Message from Genia Brin, mother of Sergei Brin, National Chair of myStory, HIAS board member:
“If you are an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, like my family, I imagine you also were introduced to HIAS within hours of leaving the Soviet Union. HIAS met us at the Vienna airport and at the train in Rome and gave us local currency to use immediately. HIAS case workers helped us to fill out our emigration forms, arranged interviews at the US Consulate, and bought us tickets to travel to the United States. To this day, HIAS continues to help Russian Jews in America receive life-saving public benefits and educational scholarships, register to vote, organize self-help groups, and so much more.
Now the new HIAS website,, gives each Russian émigré another opportunity of a lifetime – to tell the story of his or her struggle and accomplishments, to pass on precious memories, to remember dear ones, and to express our hopes for the future. For while the official history of the movement is well-known, what is yet to be told are the personal experiences of ordinary Soviet Jews and non-Jews – people like you and me – who applied for exit visas despite severe pressure from the authorities and the risk of losing their livelihood, and who left everything behind in order to start a new, freer life.”

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