CoFiA is very very grateful for the generous support of all our members and friends in response to our fall snail mail appeal, and the UU Outreach Auction in Paramus. Just as we were beginning to look anxiously towards the many needs of the immigrant community whom we try to help, many people demonstrated their concern through contributions. These funds will help us with day-to-day expenses as well as our growing “Spiegel Fund,” established to meet a few of the emergency needs of families faced with the prospect of sudden deportation.

It’s not too late of course! Tax-deductible contributions can still be made by check (payable to the Community of Friends in Action, Box 313, Leonia, NJ 07605) or by PayPal.


Statewide Immigration Convening

Our colleagues, the New Jersey Alliance for Immigration Justice, are sponsoring a statewide gathering on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from 6 pm to 9 pm at the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township. If you would like to attend and carpool with others from our area, let us know at Be sure to RSVP to DMANSOUR@NJIMMIGRANTJUSTICE.ORG.



Lunch Program Begins on November 7

First Presbyterian Church, Palisades Park

CoFiA is happy to announce that we have been invited to resume our cold-weather lunch program at First Presbyterian Church, at 50 West Palisades Ave at Hillside, in Palisades Park,  on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Pastor Daniel Lee has reached out to us warmly, and we are pleased to join a faithful crew of volunteers who have provided lunch weekly, all year long.

On recent visits to the program we were happy to see a few faces we recognized from previous years. We know that as the weather gets colder and work slows down there will be many more hungry people eager for a good meal, a chance to sit down, and the opportunity to socialize with other guests and volunteers.

Thank you, Pastor Daniel!
CoFiA se complace en anunciar que el martes 7 de noviembre de 2017, se nos invitó a reanudar nuestro programa de almuerzos fríos en First Presbyterian Church, en West Palisades Ave at Hillside, en Palisades Park. El pastor Daniel Lee se comunicó con nosotros calurosamente, y nos complace unirnos a un equipo fiel de voluntarios que han proporcionado almuerzos semanalmente durante todo el año.

En visitas recientes al programa, nos alegramos de ver algunas caras que reconocimos de años anteriores. Sabemos que a medida que el clima se enfríe y el trabajo se ralentice habrá muchas más personas hambrientas ansiosas por una buena comida, la oportunidad de sentarse y la oportunidad de socializar con otros huéspedes y voluntarios.

Gracias, Pastor Daniel!

Countdown to Outreach Auction

Outreach Auction Saturday, November 4, 2017

One last reminder–the Outreach Auction sponsored by the three Unitarian Universalist congregations in Bergen County–will be held this coming Saturday, November 4, 2017, at 6:30, at Central Unitarian Church on Forest Avenue in Paramus. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased at the door.

We are pleased that many members of CoFiA plan to attend and have put together baskets to be included in the silent auction. If you would like to carpool, send us a note at and we will put you in touch with one of the attendees.

It is a great honor for us to have been chosen as one of the five charities to receive the funds raised by the auction. Last year it raised more than $50,000, all of which was divided among the various groups.

Please mark your calendars now and plan to join us. It is not only a very worthy cause–the other four groups as well as ours are all making important contributions to the life of our county–it’s a fun evening. And you might even win something you will be happy to take home!

For more information go to

Old Friend Visits Delegados Meeting

Our good friend and former staff member Elias Garcia joined the Saturday Delegados group at their regular Saturday meeting this past weekend. Elias brought the group up to date on the latest requirements of the Guatemalan consulate for obtaining Guatemalan passports and other documents. He emphasized in particular the need to make appointments for everything, including birth certificates as well as passports, and to note well the time and date of the appointment. New member Icelsa, who is a notary public, confirmed his advice.

Our good friend Elias

Delegada Ester proudly received her CoFiA membership card from CoFiA community organizer Saydy. The delegado member group of CoFiA is growing rapidly. Presently we are meeting at a local Guatemalan restaurant, which welcomes us warmly and serves a delicious meal. However, we would like to find an additional meeting place. If anyone has suggestions, please contact Saydy at

New member Ester and Saydy

At our request, Elias wore the sash he was awarded as Community Leader of the Year by the Hispanic Day Parade team. Elias has been instrumental in organizing the parade for many years. We are so proud to claim him as a CoFiA member as well!

Elias with Saturday group

Nuestro buen amigo y antiguo miembro del personal, Elías García, se unió al grupo Saturday Delegados en su reunión regular de los sábados del pasado fin de semana. Elias puso al grupo al día sobre los últimos requisitos del consulado guatemalteco para obtener pasaportes y otros documentos guatemaltecos. Enfatizó en particular la necesidad de hacer citas para todo, incluidos certificados de nacimiento y pasaportes, y para anotar bien la hora y la fecha de la cita. El nuevo miembro Icelsa, que es un notario público, confirmó su consejo.
Delegada Ester orgullosamente recibió su tarjeta de miembro de CoFiA del organizador comunitario de CoFiA, Saydy. El grupo de miembros delegado de CoFiA está creciendo rápidamente. Actualmente nos estamos reuniendo en un restaurante guatemalteco local, que nos da una cálida bienvenida y sirve una deliciosa comida. Sin embargo, nos gustaría encontrar un lugar de reunión adicional. Si alguien tiene sugerencias, contáctese con Saydy en
A petición nuestra, Elias usó la faja que le otorgó como Líder de la Comunidad del Año por el equipo Hispano del Desfile del Día. Elias ha sido fundamental en la organización del desfile durante muchos años. ¡Estamos muy orgullosos de reclamarlo como miembro de CoFiA también!

Translation by CoFiA member Icalse Mejia. Thanks!



BCISG and NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice



We recently received notice from the Bergen County Immigration Strategy Group (BCISG) that they are working on immigration issues in eastern Bergen County and other areas of the county.  They focus mostly on Cliffside Park, Fort Lee, Englewood, Tenafly, Teaneck and Hackensack.

BCISG, with other groups, is working on promoting Fair and Welcoming municipal policies, one of the initiatives of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, of which CoFiA is a member. Another effort they are discussing is bringing the Rapid Response and detainee-accompaniment training of the statewide network “Faith in NJ” to Bergen County.  This type of response activity is being organized around the United States, to bear witness at ICE actions, and accompany detainees during imprisonment.  BCISG feels that if immigration activists are trained for these strategies we will be better  prepared if the Federal administration escalates their detention and deportation tactics in 2018.

Members of BCISG plan to attend the next CoFiA meeting on Thursday, November 2, at 7:15, at the Presbyterian Church in Leonia, 181 Fort Lee Road, Leonia.  They also invite members of CoFiA to attend their next meeting on Monday, October 30, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Ethical Culture Society, 687 Larch Ave., Teaneck.


For more information, or to RSVP to the invitation,  contact Peter Jamieson at 201-705-4505 or

Outreach Auction — November 4, 2017


The Community of Friends in Action has been chosen to be one of the five causes and charities that will receive funds raised at the 2017 Outreach Auction.  This unusual event is sponsored by the three Unitarian Universalist congregations in Bergen County–Central Unitarian Church, Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palisades.  100% of the proceeds for the evening go to the selected charities which are selected based on the impact they have on those in need in Bergen County, regardless of religious affiliation. Tickets are $35.

Since the first Outreach Auction in 2000, it has raised more than $525,000, all of which is distributed to the charities.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes  hors d’oeuvres, beverages including coffee, dessert and a free sheet of tricky tray tickets valued at $15.  Supporters are also invited to donate a themed basket and ask for donations from favorite spots.  CoFiA members who wish to donate a basket (value of $50) are asked to contact us at info@communityoffriendsinaction and arrange for pick-up before October 28. 

For more information go to  And please let us know if you can attend.  Funds raised depend to a large extent on supporters participating in the event and “bidding” to contribute to the auction!  


La Communidad de Amigos en Accion ha sido elegida para ser una de las cinco causas y organizaciones beneficas que recibiran fondos recaudados en la subasta de alcance 2017. Este evento  inusual  es patrocinado por tres  Congregaciones Unitarias Universalistas en el Condado de Bergen—Iglesia  Unitaria Central, Sociedad Unitaria de Ridgewood, y la Congregacion Unitaria Universalista de los Palisades.  El 100% de los ingresos de la tarde se destinan a las organizaciones beneficas seleccionadas, que se seleccionan  en funcion del impacto que tienen en los necesitados en el Condado de Bergen, independientemente de su afiliacion religiosa. Los boletos cuestan $ 35.

Desde la primera Subasta de Alcance en 2000, se ha recaudado mas de              $525,000, todo lo cual se distribuye a organizaciones beneficas.

El evento  comienza  a las 6:30 p.m.  e incluye  entremeses, bebidas que incluyen café, postre y una hoja gratuita de boletos de bandeja complicados valorados en $ 15. Los simpatizantes tambien estan invitados a donar una canasta tematica y pedir donaciones de los lugares favoritos.  Los miembros de CoFiA que deseen donar una canasta ( valor de $ 50) se le piden ponerse en contacto con nosotros en info@communityoffriendsinaction y hacer los arreglos para la recogida antes del @8 de Octubre.

Para obtener mas informacion, visite  Y por favor, haganos saber si puede asistir.  Los fondos recaudados dependen en gran medida de los partidarios que participant en el evento y que “ pujan” para contribuir a la subasta!


Sayda Tuanama with student Emily

We are sorry to inform you that the eldest sister of our Community Organizer, Sayda Tuanama, passed away last week in Peru. Sayda has gone to Peru to be with her family in this difficult time.

If you would like to contribute to a memorial gift in her sister’s honor, make checks payable to CoFiA, with Memorial Gift on the memo line, and mail to us at Community of Friends in Action, P.O. Box 313, Leonia, NJ, 07605.

CoFiA T-Shirts Now Available

Delegados in t-shirts
T-shirt on display
Another view

We have reordered the handsome navy blue CoFiA T’s in sizes medium, large, and extra large. For information on pricing and pick up, send us an email at and we’ll work out details. They will also be available at the CoFiA monthly meetings (next session is November 2), at the weekly staff meeting at Shillah Deli on Broad Ave. in Palisades Park, at ESL classes at the PP library, etc.

Hemos reordenado el hermoso azul marino CoFiA T’s en tamanos medianos, grandes y extra grandes. Para obtener informacion sobre los precios y la recogida, envienos un correo electronico a y trabajaremos en los detalles. Tambien estaran disponibles en las reunions mensuales de CoFiA ( la proxima session es el 2 de Noviembre), en la reunion semanal del personal en Shillah Deli en Broad Ave. en Palisades Park, en las clases de ESL en la biblioteca de PP, etc.



Fine artist Steve Cavallo is beginning a new project, creating portraits of the workers and others in the Hispanic Community. He studied art in NYC’s School of Visual Arts in the 1970s. Since then he exhibited in galleries throughout the world. His current exhibit is in Independence, California, and soon he will be exhibiting in Seoul, Korea. He also works full-time at the Palisades Park Library where he teaches ESL and Watercolor painting.

His work, which can be seen on his website is mostly about human rights issues. He has done many paintings about victims of WWII, including Comfort Women, Holocaust survivors and veterans. His exhibit in California is about American-born Japanese people, who were unjustly imprisoned in internment camps only because they were of Japanese descent.

Steve says, “My art goes beyond just a pretty painting. It tells a story that otherwise might not be heard. People will look at a painting and read a short caption, rather than talk face-to-face with someone. My idea for these paintings is to show everyone that each person is someone with dreams, hopes and a future, not a collection of people in a group. I want the people looking at the paintings to look into the eyes of the subject and see the pain and suffering that was endured to get here, and the worry people have about possibly having to leave.”

Steve recently hung a dramatic show at Bergen PAC in Englewood, and it is possible this new exhibit will hang there as well. Another possibility is the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Both of these venues have hosted his exhibitions many times.

We are happy that Steve is interested in the lives and dreams of the workers and others we are involved with in Palisades Park and nearby areas. If you know someone who might be interested in being included, ask them to send an email to us at and we will put them in touch with Steve. He works from photographs which can be taken at the Palisades Park library.




El artista de bellas artes Steve Cavallo esta comensando un Nuevo projecto, creando retratos de los trabajadores y otros en la Comunidad Hispana. El studio en la Universidad de Arte Visual de New York City en los 1970s. Desde ese tiempo a tenido excibiciones en gallerias por todo el mundo. Recientemente tiene una excibicion en Independencia, California, y pronto tendra una excibicion en Seoul, Korea. El trabaja de tiempo complete en la biblioteca de Palisades Park donde da clases de ESL y pintura en Acuarelas.


Su trabajo, el cual puede ser visto en su portada virtual es principalmente sobre

Los problemas de derechos humanos. El a hecho muchas pinturas sobre las victimas de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, inclullendo las Mujeres Confortables, sobrevivientes del Holocausto y Veteranos. Su excibicion en California es sobre la gente nacidas Americanos-Japoneses, los cuales fueron injustamente encarcelados en campos de internamiento solo porque eran de decendencia Japonesa.


Steve dice, “  Mi arte va mas alla de una bonitas pinturas. Cuenta una historia que de que otro modo podria no escucharse. La gente mirara una pintura y leera un breve titulo, en lugar de hablar cara a cara con alguien. Mi idea para estas pinturas es mostrarles a todos que cada persona es alquien con suenos, esperanzas y un futuro, no una coleccion de personas en un grupo. Quiero que las personas que miren las pinturas miren a los ojos del sujeto y vean el dolor y el sufrimiento que sufrieron para llegar hasta aqui, y la preocupacion que tienen la pesonas de tener que posiblemente irse.”


Steve recientemente colgo un espectaculo dramatico en el Bergen PAC de Englewood,  y es posible que esta nueva excibicion tambien sea colgada en este lugar. Otra posibilidad es el John Jay Colegio de Justicia Criminal. Estos dos locales han presentado sus exposiciones muchas veces.


Estamos contentos de que Ateve este interesado en las vidas y suenos de los trabajadores y otras personas involucradas en Palisades Park y areas cercanas. Si conoce a alguien que pueda estar interesado en ser incluido, pidales que nos envien un correo electronico a  y los pondremos en contacto con Steve. El trabaja desde fotografia, las que se pueden tomar en la biblioteca de Palidades Park.