Past Events

  • 9/18/2013 12:00pm to 1:30pm


    Councilwoman Sanchez has been a vocal proponent of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) and spearheaded Philadelphia's own resolution in support of CIR with Councilman Kenney. She has also written the local Land Bank Bill which calls for the creation of a fair, transparent, and accountable Land Bank in Philadelphia, a proposal HIAS Pennsylvania strongly supports as a vehicle to promote gardening projects for immigrants and refugees.



  • 8/1/2013 5:00pm to 7:00pm

  • 7/25/2013 5:00pm to 8/29/2013 8:00pm

    The Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC) is running weekly phone banks to garner collective action on comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) each Thursday.

    The CIR bill has moved from the Senate to the House - an exciting move forward but not the end of the debate by any means! Lend your support and bring your friends to help make the call and bring immigration reform into reality.

    If you are interested in joining us, register below so we can get a headcount.

    Guests are encouraged to bring a laptop or iPad.


    Want to learn more about immigration reform?

    Visit our CIR landing page



  • 6/22/2013 1:00pm to 4:00pm

    Celebrate World Refugee Day (official date June 20) on Saturday June 22 at the Gilbert Spruance School in Northeast Philadelphia.

    The day will be featuring delicious Arab, Sudanese, Darfuri and Nepali food music, dancing and acitivities for children. Bring your friends, family and Ipod loaded with music to share.



    To get there, take the 59 bus from the intersection of Cottman & Caster Avenues to Castor & Hellerman, walk left down Hellerman Street toward the Gilbert Spruance School.


    Event Partners & Funders:
    American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter, Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, City of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, HIAS Pennsylvania, JEVS Human Services, Lutheran Children and Family Services, Nationalities Service Center, Pennsylvania Department of Migrant Education, Philadelphia Refugee Mental Health Collaborative, SEAMAAC, Women’s Opportunity Resource Center, School District of Philadelphia 


    Photo from World Refugee Day 2012

  • 6/20/2013 3:30pm to 9:00pm

    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.

  • 5/30/2013 5:00pm to 7:00pm

  • 5/23/2013 (All day) to 6/30/2013 (All day)

    The Hidden City Philadelphia Festival is happening right now!

    The Festival celebrates the power of place through the imagination of contemporary artists, inspiring people to explore the city’s history and imagine new futures for our urban landscape. Artists of diverse disciplines and media create site-specific work that illuminates abandoned, obscure or inaccessible sites throughout the city.

    The festival will feature nine sites of historical and community interest, including several buildings looking for new ideas to bring them back to life, from the vacant and beguiling Germantown Town Hall, to Shivtei Yeshuron, a 19th century row house synagogue in South Philadelphia.

    Shivtei Yeshuron will be hosting a radical Jewish concert series throughout the month as well as arts projects. We encourage you to visit all the sites - each is an interesting look into corners of Philadelphia not normally accessible - but if you have a special interest in Philadelphia's Jewish history, take some time before June 30 to stop by 4th and McKean!


    Shivtei Yeshuron's Landing Page

    All the Hidden City Locations


  • 4/23/2013 5:30pm to 8:30pm


  • 4/20/2013 (All day) to 4/21/2013 (All day)

    Join us for Pro Bono Citizenship Weekend

    April 20 & 21, 2013


    Pro Bono Citizenship Weekend is a collaborative community-wide project, sponsored by the American Immigration Lawyers Association – Philadelphia Chapter, La Comunidad Hispana, Downingtown Library, Keystone Opportunity Center with the Lansdale Public Library, Multicultural Community Family Services of Upper Darby, ACLU of Pennsylvania, CEIBA, District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, Esperanza Immigration Legal Services, HIAS Pennsylvania, Nationalities Service Center, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, and The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians.  More organizations are joining all the time. Pennsylvania will celebrate Pro Bono Citizenship Weekend 2013 on April 20 and 21.

    We are bringing Pro Bono Citizenship Weekend to counties outside of Philadelphia for 2013:

    April 20: Chester County: La Comunidad Hispana
    731 W Cypress St  Kennett Square, PA 19348
    Montgomery County: Lansdale Public Library
    301 Vine Street, Lansdale, PA 19446
    Delaware County: Multicultural Community Family Services
    7016 Terminal Square  Upper Darby, PA 19082

    April 21: Chester County: Downingtown Library
    330 E Lancaster Ave, Downingtown, PA 19335
    Site in Allentown, PA to be announced


    Want to Help?

    Join teams of volunteer attorneys in providing free assistance to eligible lawful permanent residents who wish to apply for U.S. citizenship. We are especially eager to welcome attorneys from the counties to volunteer. Attorneys from all practice areas are welcome; you don’t need to be an immigration attorney to participate.

    Free Attorney Training Sessions on the U.S. Citizenship Procedure

    1.5 CLE credits issued to those who volunteer on Pro Bono Citizenship Weekend

    Session # 1: Wednesday, March 6, 12:00-1:30 pm
    Location: Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, Philadelphia

    Session # 2: Thursday, March 28, 12:30-2:00pm

    Location: Duane Morris, 30 South 17th Street, 12th Floor, Philadelphia

    Webinar: Thursday, April 11, 2:00-3:30pm

    To sign up for any session e-mail: Sarina Issenberg or call 215-832-0900.
    Attorney registration form linked below.


    To be eligible for citizenship you must meet the following requirements

    Reside in the United States as a permanent resident for 5 years (3 years if living with and married to a U.S. citizen)

    Remain in the U.S. for at least half of the 5 years period (or 3, if married to a U.S. citizen)

    Be at least 18 years old

    Proficient in reading, writing and speaking English

    o   You may be eligible to take the civics test in your own language if you are:

    §   age 50+ and living in the U.S. for 20yrs as a legal permanent resident

    §  age  55+ and living in U.S. for 15 years as a legal permanent resident

    Pay the government application fee $680

    o    Individuals who receive public benefits, or are 150% of the poverty level or below, qualify for a fee waiver

  • 4/10/2013 3:30pm to 6:00pm



    On April 10th, we will make our voices heard loud and clear that we expect Congress to fix our broken immigration system in 2013. We will educate, march, rally, pray and knock on the doors of Congress until President Obama signs commonsense immigration reform that includes a realistic path to citizenship.

    For too long, our communities have suffered under a defective and outdated immigration system that stifles our economic growth, makes political scapegoats out of immigrants, and tears families apart. The time is now for justice. The time is now for citizenship!

    El 10 de abril, vamos alzar nuestras voces y esperamos que el Congreso nos escuche. Nuestro sistema de inmigración está roto y tiene que ser arreglado este año. Vamos a educarnos, a marchar juntos, a orar y manifestarnos en las puertas del Congreso hasta que el Presidente Obama firme una reforma que tenga sentido común e incluya un camino a la ciudadanía.

    Por demasiado tiempo, nuestras comunidades han sufrido bajo un sistema migratorio defectuoso y anticuado que ahoga nuestro crecimiento económico, explota a los inmigrantes y destroza familias. Ahora es el momento para la justicia. Ahora es el momento para dar ciudadanía a todos!


    We'll be there with the best of them, supporting the swell that is growing in the United States for comprehensive immigration reform. See you there!


    Follow the rally on Twitter both leading up to and on the day of with the hashtags #A10 and #TimeIsNow.