Refugee Shabbat Havdalah Together, March 6, 2021 at 8:00pm


HIAS Refugee Shabbat

Refugee Shabbat 2021, which will take place on March 5-6, is a moment for congregations, organizations, and individuals in the United States and around the world to dedicate a Shabbat experience to refugees and asylum seekers.

Join the Jewish Collaborative Refugee Shabbat program on Zoom HERE.

Each week at our Havdalah Together program we feature a guest artist, film, or speaker/s to discuss a timely topic relevant to the Jewish community. As a signatory to the HIAS Welcome Campaign and a member of the Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees, the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County is pleased to present this program highlighting how the Orange County Jewish, faith-based organizations , and individual pro-refugee advocates are responding to to global refugee crisis.


Tim Burns, Orange County Justice Fund

Tim Burns is a board member of the Orange County Justice Fund and a volunteer with Immigration Services at Catholic Charities of Orange County, working on removal defense cases, and a community advocate for universal representation for immigrants facing deportation. As a volunteer with Friends of Orange County Detainees he has worked with numerous detainees in Orange County and attends immigration hearings, and works with local attorneys, activists, and nonprofits in trying to find legal representation for detained immigrants, asylum seekers, and undocumented immigrants in immigration court.

Julie Gersten, Refugee Action Fund

Julie Gersten is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Refugee Action Fund, an organization that mobilizes philanthropic giving to help refugees and other forcibly displaced people achieve safety, dignity and opportunities to live productive lives. Julie has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector building social change movements, including nine years at two human rights grantmaking foundations—American Jewish World Service and the New Israel Fund.  She currently serves on the board of HIAS, a global non-profit organization that supports refugees. She holds a Certificate in Jewish Experiential Education from Yeshiva University, an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and a BA in Political Science from Vassar College. 

Jackie Menter, Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees

Jackie Menter is an independent volunteer and activist dedicated to helping refugees locally and abroad. She co-founded the Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees where she serves as the Project Director. From 2016 – 2018 she made multiple trips to Greece to volunteer in refugee camps and detention centers where refugees from the Middle East and Africa are seeking asylum. Her work with Nurture Project International put her face to face with mothers and pregnant women living in unsanitary camp conditions who had seen their homes destroyed, lost family, and oftentimes had made the arduous journey to the EU while pregnant. During subsequent trips to Athens and the Greek island of Chios, Jackie volunteered in refugee squats and camps providing humanitarian relief and first response aid to refugees arriving by boat to the shores of Greece. Jackie has worked in the OC Jewish community for 20 years and is Executive Director of the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County.

Lynne Yadlin, Home for Refugees

Lynne Abraham-Yadlin has been with Home for Refugees (HFR) for 3 years. She began as a Home Team volunteer, helping resettle first a refugee family from Afghanistan and then an asylum seeking family from Chechnya. She has served on the Board of Directors of HFR. Recently she joined the Home for Refugees staff as Home Team Coach Assistant. In this role, she works with newly formed Home Teams to help new families feel welcomed in the US and giving them the support they need to build their new lives here.

Lynne is a musician by trade, having worked as a choral conductor in  Israel,  on the East Coast of the US at Cornell and Dartmouth, as well as at UCI. Until recently, Lynne also worked with the Pacific Symphony’s Class Act program as a music education consultant, curriculum writer, and performer. She still teaches private students flute and piano. Lynne is married to her wonderful husband Yoram, whom she met while conducting in Israel, and is the proud mother of four adult daughters living all over the United States.

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