JCFS Chicago Celebrates National Volunteer Week, April 7 - 13, 2019

Our volunteers are an essential part of helping us execute our mission to help strengthen the lives of children, adults and families. During National Volunteer Week, April 7 -13, 2019, we'd like to take a moment to thank our volunteers for donating their time and talents to helping JCFS Chicago redefine what's possible in our community and beyond. 

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HIAS Immigration & Citizenship College Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted

By David Rupp, Social Work Graduate Student and Intern, JCFS Chicago

The 2019/2020 HIAS Immigration & Citizenship Scholarship Program is officially live! Applications are available to download through the submission deadline of February 1, 2019.

For over a decade, HIAS Immigration & Citizenship has had the honor of providing scholarships for Jewish students whose lives have been touched by our organization directly, or through their parents or grandparents.

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Stand with Refugees: Become a Congregational Co-Sponsor

by Jessica Schaffer, HIAS Immigration & Citizenship Director

Today, over 65 million people are displaced around the world – of those, more than 25 million are refugees. Various conflicts across the globe, including in Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere, have created the greatest humanitarian crisis the world has seen since World War II.  In the face of this crisis, many countries and states and institutions have closed or threatened to close their doors to refugees, unable or unwilling to provide the critical support necessary to help them rebuild their lives.

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Refugees: Seeking Solace, Safety and Serenity

by Jessica Schaffer, Director of HIAS Immigration & Citizenship

In 1949, my grandparents, like so many thousands of Jews at the time, arrived in Canada as refugees. They had survived the ghettos and concentrations camps of Poland and Germany and were grateful for the opportunity to build a new, quiet life in a welcoming community. With them was my mother, only two years old at the time. Though she didn’t know the same horrors as my grandparents, she did know the feeling of containment in the Bergen Belsen Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, in which she was born and spent the first years of her life. For her, my grandparents wished a bright, safe future. They wanted her to grow roots in a country that accepted her and that she could call home.  

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