Welcoming newcomers to our community

December 2018
Michelle Gold

Over the past two years, Hamilton Jewish News profiled several well-known Jewish families in our community who immigrated here as newcomers, in years past. Their stories were illuminating— they shared their reasons for emigrating,  challenges they encountered, and reflected on the process of settling into their new adopted town.  Today, Hamilton is receiving increasing inquiries from people considering a move to our Jewish community.
The Hamilton Jewish Federation has recently re-established its Grow Hamilton Committee, whose mandate is to coordinate access to information for those considering a move, as well as to warmly welcome newcomers to our community. Our role will be to serve as a first point of contact.  To achieve our goal, we are starting by developing  a compendium of information. We want to gather information on who we can refer inquiries to for information on housing, schools and education, religious organizations, health services, and business connectors in our community.  We are also seeking to develop a list of friendly residents, who can initiate social networking in the Jewish community for newcomers. These are just preliminary activities of what we envision becoming a broader and more extended reach to grow Jewish Hamilton over time.
We are also reaching out to community members to request your feedback and involvement.  
• If you’ve had experience with relocating in the past, please share with the committee what were your needs as a newcomer in a community?  Was there something in particular that made you feel welcome? What would have assisted you in settling into that was not readily available?
• If you provide a program or service in our community that can benefit people considering Hamilton, or those who are new arrivals:
Please contact the committee to identify your program or service, so that we can include this information in our directory.
• Would you be willing to invite newcomers to your home for Shabbat dinner, or offer to meet someone new for coffee? Please contact the committee and let us know.
Do you know anyone who is considering moving to Hamilton, or has recently arrived?  If so, please contact the committee. We’d like to begin right away to provide information and make connections within our Jewish community that are welcoming and helpful.
Laura Wolfson, Grow Hamilton committee chair, can be reached at byrnewolfson@gmail.com or by leaving a message at 905-541-2889.