Accompaniment NEAT Stories

A Sincere Thank You: Enard and Gisela, Sha’ar Zahav, Kehilla, and Keneset HaLev

Enard, Gisela, and their team lead and their team translator

Teams from Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, Kehilla Community Synagogue, Keneset HaLev met at our NEAT ccompaniment training, and enthusiastically joined together to create a complete team. During just one month of accompaniment, they worked together to accomplish so much! The two children have enrolled in school, parents have found full-time work, and been connected to local clothing and food banks. Their congregations has been instrumental in finding emergency hospitality housing as a congregation member stepped up and shared her home with the family for three weeks over Thanksgiving. Without her generosity, this family would have spent their meal in a shelter. One team member reflected: while the team members are walking alongside the family, they do so “with backing, warmth, and enthusiasm as part of a larger congregational community…help is ready and waiting with fundraising, donating, inviting the family to activities, connecting with resources” and cultural exchange. As Jewish congregations walking together with a Christian family, they are all growing richly as they learn from and experience life with each other.

When the six months of the NEAT program concluded, Enard, a skilled photographer and graphic designer, created this “Thank You Letter” to share his gratitude.

Enard and his family have been accompanied by a team from Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, Kehilla Community Synagogue, and Keneset HaLev since November, 2019. Enard is a skilled photographer and graphic designer, and he created this “Thank You Letter” to share his gratitude.


Translation: Hello, my name is Enard. I’m Honduran by birth and I currently reside in San Francisco. A year ago, I found myself needing to leave my country with my wife Gissela, my 14 year old daughter Ximena, and my son Andree, 10 years old. For me and my family it has been very difficult to leave behind everything we had (which we had achieved with great sacrifice during our 15 years together) to save ourselves from being extorted, and after our lives were threatened by gangs and corrupt police. We left everything behind to come to the United States to seek asylum. The beginning of trying to start a new life in another country has been very difficult due to different customs, lack of knowledge, language barriers that we faced. In another country, the simplest task can become a challenge. Processing papers, finding the right word, knowing which bus to take, how to find work. There were always moments of despair and anguish because we had nowhere to live, to eat, and we didn’t have a job. But, we found a light on our way when we found the Nueva Esperanza which has given us great unconditional support. We have a great team who has taught us that being an undocumented asylum seeker is not that difficult. So I am grateful to the angels that GOD has put in our way. Thanks for giving us a roof over our heads, and most importantly, thanks for giving us a New Hope to Live.

They created this video together to obtain a grant to support their congregation’s involvement in immigrant advocacy.
Enard, Gisela, and their family in San Francisco

Learn more about Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity’s Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Team program.