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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.