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Press Release: Berkman Foundation awards JFCS $300,000 for refugee services

Berkman Foundation awards JFCS $300,000 for refugee services

JFCS received $300,000 from the Hyman and Sarah Berkman Fund at The Pittsburgh Foundation, thanks to a donation from the children of Selma and Allen Berkman. This generous gift will support Afghan, Ukrainian, and other refugees in honor of Allen Berkman’s parents, Hyman and Sarah Berkman, who were refugees to America from Lithuania. The fund was set up in their honor.

Members of the Berkman family have donated to JFCS and HIAS in the past and, when they recognized the need for additional help with Afghan and other refugees, wanted to help. “We felt this would make a difference in Pittsburgh and make a difference in society,” said Richard Berkman, grandson of Hyman and Sarah Berkman. 

The fund money will be used in an emergency needs fund, to cover temporary housing costs as well as months 4 through 6 of rent to help refugees get on their feet as they build their new lives. For newly arriving families, JFCS already covers security deposits and the first three months of rent. Right now, permanent housing is difficult to find for new refugees, and their rent money is stretched thin. 

Much of these funds will go to help Afghan families as they move from temporary housing to permanent housing, but some money will also go to the other refugees who are continuing to arrive and potentially the Ukrainian refugees that we plan to see in the next year. We expect to be able to help around 250 individuals through this additional financial support.

For comments on the fund or resettlement process, please contact Allie Reefer, JFCS Public Relations Specialist. 

Allie Reefer



Lindsey Aroesty (Pittsburgh Foundation)

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