'Green Card Day' for immigrantsA local Jewish immigration...

Religion Notes

February 13, 1992|By Jay Merwin | Jay Merwin,Staff Writer

'Green Card Day' for immigrants

A local Jewish immigration aid agency sponsored a "Green Card Day" for recent Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union so that they could apply for their residency cards earlier than usual.

Officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service at HIAS offices on Park Heights Avenue interviewed 193 immigrants seeking green cards, which show permanent residency status in this country. The service was sponsored by the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society, the immigration service agency of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

A refugee must have lived in this country a year before applying for a green card, said HIAS Director Suzanne Offit, and because of the backlog of applications, wait about a year after that for an interview.

In the standard interview, immigration officers verify identity and check whether the refugee has committed crimes in this country.

All 193 who came to the interviews last Thursday passed them, Ms. Offit said, but the green card may take four to six months to arrive in the mail.

She said the INS typically arranges after-hours interviews of this kind for groups of people from the same country living in the same area since their applications will be similar.

The refugees interviewed last week were among almost 2,000 Russian Jews who have come to Baltimore within the last two years.

Day of prayer:

The World Day of Prayer, celebrated annually in many parts of the world since 1887, will be observed March 6. Among the churches in Baltimore participating in this ecumenical service on that day will be St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, 4711 Edmondson Ave. Services are to start there at 10:30 a.m.

World Day of Prayer was begun by church women in the United States and the special services are created by women -- this year by women in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

However, all are invited to participate. The theme this year is "Living Wisely with Creation" and will deal with reverence for the Earth and warning about the misuse of modern technologies.

Church Women United, an ecumenical women's group, distributes the World Day of Prayer worship material each year to about 6,000 places of worship in the United States. The material is translated into hundreds of languages and dialects for distribution around the world.

Survivor's talk:

On Feb. 23, a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust who recently visited Germany for the first time in 53 years will talk about her experiences there. The program will start at 2 p.m. at B'nai Israel Synagogue, 27 Lloyd St.

The survivor, Emmy Mogilensky, who is the program director at the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland, calls her talk, "Closure: Return to Germany." Her trip included visits to the Dachau concentration camp and her home town of Cronheim, Bavaria.

Ms. Mogilensky left Germany in 1939 aboard a children's transport, served in the British Army during World War II and immigrated to the United States in 1950.

Gospel performance:

A prominent local gospel music group will sing at Shiloh Baptist Church in Edgemere, which is raising money to build a larger church building. James R. Peterson and the James Peterson Singers will perform Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in a Black History Month concert.

Advance donations and a collection to be taken up at the event will go toward building a new church on the site of the current church at Sycamore Avenue and Sparrows Point Road, said Burdetta Ellis, a member of the church music committee.

Mrs. Ellis said the new church will cost about $1 million and will seat as many as 800 people compared with the current church, which has a capacity of about 250.

Send religious news items -- about events, local personalities, etc. -- to Religion Notes, c/o Jay Merwin, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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