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  • Refugee and Immigration AidRefugee and Immigrant Aid, Social and Humanitarian services: FREE helps Eastern European immigrants and refugees with the myriad of arrangements necessary for a successful move. Read More
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
  • 6 Lessons From Jacob’s Wrestling With the AngelWe also wrestle with spiritual doubts and conflicts. Read More
  • Take the Hakhel QuizFind out how much you really know about Hakhel! Read More
  • Fruit Arrows for Parshat Vayishlach Read More
Shabbat & Holidays
Candle Lighting Times
Chicago, IL
Weekly Torah Portion
Upcoming Holiday
Dec. 18 - Dec. 26
Daily Thought
Pessimism comes with a thousand arguments. Maybe you don’t deserve to be saved from the mess you’ve gotten into. Maybe you deserve punishment, G‑d forbid. Maybe the only way to save your soul is through a dark tunnel. That’s not called trust. Trust means you have not a shade of doubt that He will deliver—no matter who you are and what you’ve been up to—and it will all be good, every step along the way. As for your mess-ups, He knows you regret them...
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