3 Cindy Al-Jassar (right), Evanston Bahai Community

Cindy Al-Jassar and her husband Saad moved to Evanston from China, where Saad was working as an architect and Cindy was a volunteer English teacher in the government schools. Upon arrival, she started supporting two core Bahá’í community activities–children’s classes and Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment.

Introduced by her son Sami to a refugee community in Rogers Park, Cindy’s help with homework blossomed into a full children’s class that introduced spiritual and moral principles from the world’s great faiths. The children are of different religious, national, and racial backgrounds from conflict areas. The children have now graduated into a Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program, focusing on study, service and socializing.

In Evanston, Cindy supports the Bahá’í children’s class at Curt’s Café South on second and fourth Sundays; first Sunday family devotions, and third Sunday children’s service projects and home visits – taking chicken soup and cookies to the ill and elderly.

The success of the Rogers Park program led to the discovery of other immigrants on Callan Avenue in Evanston, who now have their own junior youth and children’s programs supported by other Evanston Bahá’ís. On Saturdays, Cindy and her friends visit these new friends, reading stories, singing songs, and practicing English.