Berkman family grant to help JFCS care for refugees
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Berkman family grant to help JFCS care for refugees

$300,000 was donated in honor of Hyman and Sarah Berkman, who were refugees to the United States from Lithuania.

JFCS signage (Photo provided by JFCS)
JFCS signage (Photo provided by JFCS)

A recent $300,000 donation to JFCS will support Afghan, Ukrainian and other refugees.

The gift came from the Hyman and Sarah Berkman Fund at The Pittsburgh Foundation via a donation from the children of Selma and Allen Berkman.

The funds were donated in honor of Allen Berkman’s parents, Hyman and Sarah Berkman, who were refugees to the United States from Lithuania. The fund was set up in their honor.

This is not the first time Berkman family members have donated to JFCS and HIAS.

“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 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,” according to a JFCS press release. “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.”

Some of the money also will go to other refugees who are continuing to arrive and “potentially the Ukrainian refugees that we plan to see in the next year,” JFCS officials said. “We expect to be able to help around 250 individuals through this additional financial support.” PJC

Toby Tabachnick

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