Swampscott resident Lynne Havusha will be the recipient of The Epstein Hillel School Edith Bloch Award at the Friends of the Hillel Library event on Sunday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. (virtually). This event was rescheduled from last April due to the coronavirus. The award is presented to a community member for their commitment to learning and the pursuit of knowledge. Lynne’s dedication to Hillel, and also to her community through the New American Center, has been an inspiration to us all.

Lynne Havusha, recipient of the Edith Bloch Award (Courtesy photo)
Lynne Havusha, recipient of the Edith Bloch Award (Courtesy photo)

Lynne is grateful to the many wonderful colleagues, students and families with whom she worked over her 29-year-career at Hillel. She enjoyed and benefited from being part of this dynamic learning community, and she values the many longstanding friendships she developed as a result.

Not long after her retirement from CHA in 2016, she found her way to the New American Center and NAAM, where she currently works as a case manager/employment specialist for refugee clients who have recently arrived in the U.S. She is happy to again be working with a wonderful group of supportive colleagues, and she is inspired daily by the strength, resilience and spirit of her clients.

Lynne met her husband, Sasson, during a stint as a volunteer in the citrus groves of Kibbutz Erez, Israel, in the early 1970s. They are the proud parents of Hillel alums Nadav ’91, Avital ’94 and Yaniv ’00. She is honored and thrilled that FOHL has chosen to recognize NAAM and that this event will introduce her two communities to each other; each of which is so important to her and has shaped her life.

The evening’s guest speaker, Abdi Nor Iftin, is author of “Call Me American.” As a child in war-torn Mogadishu, Iftin learned English by watching action movies. When U.S. Marines landed to take on the warlords, Iftin cheered the arrival of these real-life action heroes. Sporting hip-hop clothes and dance moves, he became known as “Abdi American.” But when radical Islamists took control in 2006, it became dangerous to celebrate western culture. Instead, Iftin risked his life posting secret dispatches to NPR. As life in Somalia grew more dangerous, he fled to Kenya. In an amazing stroke of luck, he won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America, ending in a harrowing sequence of events that nearly stranded him in Nairobi, did not come easily. Now he is a proud resident of Maine and a new American citizen.

This event is open to the community at no charge. RSVP here.

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