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Minutes of Y's Men Meeting of October 27, 2016

Attorney Kenneth Bernhard

Atty Bernhard, (partner in the law firm of Cohen and Wolf) was introduced with a brief description of his background and experience.

Atty Bernhard focused his presentation of the establishment of The Syria Fund, a 501c3 charity, founded by him operating in Jordan.

He went on to describe the conditions in Syria which are far worse than reported: the lack of food, water and shelter. There are approximately 7 million displaced many of which are in Jordan, 4 million refugees and 1.6 million needing help.  The wealthy and the poor have already left with the middle class now leaving carrying their possessions. They are fleeing to Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon with many trying to get to Europe.

Most are housed in camps which provide only minimal needs with 50% children that are under eighteen. There are no schools and nothing to do.

In order to help funds had to be smuggled into the country as working through the government is impossible. While other countries help it is not nearly enough. There are a number of volunteers working with The Syria Fund in Jordon with administrative costs paid by other funds. 
The Syria Fund donations are directly spent on helping others with food, clothing and other personal needs.

Atty Bernhard asked that members support the fund.

Questions

What is the vetting process?  Refugees are chosen for entry to US by lottery with a background check that can take two to three years.  It was noted that many have no interest in staying in the US but want to go home.

What is the distribution system?  The fund works with other agencies with on the ground inspections with no administrative costs.