28 2022

U.S. Immigration Stories Up-Close and Personal

6:45PM - 7:45PM  

Contact Jewish Federation of the Berkshires
413-442-4360 x10

Via Zoom

Register Here

Welcoming the “ger” (the stranger in our midst) and loving one’s neighbor as oneself are inter-related imperatives of the Jewish faith.  Immigration narratives have long shaped both Jewish history and the Jewish value of welcoming and defending “the immigrant”. 

Susan Cohen, leading immigration lawyer and author of the book Journeys From There to Here:  Stories of Immigrant Trials, Triumphs and Contributions, and Maxine Stein, President and CEO of Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts will discuss the complicated realities of immigration from both the legal and human services perspectives including the current resettlement of Afghan evacuees in Berkshire county.
This program is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires in partnership with Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts a HIAS refugee resettlement affiliate.

This program will be facilitated by Rabbi Liz Hirsch of Temple Anshe Amunim in Pittsfield, MA.



Susan Cohen brings over 35 years of experience to her cutting-edge immigration practice, where she oversees a team of attorneys and immigration specialists. She is the recipient of dozens of awards for her immigration work and contributions to the nation’s immigration law, policy, and regulations. Among her many accomplishments are contributions to the drafting of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts legislation that resulted in the Massachusetts Global Entrepreneur in Residence program in 2014, and the temporary restraining order on the 2017 Travel Ban obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and other organizations. More recently, she led a Mintz team supporting efforts by many U.S. universities and hundreds of thousands of foreign students in litigation, which overturned the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s controversial and dangerous COVID-related student visa policy. Ms. Cohen is also President of the Board of the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR) Project, which since 1989, provides free legal services to asylum seekers and promotes the rights of detained immigrants.

Click here to purchase Journeys From There to Here: Stories of Immigrant Trials, Triumphs, and Contributions. All proceeds will be donated to the PAIR Project.

Maxine J. Stein, MSW, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts. She holds a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis and has been leading nonprofits in an executive capacity for the majority of her career. Since assuming the CEO position, Stein has helped expand the current programs and services of JFS as well as usher in In-Home Therapy for Refugee youth and their families, expand work with older adults and aging in place, grow the Citizenship and Naturalization program and reinvigorate a now robust volunteer program of several hundred people. The JFS Resettlement program continues to expand and evolve and recently created a satellite in the Berkshires to help resettle Afghan families.  In addition, the agency welcomed 150 Afghan evacuees to our program.