Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ Legal Aid Fund for Immigrants raises more than $600,000 for Catholic Charities of Boston
Contributions being used to support individuals and families in the Greater Boston area
BOSTON – May 14, 2018 – Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), Boston’s Jewish Federation, and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston (Catholic Charities), joined by Cardinal Seán O’Malley, came together last Thursday at Catholic Charities’ annual Spring Celebration to recognize the commitment of the two faith communities to supporting Greater Boston’s immigrants through the CJP Legal Aid Fund for Immigrants.
The Fund, established last year, has raised more than $600,000 in support of the vital work performed by Catholic Charities, one of the largest providers of legal aid to immigrants in the Commonwealth, enabling them to expand their legal service team and double the number of people they serve annually.
Catholic Charities raised over $1 million at Spring Celebration to support its numerous programs. Catholic Charities also presented CJP’s President Barry Shrage with the 2018 Justice and Compassion Award at the event, paying tribute to his inspirational leadership and unwavering support of the two groups’ shared mission.
“Many people in our community are living in fear and don’t know what their rights are. They need our services, and most especially our legal services,” said Deborah Kincade Rambo, president of Catholic Charities of Boston. “We can now help nearly twice as many people and could not have reached this exceptional milestone without the support of Barry Shrage and CJP, our partners in this vital effort.”
In March 2017, CJP and Catholic Charities launched the CJP Legal Aid Fund for Immigrants to enable Catholic Charities to meet the growing demand for immigration-related legal assistance in the Boston area. Prior to the fund’s launch, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services impacted the lives of 600 people a year, with the demand for services rising significantly since January 2017. Now, with the funds raised via the CJP Legal Aid Fund for Immigrants, Catholic Charities’ capabilities have been broadened substantially, providing additional support to the hundreds of people who are currently waiting to receive legal guidance, often at the risk of being deported or separated from their families with each passing day.
“The success of these efforts and the generosity of the many donors who have contributed is an affirmation of the deep-rooted values we share across our religious communities,” said Barry Shrage, CJP’s president. “We are profoundly grateful for the support we’ve received from Cardinal O’Malley and Catholic Charities, whom we consider our partners in maintaining a community in Greater Boston that is both peaceful and welcoming for people of all religions and backgrounds.”
To date, funding from CJP’s Legal Aid Fund for Immigrants has allowed Catholic Charities to:
- Expand their legal service team with three new, full-time attorneys
- Double the number of legal consultations provided to immigrants for urgently-needed legal assistance. Now more than 1,000 people a year can receive legal services. In addition, with an increase in legal staff, the wait time to obtain a consultation has been significantly shortened
- Assist victims of domestic violence –both women and children – to be safe from abuse and earn legal status
- Expand "Know Your Rights" workshops, increasing access to legal information among immigrants, public and private social service agencies, employers, and other groups who are in direct contact with immigrants. The “Know Your Rights” workshops have already surpassed Catholic Charities’ initial goal, reaching more than 800 immigrants and service providers since the fund was launched.
The mission of CJP, Greater Boston’s Jewish Federation, is to inspire and mobilize the diverse Greater Boston Jewish community to engage in building communities of learning and action that strengthen Jewish life and the world around us. For more information please visit www.cjp.org.
About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston
One of the largest providers of social services in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities of Boston encompasses nearly 75 distinct programs in 26 locations providing help with basic needs for individuals of all ages, races, cultures, and religious faiths. Whether through food assistance, help for struggling teens or outstanding refugee and immigration support during a time of intense uncertainty for that population, Catholic Charities provides support for individuals’ most basic needs while respecting the dignity of each individual and charting a path to a living wage. For more information please visit ccab.org.