In what has become one of JCHE’s favorite Independence Day traditions, we celebrated four residents and one staff member who this year became naturalized U.S. citizens!
Before a packed crowd of friends, neighbors, and staff gathered in our Brighton auditorium, JCHE President and CEO Amy Schectman delivered the ceremony's opening remarks, congratulating the new citizens, and reflecting on the experience of her own immigrant grandparents.
“They felt at home when they came to this country,” recalled Amy, emphasizing how much immigrants teach us about ourselves, just as they learn about us.
Listening to Amy, it was hard to miss the parallel between the U.S. historically welcoming immigrants from all over the world with open arms, and JCHE welcoming residents of all backgrounds to thrive in our vibrant, multicultural community.
The ceremony featured performances by the Klezmer Conservatory Band, including a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.
After recognizing the new citizens--residents Vladimir Sarata, Igor Filonchuk, Changyun Liang and Xiufang Wang, and JCHE staff member, Xiaodan Guo--we recognized JCHE volunteer, Sofya Raskina, who for the past 10 years has taught U.S. history to residents preparing to take their U.S. citizenship test. She has also taught English grammar to JCHE residents at our Brighton campus for the past 17 years. To learn more about Sofya's story and our volunteer program, click here.
It was a beautiful and moving ceremony reinforcing both our country’s rich immigrant history and JCHE’s multicultural community.