Author: rabbi

Live From The Field

Posted on February 9, 2018

HINDA Institute followers may be pleased by recent news about prison reform perspectives., quoting a story in The Washington Post, says: Ron Nelsen owns a garage door company in Las Vegas, but has had trouble finding people to work for him because of the falling unemployment rate. His assistant handed him a resume, and […]

Category: Uncategorized

Invite Rabbi Scheiman to Speak!

Are you on the lookout for a funny, engaging, and socially relevant speaker for your next event?  One who gets the audience to open their hearts and minds to feel and understand just a bit more from the perspective of others, while appreciating the value of what they have in their own lives? Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman, […]

Watch! New Televised Interview at Cahnmann’s Round Table (Part 1)

Hear Rabbi Scheiman and community outreach volunteer Aaron Snowden talk to Suzanne Cahnmann about areas of positive impact possible within the prison system and the community, as well as ways of getting information to the incarcerated that can help them return to society productively when the time comes. The lively conversation touches on many diverse […]

Category: Uncategorized

Sentencing Guidelines Petition – Forming Now

Posted on July 26, 2017

From the website: In 2014, Prisology–WITH YOUR HELP–pushed for the adoption of a change to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines that allowed approximately 46,000 federal drug offenders to apply for early release. Taxpayers have saved billions of dollars as a result of this change, and public safety has not been negatively impacted. The U.S. Sentencing […]

Category: Uncategorized

Worthy of Respect: Video

Posted on June 21, 2017

Rabbi Sholom Ber Lipskar is executive director of the Aleph Institute, which services the religious needs of Jewish men and women in prison. In 1985, they brought a group of prisoners to spend a weekend in Crown Heights, where they attended the Rebbe’s Shabbos Farbrengen. Watch this inspiring video clip, produced by JEM and hosted […]

Category: Uncategorized

Guest Post by Attorney Michael Traison

Posted on June 14, 2017

I SPENT THIS MORNING IN JAIL WITH TWO RABBIS. I saw inside portions of the Cook County Jail and some of the 8000 prisoners held there in a massive complex spread over hundreds of acres. But most importantly, I saw for the first time the work of Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman and his son Chaim of […]

Category: Uncategorized

Live From The Field

Posted on May 17, 2017

If you’re on our mailing list, please check your email today for a chance to support our work in memory of Hinda Scheiman, a very special person. Or click on Donate on our website. Many thanks and blessings. The HINDA INSTITUTE Staff

Category: Uncategorized

Hindy Scheiman’s yahrtzeit is a meaningful time to support the work of the HINDA Institute

Posted on May 9, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, corresponds to the 27th of the Hebrew month of Iyar, the anniversary of the passing (yahrtzeit) of a very special lady, Rabbi Scheiman’s late wife Hinda Gittel Alte Chaya.  Many remember her warmth and simple acceptance of people, whether providing quiet words of support and encouragement, teaching Torah to small children, or […]

Category: Uncategorized

Written Inside | WBEZ

Posted on March 23, 2017

WBEZ has a new podcast which tells stories about life in prison, and it is produced right here in Illinois. Written Inside, by Alex Kotlowitz, is a series of dramatized vignettes that lets people understand more about what it is like to be incarcerated. Here’s the link:

Category: Uncategorized


Posted on December 4, 2016

Dateline 12/4/2016, 7:29 pm, Sunday night… Do you like what HINDA Institute does?  Be a part of our winning efforts – improving the lives of families and individuals materially, emotionally and spiritually – and bringing as many Jewish people back to the community on a stronger basis to become responsible, productive members of society. Be a […]

Category: Uncategorized

Re-entry’s easier when you have a profession

WSIL: First Illinois inmate to get cosmetology license behind bars leaves Vienna Prison Almost 50 percent of inmates in the Illinois Department of Corrections end up returning to prison within three years of being released, according to state data. Prison officials say a new program implemented by Governor Bruce Rauner earlier this year could help […]

Category: Uncategorized

Letter from a Former Inmate

Posted on July 6, 2016

Dear supporters and friends, here is a letter we were forwarded from an inmate who was touched by HINDA’s help.  We are including this to show you both the potential of people to learn and change, as well as the obstacles they face when they are released. 13 Sivan, 5776 Shalom Rabbi, I hope your […]

Category: Uncategorized

Please Give Generously

Posted on March 22, 2016

As we approach the festive holiday of Purim and begin to prepare for the Chag HaGeulah of Pesach, we are reminded of our responsibility to help Jews in need around us and throughout the world. The requests for Tzedakah may be overwhelming at times but we must take this time to do what we can […]

Category: Uncategorized

ACLU and Illinois Policy Institute Panel Discussion — Today in Downtown Chicago

Illinois Policy Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois representatives and representatives from the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform host a panel today to discuss new research and solutions towards reducing recidivism, today, February 24, in the Loop. The panelists are Rodger Heaton – Chairman of the Illinois State Commission on Criminal […]

Category: Uncategorized


Posted on January 26, 2016

Sheriff Tom Dart, in his opinion essay in Crain’s Chicago, suggests that employers and business decision-makers should give ex-offenders more opportunity in 2016: When I walk through the jail and analyze detainee criminal histories, it’s increasingly clear that those jailed on nonviolent charges are predominantly good people who were born on the wrong side of […]

Category: Uncategorized

Message to Rabbi Mendel

Dear Rabbi Mendel Scheiman: Thank you and God bless you for all you do. My husband was on the bus the other day and he met a (non-Jewish) man who noticed that my husband was obviously Jewish. He went on to explain how he had been visited in the prison for many years by Rabbi Binyomin […]

Category: Uncategorized

New Employment Hope

Posted on December 9, 2015

“Both state legislative chambers passed a bill sponsored by Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, that would allow nonviolent felony offenders to shield their criminal records from potential employers if they earn a high school diploma, associate’s degree, career certificate, vocational technical certification or bachelor’s degree or pass the GED test while serving time or while […]

Category: Uncategorized

Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform Hearing in July

Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman took the opportunity of the hearing held in Chicago on July 27, 2015 to present several points from his unique perspective as an experienced chaplain. Among his points were: support for more community-based responses (less incarceration), planning for success on re-entry, record expungement for those who have demonstrated trustworthiness, and especially incorporating restitution as […]

Category: Uncategorized

Family of Rabbis Visits Cons Who Violated ‘Thou Shalt Not Get Caught’

By Justin Breen CHICAGO — The High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur offer Jews a fresh, new year and a chance to ask God for forgiveness. Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman said those opportunities should be extended to current and former inmates within the Illinois prison system. Scheiman runs the non-profit Hinda Institute with two of […]

Canadian Jewish News article

Posted on April 13, 2015

…”Chabad of Richmond, B.C., recently replaced its High Holiday prayer books and was looking for a new home for its several hundred older versions, which were still in great condition. When Rabbi Yechiel Baitelman posted on a Chabad site that he was ready to pass them on, the first request came not from Canada, but […]

Category: Media Articles

HINDA Family Pre-Purim Party

Posted on March 1, 2015

“Starting off with Hamantash baking, we filled the dough circles with jam, shaping them into triangles like Haman’s hat. Then everyone sat down for dinner and heard the Purim story; how Esther & Mordechai helped save the Jews from Haman’s decree, with G-d orchestrating a series of events. Afterwards a clip of children acting out the Purim story was viewed followed by a […]

New: Indigent Families and Children Fund

Dear Hinda Institute Supporters I’d like to make you aware of a special mitzvah opportunity. Even with public and community aid, there are families we deal with who do not have enough for their most basic needs.  Sometimes the amounts provided by the state and the amounts available from other community organizations are simply not […]

Category: Uncategorized

WBEZ Interview

Posted on December 1, 2014

Listen to Rabbi Scheiman’s interview on WBEZ Chicago’s Morning Shift, December 01, 2014 The pop-culture picture of clergy working in prisons is someone with a collar. A Catholic priest. A Christian minister. But one man with a black fedora and a long beard can be found every month in prisons from Chicago to Cairo, tending […]

Category: Uncategorized

Jewish Chaplains Conference 5775-2014

Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman was recently invited to speak at the national 2014 Jewish Chaplains Conference: Repairing Our Community – One Person At A Time, held in early November in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of Aleph Institute Northeast Regional Headquarters. The conference / training workshop was attended by chaplains & volunteers. Rev. Ulli Klemm, Head Chaplain for the Pennsylvania […]

Category: Uncategorized

Endangered Kosher Meals

Tired of prison food? Claim Judaism. This article by Dianne Frazee-Walker of the Prison Law Blog describes a frequent occurrence: prisoners, even if they are not Jewish, request kosher meals from the prison system.  Unfortunately, this situation can cause trouble for inmates who truly need those meals — since authorities sometimes call a halt to […]

Category: Uncategorized

Chicago Jewish News Cover Story

Posted on October 18, 2013

Jailhouse Flock by Pauline Dubkin Yearwood, Chicago Jewish News, October 18-24 2013 Eleven days out of the month, every month, Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman wakes at 4 a.m. and gets ready for a 12- to 15-hour day that might see him traveling up to 400 miles. At the end of his journey? Often, a single Jewish […]

Category: Uncategorized

Human Beings Shouldn’t Be Treated as “Garbage”

Posted on October 7, 2013

The New Jersey Jewish News recently covered a symposium on the Jewish view of incarceration. Here’s an excerpt: Disparities in sentencing for minorities and lengthy sentences for minor or first-time offenses are often antithetical to Jewish notions of restitution and rehabilitation, said Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe, dean of the Institute of American and Talmudic Law, a […]

Category: Uncategorized

Creating a Safer Society

Posted on October 4, 2013

Creating a safer society — 20 years of service.  JPAF visits every Jewish prisoner in the State of Illinois, every month, with words and deeds of inspiration, wisdom, morality, and common sense. Results? At least 70% of the individuals on our rolls do not return to prison. That’s the reciprocal of the national average for […]

Category: Uncategorized