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Welcome Circle Update - July

Dear PJTC Welcome Circle Friends & Supporters:


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May began for the Z. family with a festive Eid celebration marking the end of Ramadan. Ms. Z. applied henna decorations to her hands and those of the girls, Maryam and Hoda, for the occasion. We brought the family to Brookside Park, where the Islamic Center of Los Angeles hosted an outdoor prayer service and gift giveaways for children. The hundreds of people present included many in beautiful flowing traditional dress from South Asia and the Middle East. The Z.’s enjoyed chatting with local Afghans, some of whom they met at the mosque in Pasadena. The family then went to New Horizons School, where there were games, treats, and other activities. At home that day, they received many joyous phone calls from relatives in Afghanistan.

Speaking of relatives, the Z.’s have been wanting to visit family in the Sacramento area for weeks. They are used to daily life that revolves around extended family so living as a nuclear family in Pasadena without relatives nearby can be lonely and strange. This week they had the chance to travel to Sacramento and we’re very happy for them.

The family has now been in Pasadena for 4 1/2 months and we’re pleased to report that we’ve completed most of our basic responsibilities as a sponsor circle. These range from securing housing and enrolling children in school and adults in ESL to accessing job services, government benefits, bank accounts, etc. It’s taken time to arrange health insurance and medical care but all have now had their physicals and the adults got their COVID booster shots, with dental care next on the list. The summer months will be a transition period, with a focus on helping the family to become more independent.


In other news:

  • Everyone’s English continues to grow and improve. The girls like to chant, “1, 2, 3, 4, ready, set, go!” The adults have advanced to the next level of ESL classes.
  • The children’s preschool teacher remarked on Maryam’s skill in drawing and readiness to help other kids. She turns 5 this summer and will soon be registering for Kindergarten at a Pasadena school.
  • A first trip to Baskin Robbins was a big hit but no need for 31+ flavors. “Chocolate! Chocolate!” is all the girls want.
  • Mr. Z. continues working 32 hours a week in the stockroom of a local store and practicing driving in preparation for his driving test.
  • The Z.’s are getting to know people in their building, including a family with a three-year-old and a neighbor who showed up at their door with an armchair.
  • Now that Ramadan is over, the Z.’s are again offering generous hospitality to our group members. Ms. Z. outdid herself recently with meals of stewed eggplant with yogurt and mint; aushak leek dumplings with lentil sauce; curried chicken with peas; beef patties; fluffy long-grain rice; French fries and salad. Yum!

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All this progress in the Z.’s adjustment to American life couldn’t happen without YOUR generous support, so thank you, thank you, thank you. We’ll keep you posted …


-PJTC Welcome Circle

Susan Auerbach, Howard Landau, Franci Levine-Grater, Linda Mazur, Carl Selkin, Tammy Silver, Joe Widman, Ruth Wolman

Sun, March 26 2023 4 Nisan 5783