Welcoming the Stranger - 2021
Immigration: Hope for a New Start
Sunday, March 7 at 3 pm

The program will feature speakers on 

  • the status of the Biden Administration's Immigration Bill and its impact on the undocumented, Dreamers, TPS recipients and others 

  • the situation at the United States — Mexico border and the current policies regarding refugees and asylum seekers 

  • the opportunity for local and national advocacy 

Let Your Member of Congress Know You Support Refugees and Asylum Seekers


National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Long Beach & West Orange County, is participating in HIAS’ Welcome to Congress campaign. To begin 2021, we want to welcome the new Congress to Washington DC and tell them their constituents want them to prioritize the rights, dignity and safety of refugees and asylum seekers this year. To communicate this, HIAS is collecting signatures on an online welcome card which will be shared with our members of Congress, along with asking for an opportunity to meet.


To send a card to your member of Congress via this HIAS Campaign, go to their  Welcome to Congress Website by clicking here.  Once you are on that site, select “NCJW, Greater Long Beach & West Orange County,” from the drop-down list of organizations and synagogues, then fill out the form and click on the SEND button.  HIAS will take care of the rest.

Sue Kenney-Pfalzer is the Director, Border & Asylum Network at HIAS where she manages and coordinates cross-border collaboration projects to assist asylum seekers along both sides of the southern border of the U.S.  Prior to her current role, Sue worked in refugee resettlement at HIAS and the Ethiopian Community Development Council. Sue has been a legal aid staff attorney in the Republic of Palau, focusing on the rights of foreign workers, and had a solo practice in family law in Columbus, Ohio. Sue received her law degree from the Ohio State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Non-Profit Administration from Cleveland State University.

Dr. Norma Stoltz Chinchilla is a Professor Emeritus in Sociology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at CSULB. She is the co-author (with Nora Hamilton) of the  award winning book Seeking Community in a Global City: Guatemalans and Salvadorans in Los Angeles (published by Temple University Press in 2001) and has published articles on women’s movements in Latin America and Central American migration to the U.S. She first went to Guatemala as a Fulbright Fellow in 1965 and became an immigration justice activist in the early 1980s when Salvadorans and Guatemalans came to Los Angeles in record numbers, fleeing government repression and civil war. She became the co-founder of the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition in 2006 and served as its Executive Director until September 2020.  She is currently the coordinator of a new group, the Long Beach Immigration Forum, which is creating a network of people passionate about advocating for more humane, just, and pragmatic immigration policies as well as locals who are already volunteering their time to help  refugees, asylum applicants, and other immigrants to exercise their rights and achieve their goals.

Jose Serrano, Associate Director of Immigration & Outreach Senior Immigration Specialist, DOJ Fully Accredited Representative, World Relief Southern California

Little Brushstrokes Refugee Kids Art Program – Founder/ Director

Jose is a Department of Justice Accredited Representative with ten (10) years of experience working in all aspects of immigration law.

During the last 6 years, Jose has helped resettle more than 600 refugees from different parts of the world including Syria, Iraq, Iran, Uganda, Burma, Afghanistan, Armenia, and Russia and represented dozens of asylum seekers in their immigration proceedings.

As an advocate for vulnerable populations, he actively collaborates in refugee forums in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, is an Executive Committee Member of the State Advisory Council on Refugee Assistance and Services, and works to build inclusive communities for new Americans in southern California.

In October 2017, Jose founded Little Brushstrokes – Refugee Kids Art Program to provide refugee and immigrant children a safe space for healing through creative expression. Jose directs, leads, and designs curriculum for this free monthly art program that gives immigrant and refugee children freedom to simply be kids again.

Jose’s passion for his work stems from his own experience immigrating to the U.S. as a child, living without status for nearly 20 years, and helping navigate systems for his parents and immigrant community. Above all, Jose is the product of his family’s resilience and the love, compassion and welcome that surround him throughout his life.