used toys and books for the Rohingya children to be able to take home.

We hope to receive toys and books for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school age children. Below are some ideas:

- Multipurpose activity toys
- Creative toys
- Craft toys
- Blocks
- Legos
- Duplos
- Play dough
- Puzzles (with all pieces)
- Jigsaw Puzzles (with all pieces)
- Transformers
- Ethnically diverse dolls
- Workbooks like connect the dots and simple crossword puzzles
- Board books (books with thick pages)
- Picture books - simple books that have numbers, animals (no pigs), colors, objects
- Books that deal with emotions (i.e.,happy or sad)
- Caldecott metal award books Dr. Seuss books, Eric Carle books
- Beginning reading books/ early learning books

Please put toys with pieces in cloth bags or plastic containers

Toys and books for the drive can be brought to Beth Emet and placed in the wood collection bin in the school entrance hallway. 

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