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About
Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe (FREE), Inc., has been in existence since 1973. Our mission is to promote Jewish pride, identity and continuity among New American families in the greater Chicagoland area, by providing educational, religious, cultural and social services in a caring non-judgmental environment.

FREE’s programming and services focuses on Jewish family life cycle events and holidays and festivals in the Jewish calendar year. The FREE Hebrew schools, Bar and Bas Mitzvah preparation classes and youth clubs are an integral part of our youth education program. Adult Judaic classes and counseling and Family Shabat Services helps New Americans become proud members of the Jewish community. Our popular Memorial Yizkor and Kaddish programs are important and meaningful avenues that link generations and bridge continents. The widely acclaimed Shalom Magazine, a Russian language publication of FREE, features quality journalism and enjoys avid global readership. All of our programs are provided in the framework of a caring family environment.

At the present time FREE’s primary location is the Bellows Educational and Cultural Center in Chicago with three additional satellites located throughout the Chicago area and in the suburbs.
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Learning & Inspiration
  • The Sinai FilesA SciFi/Fantasy version of the classic story of Moses' battle with the angels to receive the Tora... Read More
  • Take the King David QuizThe shepherd boy who rose to fame and became the most renowned of Jewish kings Read More
Shabbat & Holidays
Candle Lighting Times
Chicago, IL
Weekly Torah Portion
Upcoming Holiday
Jun. 11 - Jun. 13
Daily Thought
People think that the instructions come first, the dos and the don’ts, thou shalts and thou shalt nots. Later comes a sense of the divine, the mystical, the transcendental. But let’s say you encountered a Jew returning from Mount Sinai, where he shivered from the thunder, trembled from the lightning, where he heard G-d’s voice speaking to him directly, loud and clear. And you asked, “So what did He say?” “What did He say? The entire world disappeared for us! The heavens opened wide! We saw with our own eyes, experienced with every bone in our body, that there is truly nothing else but Him!” That is the starting place of Torah, and the...
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