HIAS Recognizes CBST and Other National Leaders in Article Celebrating 6th Refugee Shabbat

We’re so proud to have been recognized by HIAS on Refugee Shabbat on Feb. 2 for the life-saving work CBST’s Ark Immigration Clinic does. And we were so moved to celebrate 37 asylum wins at Refugee Shabbat this year, as we approach the Ark’s 5th anniversary!

Read the article on the HIAS website. 

The opening paragraphs (via hias.org): “Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum began Friday night services on February 2 at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Manhattan by asking those joining the synagogue for the first time to introduce themselves. Newcomers, coming from as near as Brooklyn and as far as Paris, called out their names and hometowns from their seats. Scattered throughout the responses were hints of the evening to come: ‘I am here because I am a HIAS baby,’ said one woman. ‘I received legal services from CBST, and I am honored to be here,’ said another.
“‘The stories and the work of immigrants and refugees were woven throughout the synagogue’s Refugee Shabbat service. The prayers were set to music composed by immigrants to the United States and were interspersed with a speech from Rebecca Kirzner, HIAS’ senior director for grassroots advocacy and organizing. They were accompanied by the testimonies of asylees who have won their cases with assistance from the synagogue’s Ark Immigration Clinic. Started in 2019, the Ark Immigration Clinic primarily provides legal support to LGBTQ+ and HIV positive asylum seekers. Dozens of butterflies line the wall of the synagogue’s social hall, each representing an asylee who won their case through the clinic.
“‘It’s helping people, saving people,’ said Oleg, an asylee from Russia who won his case in January 2024 after six years of waiting. ‘They helped my prepare for [my] interview, they organized my case … they put confidence in me. [Now,] I can plan my life, I can think about my future.'”

Here’s how you can support this important work:

* Watch for details about how to join CBST for HIAS’s Spring Advocacy Week.

* Volunteer with the Ark! Email our team or find out more on our website. No special skills needed—just your commitment and willingness to help.

Donate to support the Ark and our immigrant friends.

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