The lives of Jay and Rose Phillips were not unlike most Eastern European Jews who immigrated to the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Their parents arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs and a determination to give their children more than the harsh shtetels in Russia from which they came.75 Years of Sharing Resources for Community Impact (2020)
The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota
Once again, our story is repeating. Tens of thousands of Afghan citizens have fled their homeland fearing persecution. Parents have scooped up their young ones – abandoning homes, careers, and communities – in a desperate attempt to preserve the most precious thing. A future.
No doubt they wish that future could be lived out in the familiarity of their neighborhoods, cities, and nation. Most of the adults among these refugees worked alongside Americans to secure a safe and tolerant future for Afghanistan. But those efforts collapsed along with the former Afghan government in August. Now the Taliban are in charge and their history of intolerance and brutal retribution makes it impossible for our recent allies to safely remain.
Unlike our forebears Jay and Rose, these Afghan newcomers will have the benefit of an organized resettlement process to support them as they begin to build new lives. We are grateful for the efforts of frontline volunteers and professionals who will provide compassionate and tireless care for these families when they soon begin arriving in Minnesota.
The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation is honored to join this important resettlement effort. Today we are pleased to announce a $50,000 grant to the Operation Allies Welcome fund at the Minnesota Council on Foundation. This fund will pay for short-term housing, food, interpretation, and legal services for the 1,500 Afghan evacuees anticipated to arrive in Minnesota in the coming months.
Refugee resettlement has always been a public/private partnership and we urge other foundations, companies, and individuals to also give generously to the Operation Allies Welcome Fund.
Here are places you can give:
Again and again, Minnesota has been blessed by its refugee newcomers. Whether they were Jews fleeing pogroms at the turn of the last century, Europeans escaping chaos after World War II, Vietnamese and Hmong allies resettled after the Vietnam War, or our more recent arrivals from places like Bosnia, Somalia, and Myanmar. Each new group adds to the tapestry of our state and inspires us with their determination to succeed. We know this history will repeat once again as we welcome our Afghan allies, and The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota is eager to offer its support in this moment.