Danny Pins, Deputy Chair of CIMI

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CIMI  (Center for International Migration and Integration)

Assisting Migrants and Refugees in Israel and Beyond

This Friday is the last day of Passover in Israel. As we read in the Haggadah last week, β€œIn each generation, each person is obligated to see himself or herself [lirot et atzmo] as though he or she personally came forth from Egypt.” We are featuring an organization that promotes best practices in the field of migration in Israel.

Read our interview below with Deputy Chair and Founding Member Danny Pins

What is the mission of your organization?
CIMI seeks to assist Israel in meeting its migration challenges. It strives to protect migrants; combat exploitation and abuse by employers and to help Israel adhere to international standards for asylum seekers and refugees. CIMI also strives to share expertise in immigration integration and Diaspora-Homeland partnerships to help other countries better integrate migrants.

Why did you decide to start CIMI?
As a country and professionals with vast experience in immigrant integration, we believed we could help other countries in their efforts to integrate migrants. We also felt that we could assist Israel in meeting its new migration challenges (labor migrants, asylum seekers).

What has inspired you in the work that you are doing?
As the son of refugees, I recognize the importance of helping others in similar circumstances, whether they are Jewish or not.  By volunteering with CIMI, I feel that I have the opportunity to help others make the world a better place for all.

How would you connect CIMI to a Jewish value?
CIMI is founded on the principle of Tikkun Olam. Jews are not only responsible for creating a model society among themselves but also are responsible for repairing the world. This Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam traces its origins to the book of Genesis. There when God finished creating the world, he charged human beings with becoming its guardians and being responsible for its physical and spiritual upkeep. The most well-known ancient use of the term is in the Aleynu prayer where it expresses a hope "l'taken olam b'malhut Shaddai"- to repair the world within divine sovereignty.

What has surprised you about working with your organization?
I am very happy and pleased with the willingness of people to volunteer and help others who are strangers in our homeland.

What's the best part of your experience volunteering with CIMI and why?
The best part of my experience is seeing how we can influence policy and help the government to adhere to international conventions and improve the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

What are some non-monetary ways for others to get involved in CIMI?
The Board of CIMI is very active in setting policy and in the day to day running of the various program areas, labor migration, asylum seekers and refugees. CIMI volunteers are running activities with asylum seekers and refugees ranging from adopting families, big brothers to running preschool programs and after school tutorials.

To learn more about the CIMI visit www.cimi.org.il/

Amy Benarroch