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Social Services for Russian Speaking Population

For centuries, European refugees have been coming to America in search of a better life. After enduring difficult emigration and adaptation experiences, these people used their own money to create an organization which would help future refugees. This organization later evolved into Jewish Family Services. Since 1867, while the focus of our work at JFS has changed and grown, the main goal of helping families has remained the same.

Progress Made

Between 1970 and 1990 there were many refugees arriving weekly from the FSU. JFS was there to help these new arrivals adjust to their new lives in Milwaukee. Now, after many years, our Russian speaking community is well formed. Our seniors live in subsidized housing; the Milwaukee Association of Russian Speaking Jews and the Veterans of WWII Organization have been formed and are functioning; many annual events are organized; Russian language newspapers are published. Younger generation Russians have become doctors, lawyers, engineers, and business owners after graduating from American schools and universities.

Evolving Needs

Although the influx of new arrivals has dwindled over the last few years, we need to realize that our community is aging, and SSRS has adapted our focus and our efforts accordingly. More and more of our clients must see doctors frequently and the assistance of an experienced and qualified interpreter is vitally important.

Languages Available

In addition to the services offered to Russian-speaking clients, we have interpretation and translation services available for persons who speak Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Hebrew, Yiddish, Serbian and Bosnian/Croatian languages.

Available Services

Among the many services of SSRS are:

  • English as a Second Language Classes
  • SSI, SSI+SS, disability benefits, Medicare and Medicaid and others
  • Restitution to those who were victims of Holocaust
  • Food stamps and systematic monitoring of this program
  • Immigration forms and documents, such as applications for permanent resident status, temporary passport, work permit, and family reunifications as well as further assistance when problems arise
  • Housing matters
  • High quality medical interpretation at doctor’s offices and hospitals
  • Translation of important correspondence:  medical and other bills, serving as a liaison between our client and different organizations, help writing important letters, filling out forms etc…
  • Family conflicts (guardianship documentation, medical insurance for children)

To receive assistance or for more information, please call the department at 414-390-5800.

Social services for Nazi victims have been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

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