Thanks a million, HIAS!

  • November 21, 2009
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The last picture taken of my mother with her parents before she was sent to America in 1938.

When my mother came to this country at the age of 12 all by herself, she had no idea what program organized her journey. She was part of an American rescue operation recently named “the One Thousand Children,” which sought to place child refugees in foster families to escape Nazi persecution. The children knew little of what was happening to them, and it would be more than 65 years before my mother would learn who to thank.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin

Thirty-six-year-old Google co-founder Sergey Brin came to this country with his family 30 years ago, and he knows exactly how he got here and who to thank. The billionaire, who co-founded the company with a Stanford classmate while they were college students, is giving $1 million to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). That organization helped his family escape anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union and settle into this country.

During the 1930s, HIAS aided the “One Thousand Children” who escaped the Holocaust by coming to America.

“One of the most important things that Sergey’s gift signifies, not just for HIAS but more importantly for the nation,” Gideon Aronoff, chief executive of HIAS, told the New York Times, “is the possibilities inherent in being a refugee.”

HIAS, those who write or read blogs like this one, thank you. (It is powered by Google.)

The refugees and their families thank you.

America thanks you.

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