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Redefining Citizenship Services: The Case for Jewish Communal Involvement

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Publication Date: January 2002

Publisher(s): Jewish Communal Service Association of North America

Author(s): Susan Adams; Judith Bernstein-Baker

Series: Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 78:4

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Population and demographics (Immigrants and aliens)

Keywords: Social Services; Immigration; FSU

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This article describes models of citizenship services offered by the Philadelphia Jewish community, particularly since 1996. It explores the unique challenges of teaching the educated, literate elderly population from the fomier Soviet Union to be comfortable with the oral and written aspects of the citizenship examination. The authors believe that our communal organizations are well positioned not only to assist elderly and other new immigrants to pass the naturalization interview but also to expand the concept of citizenship to include the teaching of civics and public participation. It stresses how innovative citizenship programs can provide opportunities for volunteerism in the Jewish community, interagency collaborations, and partnerships with broader immigrant groups and can leverage additional resources.