Mitzvah Corps Pacific Northwest runs two separate sessions; each giving participants the opportunity to engage with the refugee community in Seattle.
Issue Focus: Refugee Rights and Immigration Reform
Each year, the United States welcomes thousands of refugees from around the world. Fleeing persecution, natural disasters, or conflict, these individuals and families arrive in America, often emptyhanded, forced to integrate themselves into a foreign culture, learn a new language, and rebuild a new life. Many find themselves in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where there are organizations that offer a variety of absorption and resettlement services to aid these refugees in becoming positive, contributing members of our communities.
Mitzvah Corps Pacific Northwest participants work in partnership with the Seattle branch of the International Rescue Committee to create a summer day camp for refugee children, while their parents are at work, utilizing job training skills, or in language courses. Our philosophy is to support the integration of these children into the environments they live in; the camp is located in a neighborhood local to the refugee population, and activities are specifically designed to be relevant and authentic to their daily lives. Playing soccer, picking berries, participating in arts and crafts, and more – both campers and Mitzvah Corps participants get to interact with their peer counterparts in a way that builds relationships that long outlast the summer.
In Partnership With: International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Mitzvah Corps Pacific Northwest participants work at a summer camp run in partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and regain control of their future. This program combines the IRC's extensive experience in authentic community empowerment with Mitzvah Corps' deeply rooted Reform Jewish values and commitment to engaging participants in meaningful, relevant Jewish experiences.