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The Ruth Forum: Repairing The World

May 11, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

As the Jewish community approaches the Festival of Shavuot, we invite you to attend our first Ruth Forum.

The Story of Ruth demonstrates the values of welcoming the stranger and creating a society built on compassion and dignity. We will discuss several Jewish community partnership initiatives focused on uplifting the lives of thousands of refugees and asylees living in greater Boston.

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Speakers include:

Amanda Hadad

Associate Vice President of Caring and Social Justice

Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP)

[su_expand more_text=”Learn More About Amanda” less_text=”Show Less ” height=”0″ link_color=”#254379″]Amanda Hadad is the Associate Vice President of Caring and Social Justice at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). Her work focuses on bringing a Jewish perspective to urgent and systemic issues in Greater Boston, founded on the belief of the inherent dignity of all people. Prior to joining CJP, Amanda worked to address inequity and justice through a range of initiatives, ranging from education on the development of genocide to working with students to create and implement social action pilots within their communities. Amanda holds a bachelor’s from Brandeis and Master’s from Tufts University.[/su_expand]

Wilfort Joseph
Pharmacy Technician
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

[su_expand more_text=”Learn More About Wilfort” less_text=”Show Less ” height=”0″ link_color=”#254379″]Wilfort Joseph is an asylum applicant from Haiti. He came to the United States with his wife and child in 2018. Wilfort was trained as a pharmacist and medical doctor in Haiti and has been trying to resume his career in the medical field since arriving in the United States.  After his arrival, Wilfort came to JVS and then he was served in the ESSP program to find his first job in the United States. His high level of English helped him to get his first job in food service industry but he wanted to continue working on his goals in the healthcare field. He then entered the Together We Rise Program where his coach helped him to enroll in JVS Pharmacy Tech Program. In June 2020, Wilford was hired as a full-time Pharmacy Technician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Boston and he has been working in this position through COVID-19 pandemic. He is still hoping to pursue more education so that he can eventually practice medicine or become a pharmacist in the United States; but, for the present, Wilfort is very content with his current job.[/su_expand]

Hannah Odaa
Director of Refugee Employment Services
Jewish Vocational Service (JVS Boston)

[su_expand more_text=”Learn More About Hannah” less_text=”Show Less ” height=”0″ link_color=”#254379″]Hannah’s background includes workforce development, social justice, human rights advocacy, and work with displaced populations. At JVS, she leads a team of 20+ staff and programs serving over 700 refugees, asylees and immigrants annually, aimed at integrating them into communities through employment, training, and education. 

 In her 8 years at JVS, Hannah has worked with newly arrived refugees to obtain rapid employment and launched a new ESOL and job placement program for immigrants in Gateway Cities. She oversees the Together We Rise program assisting refugees to attain family sustaining jobs and careers and the Vocational Training Program (VTP) connecting participants to careers in healthcare, hospitality, and banking.  Hannah previously worked with Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in post-earthquake camps in Haiti, and later for the Boston-based Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, which works to improve the justice system and seeks international accountability for human rights violations.[/su_expand]

Anita P. Sharma
Executive Director & Senior Attorney
Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR)

[su_expand more_text=”Learn More About Anita” less_text=”Show Less ” height=”0″ link_color=”#254379″]Anita has been with PAIR since 2002. Anita received her LL.M in International Legal Studies from American University Law School, concentrating in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. She earned her J.D. and B.A., summa cum laude, in English Literature from Suffolk University, where she is currently an adjunct professor of English. Anita serves as co-chair of the Liaison Committee on Asylum for AILA New England and is a steering committee member of the Boston Bar Association’s (BBA) Delivery of Legal Services Section.

In 2020, Anita received the Women in Law’s Circle of Excellence Award from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. In 2019, she was selected by the Barr Foundation for the 2019-2021 Fellowship program, which brings together civic leaders. In 2018-19, Anita was selected as a lead innovator of the Social Innovation Forum’s Innovator’s Program. In 2016, she was honored by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly for its Top Women of Law Award. From 2010-2012, Anita co-chaired the BBA’s Immigration Section, of which she is currently a steering committee member. She was selected for the 2008-2009 BBA Public Interest Leadership Program, during which time she formed a project to increase pro bono interest in detention work. Anita received the Unsung Heroine of Massachusetts Award from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women in 2009, and the BBA’s John G. Brooks Public Service Award in 2006 for her outstanding representation of asylum-seekers and her mentorship to hundreds of pro bono attorneys who represent PAIR clients.[/su_expand]

This forum will be moderated by: 

Rabbi Noah Cheses
Young Israel of Sharon

[su_expand more_text=”Learn More About Rabbi Cheses” less_text=”Show Less ” height=”0″ link_color=”#254379″]Rabbi Noah Cheses grew up in Boston and received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University and his Master’s in Theology from Yale University.  His vision of Jewish community is one in which every member has a strong sense of belonging to something larger than themselves. He hopes to advance the values of Modern Orthodoxy, Religious Zionism and Mussar by inspiring people through powerful and relevant Torah. He aspires to see past religious, political and social labels and to engage all Jews and non-Jews for who they actually are.  In high school, Rabbi Cheses was on the Grounds Crew at Fenway Park where he spent his summers mowing the field for the Boston Red Sox! He is an avid runner who has completed the Boston, Miami, and Jerusalem marathons. He is married to Sarah Cheses, who has a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University and is trained as a Yoetzet Halacha. They have been blessed with four wonderful children. Rabbi Cheses serves on the JVS Jewish Services Committee.[/su_expand]



May 11, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


JVS Boston
View Organizer Website

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