- Stories & Testimonials
When the invasion of Ukraine began, Andrii Blyzenko immediately thought of his mother and younger brother. Fearing the worst, he contacted JFCS Legal Services for advice on ways to bring his loved ones to safety.
JFCS has been resettling Jews from the former Soviet Union for decades and is one of the largest centers for emigre resettlement in the United States. Andrii’s connection to JFCS dates back to when he arrived in San Francisco from Odesa several years ago. His father, also received legal services from JFCS when he came to the US, and then turned to us for help with Andrii’s citizenship process.
Since securing citizenship, Andrii has been chasing the American dream. After working in hospitality and building his language skills, the young man moved into sales. Next, he set his sights on a job in the IT industry. Success in an intensive tech boot camp led to a job as a tester at Google. Andrii had been enjoying his new career until talk began to grow of a likely Russian invasion. And then a nightmare began to unfold.
Now, Andrey has asked JFCS for help to reunify his family as quickly as possible. Andrii wants to bring his mother and teenage brother out of danger. Their situation changes by the hour, and Andrii talks with them twice daily to keep up-to-date and know they are safe. The family is especially worried that his 16-year-old brother will be forced to take up arms.
JFCS is advocating for the resettlement of refugees and making it possible to reunite families. We are also helping to expedite applications and apply for temporary protected status where appropriate.
“We won’t be able to forgive ourselves if something goes wrong,” says Andrey, who is grateful for all the JFCS community is doing to help in this crisis.
If you have family who needs help, contact JFCS legal services at [email protected] or call us at 415-449-2906.