BZBI, where you volunteer

HIAS Refugee Adoption Program

BZBI’s Tikkun Olam Network has formed a partnership with Society Hill Synagogue to “adopt” a refugee family through the HIAS Pennsylvania community support program. HIAS Pennsylvania (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, now a non-denominational resettlement agency) matches refugees with volunteers who can provide a year of ongoing support.

We have been matched with a wonderful family from Congo and Namibia–Suzana Mbonigaba and Merthus Muzungu, and their children, Merci, Delice, Michele, Esther, and Eliah.

We will be helping with everything from job placement to navigating public transportation to sorting through junk mail—all of the needs that arise as a family gradually finds its way in a new setting.

We’ve Found New Housing for the Muzungu-Mbonigaba Family–                                                  Help Us Make this New House Home!

The family has found a new house in their neighborhood that is cozy, brighter, and has a finished basement. Now begins the work of furnishing their new house so they can call it home. Below is a list of what we are looking for.

If you have something that fits these needs, please send a photo (if possible) and make sure it truly fits the dimensions we are requesting. Please reach out directly to Phyllis Denbo (SHS) or Rebecca Krasner (BZBI) for approval. Please do not try to give us items that are not on the list.

Items Needed
Vacuum cleaner
6-8 person dining table
6-8 dining room chairs
6′ couch
small coffee table or large ottoman
2 arm chairs
32″ book shelves, any length
2 38″ dressers
additional small bookshelves for children’s room
1 set of bunk beds and mattresses
2 twin beds and mattresses
2 large “bean bag chairs” for finished basement

Help Support this Program with Dollars for Diapers:

Right now we’d like to ask for help in covering the some of the costs associated with the family’s new baby boy, Eliah. The most immediate concern is the cost of diapers. It may not seem like much, but they are a major expense for this struggling family. Donate starting today, and the money will go first to providing for this need.


For more information about our work with this family, read about getting to know them here and our first Hanukkah together here.

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