Third Annual Business Trends Forum: “From Refusniks to Dreamers – Past, Present and Future of the American Immigration Policy”

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 3:30pm to 9:00pm
The National Museum of the American Jewish History
101 South Independence Mall East
19106 Philadelphia , PA

This year's Russian Speaking Professionals Network of Greater Philadelphia (“RSPN”) Business Trends Forum hopes to draw parallels between the Refusnik movement, which paved the way for many immigrants from the former Soviet Union to escape religious persecution and find new economic, political and social opportunities in America, and immigrants from all over the world, coming to the United States today, seeking the same opportunities that many Soviet Jews sought in the 1980s and early 1990s, but facing a continuous struggle for equality, recognition and basic Civil Rights.

The Forum will examine the past, present and future of immigration in the United States from varied perspectives and will include view points from former Refusniks, members of the Philadelphia Soviet Jewry Council, leading academics, social activists, business leaders and legal practitioners.  The keynote address, discussing the perspective on immigration from our neighbors, will be delivered by the Honorable Carlos Giralt, the Consul General of the Federal States of Mexico in Philadelphia.

The Forum is organized by The Russian Speaking Professionals Network of Greater Philadelphia (“RSPN”) in conjunction with HIAS Pennsylvania, the National Museum of the American Jewish History and the American Jewish Committee – Philadelphia Regional Office.

The Speakers and Presenters will include:

Panel I – Refusnik Movement –The Struggle Behind the Curtain – Right to Choose a Place to Live (Suggested Name)

Lisa Holstein, Editor-in-Chief, The Jewish Exponent, Moderator
Professor Igor Kotler, Museum of Human Rights Freedom and Tolerance
Connie Smukler, Philadelphia Soviet Jewry Movement
Marina Merlin, Refugee Resettlement Services, HIAS Migration Services of Pennsylvania


The Honorable Carlos Giralt-Cabrales, Consul General and Deputy Ambassador, Federal States of Mexico in Philadelphia

Panel II - The Dream – Building a Life in America (Suggested Name)

Francois Ihor-Mazur, Esquire – The Law Offices of Francois Ihor-Mazur, P.C.; Moderator
Peter Gonzalez, Esquire Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
Maria Sotomayor, Pennsylvania Immigrant Coalition (Dreamer)
Professor Jon Grode, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law
Lenin Aguido, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, The City of Reading (Dreamer)
Philippe Weisz, Esquire, Managing Attorney, HIAS Migration Services of Pennsylvania


The Honorable Kenyatta Johnson, Councilman, District 2, The City of Philadelphia

***Complimentary open bar and delicious heavy hors d'Oeuvres by Kuzina Hospitality Group!***

RSPN Members:
$40.00 per person
$20.00 per full-time student

$60.00 per person
$40.00 per full-time student$40.00 non-profit organizations

*Cost of admission includes panel discussions, networking reception, complimentary open bar and heavy hors d'Oeuvres by Kuzina Hospitality Group, admission to the National Museum of American Jewish History exhibits, as well as  CLE credits.

**You must pre-register for the this event. No admission will be granted at the door. Register at the RSPN page.

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