meet marc mamoun dulaimy

"I became more curious about this organization that merged its values with its programs and I wanted to know more."

“I knew Saad* (JFS Family Support Specialist) in Baghdad; we were friends through our brothers who were both attending medical school together.  As political refugees, my family settled in Philadelphia where I met an Iraqi who had no anchors and his outlook was bleak at the time.  I spoke to Saad in Springfield often by telephone and he encouraged me to bring my new acquaintance to JFS.  My friend met with Raya Katsen, JFS Resettlement Coordinator and Mohamud Mohamed, Director of the Refugee Resettlement Program.   As I sat in the waiting room, I wondered about this Jewish Family Service agency that helps people of all religions?  I read their mission statement and values in the waiting room.

I became more curious about this organization that merged its values with its programs and I wanted to know more.

I spoke with Raya; she sounded like a mother who was filled with warmth to make a stranger feel welcome.  I asked Saad to let me know when there was a job opening. 

I went back to Philadelphia and kept dreaming about JFS, its mission and the diverse populations they serve.  I was called for an interview, presented myself well and was given an opportunity.  I am so glad I joined this family.   I was encouraged to continue my studies; in 20 months I earned a Master’s Degree in Communication and Information Management.  I’m working in a field that I could have never seen myself in before, but this agency is unique.  I am helping others to succeed in our community, watching individuals and families become independent through the process.   Their happiness is the most gratifying thing I could ever accomplish.” 

When asked about a special moment or memory while being part of the JFS family, Marc’s face started to glow, as he shared a recent major event in his life.

“On September 27, 2012, a life changing event took place as I became a U.S. citizen through the naturalization ceremony at the Springfield Armory.  Many members of the JFS staff came to the ceremony which meant a great deal to me.  I am so proud to have become a U.S. citizen; I have a genuine attachment to this country.  I will tell my children and their children too about this experience.”

As a resettled refugee, Marc has lived in and has had experiences in many parts of the world and shares his observations about JFS in Springfield.

“I have learned that at JFS, caring for others is more than a business.  We are truly a family where everyone is helping each other towards the same goal, to heal the world.” 

*Saad Abduljabbar was resettled by JFS from his homeland of Iraq, where he was a college professor of Arabic literature.  He joined the JFS staff more than three years ago.

To learn more about of refugee resettlement and immigration programs, click here