HIAS Pennsylvania Celebrates 130 Years with Their Annual Event

Tonight, HIAS Pennsylvania celebrates its Annual Event, focusing on the theme of the “Resilience and Renewal” of immigrants and refugees.

It will take place from 5:30-8:30 PM at the HYATT at the Bellevue on Broad and Walnut Streets.

The 2012 Golden Door honorees are: The Parkway Corporation and Zuritsky/Winigrad Families, Wendy Voet, Drs. Matthew Rusk and Joe Garland, and Ballard Spahr, LLP. All these honorees were chosen for their continued support of immigrants and refugees and work to grow Philadelphia into a global city.

The Parkway Corporation, under the lead of Joe Zuritsky, has a workforce of over 75% immigrants and it strives to ensure that all these cultures and backgrounds are treated fairly and equally, providing cultural competency training to all senior management.

Wendy Voet serves as the Managing Director of the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania. She has convened a group of health providers interested in caring for immigrants and refugees and spearheaded the development of the Refugee Health Clinics at Penn Primary Care and CHOP.

Drs. Matt Rusk and Joe Garland are the coordinators and champions of the Refugee Clinic at Penn Primary Care. Each week, they supervise extensive screenings and referrals to newly arrived refugees. Dr. Rusk is the Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine Staff Internist and Penn Faculty Practice, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Garland is co-director of the Global Health Equities Track for the Internal Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania and a physician at Philadelphia FIGHT’s Lax Center.

Ballard Spahr, LLP has, under the leadership of HIAS Pennsylvania Board Member Jason Leckerman, provided pro bono representation to many asylum seekers and won every case! The firm has also handled cases of special immigrant juveniles. Jenny Perkins, a former HIAS Pennsylvania Fellow, leads a group of attorneys who represent victims of crime and interpersonal violence.

A cocktail reception will start the evening, followed by a special performance by the Unity Choir, an interfaith choral ensemble made up of members from Beth Am Israel, Zion Baptist Church and Main Line Reform Temple. Tickets are $150/person and can be purchased at the door.

HIAS Pennsylvania was founded 130 years ago to help immigrants and refugees fleeing persecution and seeking opportunity by migrating to the United States. Today, embracing the Jewish tradition of “welcoming the stranger,” the organization provides immigration legal and social services to nationals of over 100 countries regardless of background.  HIAS Pennsylvania serves as a humanitarian life-line for refugees, asylum seekers, victims of domestic violence, and unaccompanied children.

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