4th of July with the Almadani Family

“I love, love, love it. It is so beautiful.” For the first five minutes of the fireworks show in downtown Oak Park, Baian, age 8, must have repeated that sentence ten times. Baian (pictured below), her older brother Mohammad (10), and their younger sister Esraa (6)...

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The Rothbaums visit the Almadanis

What a pleasure it has been getting to know the Almadani Family the last several months. It’s truly amazing to see the progress they’ve made since that cold December evening when they arrived at O’Hare! I wanted to share some updates and some fun times we’ve had...

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The Shankmans Hang with the Almadanis

March 2017 The Shankmans (Stew, Alex, Jonah (9) and Serena (6)) visited the Almadni family for a few hours on Saturday afternoon and mostly discussed St. Patrick’s Day and ate soda bread and corn on the cob. We talked to Nawar and Talal about Mohammed and...

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Alex, Stew and Crew Visit the Almadani’s

Guest Post by Alexandra Levit It was Saturday afternoon, time for another visit with our Syrian friends, the Almadanis. After texting with Talal, we headed up to their neighborhood in Rogers Park about 3PM.  Everyone was very happy to see each other. We started by...

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Guest Blog: Joy Aaronson

[Editor’s note: Joy Aaronson is our first guest blogger. I very much hope that other OPT community members will follow Joy’s lead and write about your own experiences with the Almadani family.] During our Saturday mentoring time with the Almadani family, Debbie...

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Presenting the Almadani Family

January 28, 2017 In the wake of an executive order halting the admission of any Syrian refugees into this country in the name of national security, we share with you the Almadani Family. This is the family of six the Oak Park Temple community is sponsoring, helping...

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In my last blog post, we were roughly two weeks out from our sponsored Arab-Sunni-Muslim-Syrian-refugee family of six arriving to Chicago. We knew very little about the family. But what we did know meant it was going to be a tough transition for them even under the...

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We Asked…and Oak Park Temple Delivered

We called you to action. And the Oak Park Temple community delivered. We asked for monetary donations; you gave generously. We asked you to buy and donate household necessities; almost every request has been accounted for on the sign-up genius. We asked for mentors...

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An Inspiring Opportunity for Oak Park Temple

One of the best books I’ve read in the last several years is by my former colleague, Cornell University Professor Joseph Margulies. The book is called What Changed When Everything Changed: 9/11 and the Making of National Identity (2013). The book was an eye-opener for...

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About the Author

Josh Tepfer and his family have been members of Oak Park Temple since 2010 and, along with his wife Beth Sauers, is on the OPT Social Action Committee. His daughter Olive and son Asher are in religious school, and his youngest daughter Mabel is a Turtle at Glasser. Josh has been involved in social justice work for many years, focusing primarily on criminal and juvenile justice issues through his work at the Exoneration Project (EP). If you enjoy these blog posts and want to learn more about criminal justice issues, you can read more from Josh at EP blog.

Contribute to Our Blog

Josh welcomes guest OPT blog posts about our co-sponsorship with RefugeeOne and urges you to contact him at joshuatepfer@gmail.com if you are interested.
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