Transforming Darkness into Light

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New Employment Hope

“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 […]

QUADRUPLE MATCHING FUND-A-THON RIGHT NOW!

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 […]

HINDA Newsletter Fall 2016

Click here to read the entire newsletter.

Recent Posts

Invite Rabbi Scheiman to Speak!

Are you on the lookout for a funny, engaging, and socially relevant 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, State Prison […]

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 […]

Sentencing Guidelines Petition – Forming Now

From the Prisology.org 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 […]

Worthy of Respect: Video

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 […]

Call now to support HB 2373

CALL NOW to help make re-entry more successful – a limited time opportunity!

CALL the Governor TODAY & ask him to SIGN HB 2373  to expand record sealing for non-violent offenders. CALL 217-782-0244 312-814-2121  

Guest Post by Attorney Michael Traison

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 […]

Live From The Field

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

HINDA Newsletter May 2017

Click here to read the entire newsletter.

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

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 […]

Written Inside | WBEZ

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: www.wbez.org/shows/written-inside/6b7651a3-2b8b-47c9-a5c4-5175e60bc5b4

DuPage County Congregation Etz Chaim Generously Offers Its Support

Dear Rabbi Scheiman, Thank you very much for being our guest speaker for our social justice program in recognition of Martin Luther King Day. You were a wonderful and informative speaker that both our youth and adult congregants enjoyed hearing. I loved how you started the program by sharing a joke that you tell to […]

Send a Seder – Join us on our Pre-Pesach Road Trip – or just send a box of matzah!

Click on this post or the Donate Button to your right to set up your donation. Thank you!  A Kosher and Happy Pesach to all!

Etz Chaim Presentation in January Well Received

Thank you to Congregation Etz Chaim for hosting Rabbi Scheiman as the speaker for their recent 2017 MLK Lecture Event.  He had as much pleasure speaking to the group as they apparently had hearing him.  Here is one response we received from an audience member: Rabbi Scheiman was a wonderful and informative speaker that our […]

Live From The Field

REMOVING LEGAL BARRIERS TO RE-ENTRY Listen to Illinois Rising’s segment on re-entry challenges and recent improvements in our state.  See the entire series on criminal justice reform at upstream-ideas.com

ETZCHAIM LECTURE 2017 35 YEARS

Upcoming Talk, Monday, January 15 in Lombard

Join Congregation Etz Chaim’s Social Justice Program for MLK Day, “35 Years Behind Bars”, 10:30 am, January 15, 2017

HINDA meets with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx

              Recently elected Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx met with Rabbi Meir Shimon Moscowitz, head shaliach of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois, Rabbi Avraham Kagan, Government Affairs Director for LCI, and State and County Chaplain Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman this past week. The rabbis had a chance to explain Chabad’s […]

Live From The Field

HINDA Institute wishes you a very Happy Chanukah!

QUADRUPLE MATCHING FUND-A-THON RIGHT NOW!

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 […]

HINDA Newsletter Fall 2016

Click here to read the entire newsletter.

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 […]

For Hinda Scheiman’s Birthday – Support Her Legacy of Kindness

This Wednesday evening in the beginning of the month of Cheshvan, we will be marking the birth date of a very special lady, Rabbi Scheiman’s late wife Hinda Gittel Alte Chaya, who returned her soul in purity to the Creator 27 Iyar, 5773.  Many remember her warmth and simple acceptance of people, whether providing quiet […]

HINDA Newsletter Summer 2016

Click here to read the entire newsletter.

Letter from a Former Inmate

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 […]

HINDA Newsletter Pesach 2016

Click here to read the entire newsletter.

A Rabbinic Family’s Calling: Lend an Ear to the Incarcerated

  Read a great article about how Rabbi B. Scheiman began his work with prisoners, and how the next generation has joined him in expanding HINDA’s help to Jewish families and individuals across the state. Read the full article here Chabad at SIU university students write letters of support and encouragement to prisoners, connecting the […]

Please Give Generously

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 […]

HINDA on Criminal Justice, at the Illinois Policy Institute

Illinois Policy Institute Click the link to read this new interview vignette posted at IllinoisPolicy.org. “Statistics show that children of people who are incarcerated have a higher rate of incarceration later in life. It does affect them … Read more

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 […]

MAZEL TOV 60

    to HINDA Institute director Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman on his 60th birthday, the 18th of Shevat (Wednesday night and Thursday, Jan 27)! Rabbi Scheiman is accepting gifts in the amount of 60:

News Video: Progress on State Criminal Justice Reform

            See the video at Nexstar’s   illinoishomepage.net

Hiring?

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 […]

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 […]

New Employment Hope

“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 […]

New Video: Hear directly from ex-offenders

Watch a short but inspiring video about the impact of HINDA Institute on real people. When you donate to The HINDA Institute – Real lives are changed. #hindahelps Posted by Binyomin Scheiman on Sunday, November 29, 2015 When you donate to The HINDA Institute – Real lives are changed.

Amazing Success! End of Year 24-Hour Online Fundraising Drive

  You did it!  Hinda Institute friends and matching sponsors EXCEEDED all expectations and raised $76,004 in 24 hours.  THANK YOU EVERY ONE! CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO THANK YOU FROM RABBI BINYOMIN SCHEIMAN

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 […]

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 […]

Recent speech about the HINDA Institute

Click here to listen to Rabbi Scheiman talking about the HINDA Institute in England.

Rabbi Scheiman and the Jewish “Rocky”

Dna info Story on Sam Horowitz Coinciding with the appearance on Cahnmann’s Round Table televised interview, this well-written article appeared on dnainfo.com

HINDA Newsletter Summer 2015

Click HindaHelps Summer 5775 to read the newsletter.

Canadian Jewish News article

…”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 […]

HINDA Family Pre-Purim Party

“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 […]

Chanukah Newsletter

HindaInstituteChanukah5775_01   Happy Chanukah!  Click the link to view our Chanukah newsletter!

WBEZ Interview

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 […]

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 […]

November 2014 Newsletter

Click here to read the monthly newsletter distributed to Jewish inmates November 14 Newsletter

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 […]

HINDA Stories and News Articles, New and Old

Links to Articles and Stories about the HINDA Institute: Just click here, or on “HINDA in the News” under the Media tab of our Menu.

Summer 5774 HINDA Institute General Newsletter

Hinda Institute Summer Newsletter 5774 We’re up to a lot of good!  Read thank you letters from prisoners, mazal tovs, new plans and accomplishments in our latest newsletter publication:   Hinda Institute Summer Newsletter 5774

July 2014 Hinda Newsletter

July Newsletter Click to view our newsletter which is distributed to Jewish inmates.

Uptown People’s Law Center Addresses Appalling Conditions in Cook County Jail

The Uptown People’s Law Center’s new case alleging that 50 prisoners were shuttled around the jail, held without a bed, toilets, showers, or food for almost a week, was covered on Chicago Tonight. http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2014/06/12/cook-county-jail-faces-another-lawsuit For more details, visit: http://uplcchicago.org/blog/

Skokie Ketura Hadassah Women to Host Rabbi Scheiman Sept 30

Join the Ketura Group of Chicago-North Shore Hadassah Tuesday, September 30 Mayer Kaplan JCC 5050 Church St Skokie, IL 60077 to learn about the work of Rabbi Scheiman and the HINDA Institute Meeting convenes at 12:30 p.m., Rabbi Scheiman will speak at 1 p.m. For more information about Ketura and Chicago-North Shore Hadassah, visit their […]

Hinda Newsletter June 2014

Click here to read it! June Newsletter

Hinda Newsletter

  The newsletter in PDF format

AAUW PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAM: RABBI SCHEIMAN TO THE RESCUE!

Some feedback from the AAUW PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAM: RABBI SCHEIMAN TO THE RESCUE! recently planned and implemented so capably by Moe Headington – Thank you, Moe   Wednesday, March 19, 2014.6:30 Reception – 7:00 Program Oak Brook Library • 600 Oak Brook Road Free/Open to the Public   Recidivism rates at all time high: over […]

Anti-Semitism and Proselytization in Prison: The Forward reports

A new article by the FORWARD mentions Rabbi Scheiman in its discussion of racial polarization in the prison environment, including intimidation by authority figures as well as inmates. On the other hand, sometimes unlikely friendships or alliances spring up. Read more here…

Chicago Jewish News Cover Story

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 […]

Human Beings Shouldn’t Be Treated as “Garbage”

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 […]

Creating a Safer Society

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 […]