Alexis Dalmat Cohen, president and executive director, Culture Connect
Culture Connect helps newcomers to the United States bridge gaps of language and culture.
In 1989, Cohen’s family housed a Russian family new to the United States. Modern organizations to help the immigrants acclimate weren’t available, so the Cohens taught the Russians English, helped them find jobs and more.
Culture Connect offers interpretation and translation services for roughly 50 languages. With a focus on medical and school funding, the organization also offers legal and social interpretation. Culture Connect strives to help foreigners in uncomfortable or emergency situations.
Cohen said that maintaining foreign and domestic identities is crucial to ensure a diverse and strong community. As part of a Russian Jewish family, she understands the sometimes uncomfortable duality of immigrants and their struggles with U.S. services.
Cohen and her organization draw on Jewish empathy and understanding of being a stranger in a strange land to improve the lives of immigrants, thus improving the strength and quality of the community at large.
“Culture Connect is an example of a 501(c)(3) that really acts as a social enterprise, meaning that we’re both market-driven and mission-driven,” Cohen said.