Opening Doors for New Americans since 1882
Our Golden Door honorees are women and men of courage who contribute individually and through their organizations to ensure that the contributions of immigrants are refugees to our region’s economic social and cultural well-being are realized. This year, we are proud to honor the following:
Albert Boscov, the descendent of Russian immigrants, speaks movingly of how his father escaped Russia to find religious and personal freedom in the US. He is the head of the well-known Boscov’s Department Stores, based in Reading. Mr. Boscov is very active in economic development in Reading and through his work, he met Lenin Agudo, head of Reading’s Economic and Community Development. Lenin first arrived in the United States when he was 7 years old through a harrowing journey. To Mr. Boscov, Lenin represents the current generation of immigrants and he closely identified with Lenin’s struggles, saying “your story is my story." We thought the best way to honor each of them was to honor them together.
Cheryl Feldman is head of 1199C Health and Hospital WorkersTraining and Upgrading Fund. A model union/management workforce training program, it has reached out to immigrants and refugees by teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), basic Adult Education/GED and other courses. Refugees resettled by HIAS Pennsylvania are offered free ESL at the Training Fund.
Resa Rudney has devoted so many hours of her life to our refugee program, we can't even begin to guess a number. Resa is a longtime congregant of the Main Line Reform Temple and has organized a cadre of volunteers to help the refugees we resettle find comfort and a home in their new lives. No matter the season, Resa is there to help. In the summer, she hand-delivered fans to houses without air conditioning, and in the winter she, along with other MLRT volunteers, coordinated a winterization effort where 30 houses' windows were sealed from cold winds.
The family of Dr. Zam Lam Thang is an impressive tribute to how families resettled into Philadelphia can change our city for the better. In the few years since arrving here from their home country of Burma, two of the children - Esther and Gin - have worked and volunteered at HIAS Pennsylvania, with Gin still serving as one of our case aides and providing invaluable services to our work in the Burmese community. Esther also runs a school for Burmese youth from out of their house and both children are in a youth choir ensemble, which performed at this year's Refugee Thanksgiving.