May 23, 2024
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May 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Masbia Relief Team Welcomes Asylum Seekers to New York

The Masbia relief team has jumped into action to help the asylum seekers that have been arriving at the Port Authority Midtown Bus Terminal. Asylum seekers have been arriving in New York City in the last few weeks in very distressed conditions. They arrived hungry and barefoot, having lost everything during their long journey on the way to the U.S. Mabia Relief came to help out and give them basic human dignity by way of shoes,food and other emergency supplies as they stepped down from the buses to start their resettling process here in New York.

Asylum seekers have been arriving in New York City in the last few weeks, and after a meeting with members of the mayor’s team at City Hall and the Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs, it was established that Masbia Relief would take on the task of providing shoes with some food and toiletries to hand out to the men, women and children as they came off the bus.

Soon after, Masbia Chef Ruben Diaz and team headed over to many different Walmarts and got hundreds of pairs of shoes and socks, and other supplies. They filled up a truck with the shoes and socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, tuna and crackers to give to the weary travelers.

The Masbia relief team has been to the Port Authority several times—mainly in the early morning around 5 a.m.—to distribute those desperately needed items. As buses pulled up with hundreds of asylum seekers—many of them children—there were cheers and applause and signs of welcome written in English, Hebrew and Spanish.

The sight of the asylum seekers disembarking from the buses with almost nothing was a heartbreaking look at the gravity of their situation. They have come a long way—literally thousands of miles. “As descendants of people who arrived in New York Harbor seeking asylum, it is simply the right thing to do for new migrants 70 years later,” said Masbia’s Executive Director Alexander Rapaport, who is the grandson of Holocaust survivors who migrated to North America after World War II.

“The idea is to help people turn the page and start their new beginning here in New York in a better way. To make sure that during their first steps in New York they are no longer barefoot, we are providing them with new shoes as well as food and toiletries,” Rapaport continued. “The journey ahead of them is still going to be challenging, but we want to plant the seeds of change in their luck and give them their basic humanity back.”

Rapaport added that those wishing to join the effort may visit to find out more and donate.

From time immemorial, New York has been a welcoming haven for those seeking asylum, epitomized by the famous words of Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” cast onto a plaque on the Statue of Liberty. The noted poet and activist was Jewish and of Portuguese-Sephardic descent.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

By Laura Allen


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