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100th Anniversary
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USCIS Updates History and Genealogy Resource Pages

USCIS has updated their resource pages for History and Genealogy Research. Click here to see what’s available to assist you.


News and Announcements

HIAS Chicago Citizenship Classes Offered

HIAS Chicago invites you to our Citizenship Classes to help you prepare for your citizenship interview and exam. 

Classes are taught in English by volunteer teachers.

Please check our HIAS Calendar for dates and locations.

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HIAS Chicago is a partner in serving our community, receiving support from the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation.

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At HIAS Chicago, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and the nation of Israel on the tragic deaths of the three kidnapped Israeli teens.

We support Israel during this difficult time as we continue to work towards peace. HIAS Chicago stands with President Obama and the Administration in condemning this horrific act and all acts of terrorism.

 "On behalf of the American people I extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel - who held Israeli and American citizenship," said PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA today in statement. "As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth. From the outset, I have offered our full support to Israel... As the Israeli people deal with this tragedy, they have the full support and friendship of the United States."

Join HIAS Chicago at our upcoming Citizenship Workshops

HIAS Chicago is hosting citizenship workshops to assist eligible immigrants with the citizenship application.  Please call HIAS Chicago at 312-357-4666 for more information and to register.


August 26, 2014 6:00 -8:30 p.m.

Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe, Parish Center

1170 N. River Road

Des Plaines, IL 60016


September 17, 2014 6-8pm

Northlake Library

231 N. Wolf Road

Northlake, IL 60164


October 25,  2014 9am-12noon

Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe, Parish Center

1170 N. River Road

Des Plaines, IL 60016


November 15, 2014 9am-noon

Winston Junior High School

120 N. Babcock Drive

Palatine, IL 60074

Chicagoland Jewish High School students raise $8,500 for immigration nonprofit

Steve Sadin, Sun-Times Media, June 28, 2014

Many North Shore high schools run an annual charity drive, but at Chicagoland Jewish High School (CJHS) in Deerfield, it becomes an educational and social action project as well.

A yearlong effort studying and advocating for immigration rights and reform culminated with the presentation of an $8,500 check to HIAS (Hebrew Immigration Aid Society) Chicago last month on the Deerfield campus.

Click here to read the full article.

The Legacy of S. 744, the Senate Immigration Reform Bill

June, 27, 2014, Written b y Mary Giovagnoli

On June 27, 2013, the Senate passed S. 744, an ambitious, bipartisan comprehensive reform of our immigration system.  Although far from perfect, it represented a genuine effort to wrestle with the complex, confusing, and highly emotional train wreck that has become our immigration system.  In the months that followed, a small bipartisan team in the House tried to forge a similar compromise, and when that failed, Democrats introduced HR 15, a modified companion to S. 744.  Some Members of Congress have given up waiting for House leaderships to act on any immigration bills, let alone HR 15, while others think the window is still open for a tiny bit longer.  Either way, S. 744’s birthday party is a somber affair, a bittersweet victory with no clear end in sight.  This observation should not diminish the importance of the anniversary, which remains a tribute to what can be accomplished when people work together.

- See more here

HIAS Chicago welcomes our newest Board Member, Adam Berger


As with most American Jews, Adam’s family came from poor, hardworking backgrounds in Ukraine, Russia, and Germany to settle in Chicago. The emigration from their home countries was hard. A number of his great grandparents’ siblings were not strong enough to make the journey and perished before making it to America. Once here, his family began to work in traditional Jewish immigrant businesses such as scrap metal and factory work. Ultimately, after many years, both of his parents’ fathers became successful businessmen in the corrugated box and plastic industries. 
One grandfather purchased boxes from the other to ship his plastic. It was through this relationship that they introduced Adam’s mom and dad, who, obviously, fell in love and got married. Adam credits his family’s immigration experience with nurturing a deep sense of charity and support for the greater Chicago Jewish community. Professionally, Adam is a 2010 Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star in Construction Litigation; and the co-author of Chapters 1 and 4 of A Young Lawyer’s Guide to Real Estate Practice, published by The Young Lawyers Section of The Chicago Bar Association. Adam is currently employed with Molzahn, Rocco, Reed & Rouse, LLC.


HIAS Chicago proudly announces the 2014 Academic Scholarship Winners

Undergraduate Scholars

Aleksey Razin graduated from Wheeling High School with 3.78 GPA. After struggling with English as a young child, he went on to win his eighth grade spelling bee and graduate with a 4.0. He was the first person in the school’s history to achieve this honor. His theatrical talents led him to play starring roles in middle school stage plays Peter Pan, Aladdin, and Snow White (which was performed in Russian). This fall, Aleksey will be studying medicine, inspired by his grandmother, who was a doctor in Ukraine. While attending high school, he graduated from the Certified Nursing Assistant Program in Alliance with Harper College, and he is currently a student ambassador for the American Cancer Society. He is also a teacher’s assistant in Sunday School and volunteered five summers at a summer chess club. Aleksey holds memberships in numerous academic societies, including the Spanish Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, National Honor Society of Wheeling High School Vice President and AP Scholar with Honors. Outside of his studies, he was a member of the three-time district champion math team, a varsity swimmer, tennis sectionals qualifier, water polo player, Captain of the Scholastic Bowl, a member of the Medical Career Club, a peer tutor in the Learning Lab. 

Anton Feldman attends Palatine High School and has been on the Honor Roll each semester beginning with his second. He is the Senior Section Editor for the school yearbook, he wrote an English essay on Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles his English teacher calls "provocative, inventive and impressive... especially given that his first language is not English." He is involved with the Art Club and Wood Club, and enjoys playing the piano. He volunteered for a summer at the neighborhood library, and takes to heart all opportunities he is given to learn new things. Anton is planning for his first year of college to help him narrow down his career interests in the medical field, and is currently seriously considering becoming a nurse.

Elizabeth Emily Onishcenko is ranked 10th in her class at Stevenson High School. She is a member of the National Honors Society; was awarded the Science Scholar for two years; has been on the Gold Honor Roll since her freshman year; and is an AP Scholar with Honors. She is a math peer tutor, and is on the executive board for psychology at Stevenson. Outside of the classroom, Lizzie was in the all-academic conference for tennis and badminton. Her over 100 hours of community service, focusing on medical and rehabilitation environments, earned her IHSA recognition and the Jefferson award. She enjoys playing piano and occasionally works as a piano accompanist during school concerts at her former middle school. 

Please read about the rest of our young scholars here. 

Share Your Story

Your personal story is HIAS Chicago's history. HIAS Chicago is collecting and preserving the poignant stories of your family’s immigration.  Help make your story a chapter in HIAS Chicago's history as we celebrate our 100th Anniversary. Please visit our Share Your Story page to share your own with us. 

And be sure to visit our Your HIAS Chicago Stories page to read about others' histories.





















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