50for50 Dinners – fundraising for community sponsorship of refugee families.

Dear Advocates

The next 50For50 Dinner will be Saturday May 8th, featuring the food of Jerusalem, inspired by the cookbook of the same name by Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi. Emails with the booking link for the dinner will be sent out three weeks before, to get on the email list people have to email sja50for50dinners@gmail.com


The Bega SJA  branch have been exploring the idea of Community Sponsorship of Refugees through the CRSI scheme.

You can read about the scheme here: http://www.ausrefugeesponsorship.com.au/about/

The government is yet to approve/endorse the scheme, however the idea is that we as a community sponsor a family to come to Australia. Aware of how difficult it is being separated from your cultural community, Mick has suggested that we might sponsor a number of families. 

As a group we have recognised it could be here in the valley, or if needs be in a bigger centre, but we as a community we would take on the financial responsibility for them travelling to Australia, assisting them until they could support themselves, and supporting them generally.

This would be a huge monetary commitment, and we have recognised it will take a lot of fundraising to get there!

These dinners were my idea of how we could raise some of the money, drawing on fundraising dinners I’ve done for Bega High School’s overseas trips, and other organisations. The idea is to run monthly dinners for 50 guests (a manageable number), charging $50 a head (hence the name 50for50 dinners). Each dinner would feature food from different countries which have links to Australia. We have some musically talented members of our group who will provide music on the nights. Potentially each dinner could raise $2500, and if we ran 10 a year, $25,000. As well as raising the money, dinners are a lovely way to gently spread the word and rally the community around the cause.

I’m trying to set up systems that allow the repeat organisation of the events to happen as easily as possible. I have set up a gmail account


and I am adding people’s email addresses to a list for volunteers/ donors and a list for dinner guests. Some people are on both. Approximately three weeks before an event we will put an email callout for bookings (via EventBrite which will add a small fee) and an email call out for volunteers and donations of produce or funds. If you would like to be on one or both of the lists can you email me at the address above. Please include your phone number.

The response so far has been very enthusiastic with lots of interest. I am hoping the dinners will sell out fast without us having to do much more than email people!

I would love to hear from you if you are interested in attending or helping with the dinners. Please feel free to ring me on 0437 954 212 if you would like more information.

Kind regards

Jo Riley-Fitzer and the Bega Branch of the SJA of the SC