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Mon Jan 2, 2017, 08:11 PM

Syrian family to reunite in Toronto, thanks to unlikely partnership between synagogue, mosque

After civil unrest broke out in 2011, violence escalated across Syria. The country that ignited Ms. Elendari’s love for archeology began its reduction to rubble, and her hopes of seeing her family again were dashed.

Now, Ms. Elendari – who moved to Toronto four years ago – is counting down mere days until they’re reunited.

At 6:40 p.m. on Jan. 10, a plane from Turkey will carry all eight members of the Elendari family to Toronto as privately sponsored refugees. Out of the over 38,000 Syrian refugees who have landed in Canada since November, 2015, though, very few have been due to such an unconventional partnership – the Elendari family’s arrival comes thanks to the joint-sponsorship project of a Jewish synagogue and a Muslim mosque that share a parking lot in Thornhill, Ont.

The unlikely project began last December, when one of the first groups of Syrian refugees arrived at Pearson International Airport. Amid the flurry of media coverage on the country’s newcomers, Temple Har Zion reached out to their neighbours at the Imam Mahdi Islamic Centre and asked if they’d be interested in sponsoring a family together.


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