Friendly Match: Mentor a Refugee Family

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Jewish Family Service of San Diego

Mentor a refugee family

Jewish Family Service of San Diego is a client-centered, impact-driven organization working to build a stronger, more resilient community. We believe our volunteers are the backbone of our Agency. We strive to ensure that each volunteer is treated with dignity and respect. Our goal is your success. Be our partner in Moving Forward Together.


Friendly Match


Refugee & Immigration Services (RIS) resettles refugees and asylees from around the world. RIS helps arriving refugees adjust to their lives in the US by assisting them in finding employment, learning English, navigating public institutions, and more - including quality, low-cost immigration services to refugees, asylees, lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and undocumented immigrants within the community. To address the cultural adjustment difficulties facing newcomers, JFS offers many volunteer opportunities to accommodate the growing need.

Goal of Position:

Mentor a newly arrived refugee family by providing companionship and general acculturation support as they adapt to life in the U.S. Bridge the gap between newcomers and host communities by connecting families to community resources and opportunities while providing much-needed "in-the-field" and supplemental assistance to case managers; together, we work to promote and establish their self-sufficiency.


  • Equip refugees with the skills and know-how to secure employment and succeed in school
  • Meet and make friends with new people
  • Gain experience working with non-English speaking refugees
  • Further impact the community by assisting the resettlement process
  • Create meaningful cultural exchange and develop intercultural communication skills


  • Conduct weekly in-home visits with a refugee family
  • Perform community orientation activities and act as a friendly support
  • Introduce refugees to local institutions such as supermarkets, parks, recreational facilities, transportation systems, libraries, government offices, schools, and more
  • Provide supplemental English language instruction
  • Coordinate educational activities or recreational outings
  • Occasionally take families to medical appointments


  • Must be considerate and patient with English language learners
  • Must be willing to work respectfully with people of all cultural and socio economic backgrounds in a compassionate and caring manner
  • Able to work independently with little supervision
  • Have reliable transportation to get to the family home, owning your own car is a plus


  1. Must be at least 18 years of age or all minors must be accompanied by an adult
  2. Complete a volunteer application at
  3. Attend a JFS volunteer interview with Refugee Resettlement Volunteer Coordinator
  4. Attend a JFS orientation with the Refugee Resettlement Volunteer Coordinator
  5. Must provide own transportation to site visits
  6. Submit to a Live Scan/background check
  7. Must honor confidentiality of client records and sign confidentiality agreement

Time Commitment:

Ideal candidates are able to commit 5-10 hours per week for a 4 month period.

Scheduling is coordinated between the volunteer and refugee family.


Various - Mostly City Heights, National City or El Cajon neighborhoods

Immediate Supervisor:

Refugee Resettlement Staff

12 More opportunities with Jewish Family Service of San Diego

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Education & Literacy Immigrants & Refugees International


We'll work with your schedule.


Various Locations Around San DiegoSan Diego, CA 92123


  • Mentoring
  • Cross-cultural Communication
  • People Skills


  • People 55+


  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • at least 6 months

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