From: Robi / Jan 3, 2021
“Kick-starting” your life is never an easy task! However, I am quite proud to say that we managed to take that decision and hit the “refresh” button in 2017 when we immigrated from Istanbul, Turkey, and began our new life in Toronto, Canada. The settlement process for an immigrant usually has multiple fronts. It is not only a financial question, but also a mental exercise. Getting accustomed to a new environment, adapting various unfamiliar terms, internalizing the different norms, finding various brand-new answers to numerous “hows” and “whats”…
Believe me, some of those questions are the ones you have always taken for granted, such as which barber to go or what supermarket to shop from. I must admit we have been very lucky to be surrounded with a lot of friends, whose doors we could knock without any hesitation. A small circle of support has been naturally created; embracing one another to smooth things out, as much as possible. There has also been another party, which we have benefited its outright support many times since our settlement process started in 2015: JIAS (Jewish Immigration Aid Services).
JIAS is a non-profit, which has been very receptive and open to extend its hands to us, even before we landed. Whether the events JIAS organized to accelerate our kids’ adaptation to school or various networking activities we attended to hone our careers in Canada or just a phone call to satisfy our curiosity on a topic; JIAS has always been there for us. Therefore, when they approached us in November 2019, this time asking for our help, we considered it as a great opportunity to give back.
Frankly, their request created a win-win for us, as well. Albi was very interested in learning about movie (and commercial) shooting. He was researching to find opportunities to be involved in a “real” videotaping environment when this awesome coincidence popped up out of the blue. JIAS was planning to shoot a professional video to highlight its organizational mission and Albi would be one of the cast members, in front of the camera.
The process was very well organized. All the participants were given a text to read in front of the professional crew, who would do the recording in a studio-converted-room. There was quite a diverse attendance, whom JIAS had touched one way or another in the last few years. Albi was a bit nervous at first, however advance preparation to get all the cast into the mood, the lights in the studio, eye-level shots, two crew directing you how to emphasize the words when you were recorded, set the scene for him as if he had been in a Hollywood-like setting. He had wished to be part of something like that, and there he was in the middle of a pro (like) video shootout while also contributing to a very important cause.
Can you dream of a better way to give back to a non-profit, which has supported you multiple times?
When all was said and done, what was the result of this unforgettable experience for Albi? Haven’t you already watched the edited final version of the video clip yet? If not, please check it out at jiastoronto.org