We immigrated to Canada two years ago. It was a really hard decision. We wanted to open horizons for our kids. We knew Canada is a developed, democratic country. Soon after we arrived, we found JIAS Toronto. Every time you have a question, you have this phone number and you can speak to someone who can help you. In addition to our settlement worker helping us to meet our needs, through JIAS we were able to do so much more: English classes with daycare for our youngest, summer camp subsidies, a wonderful Chanukah party, regular phone calls from a volunteer to help us practice our English, a food basket that arrived at Passover. It’s the small things that make life easier. We don’t take it for granted. If we wouldn’t have met JIAS Toronto we cannot even imagine how it would be. Every step of the way we were provided with help.
My first priority was to find a job, and I knew that the only way I would be able to do that is by improving my English. The teachers [at JIAS Toronto’s LINC school] gave me so much more than just the language of my new country. We learned about the culture and the way of life here. While I studies, my son was in the daycare. I was immediately impressed with the warmth and professionalism. It was above my expectations. You cannot overestimate the importance of this type of help for new immigrants with young children.
I had been looking for a volunteer opportunity and both as a participant in Family-to-Family and a leader of the program I could not be more thrilled. The program has given me and my family new friends while teaching our kids about other cultures and tzedakah. As a co-chair of the program, I get to see on a regular basis how the program benefits newcomers while giving local families opportunities to participate in community.