created at: 2014-01-31What challenges do our older immigrants and refugees face in trying to survive in a strange and foreign land? How do we protect them from discrimination and from feeling lonely or isolated?

On January 10, Irina Rutman, Program Coordinator for New American Services and Case Manager for Schechter Holocaust Services, represented JF&CS at a conference at Boston College, entitled, “Diversity & Aging: Perceptions, Perspectives, and Populations.” Sponsored by the Boston College School of Social Work, the conference explored the intersections of diversity and social work practice as well as the challenges social workers face in meeting the needs of older immigrants and refugees.

Irina was part of a panel called, “The Invisible, Unheard, and Underserved Minority Elders.” Along with two other speakers from the Asian and African elder communities, Irina gave a passionate and thought-provoking speech based on her experiences with Russian-speaking elderly immigrants from the former Soviet Union, many of whom were also victims of Nazi persecution.

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