Nhi Aronheim stands at only 4’9” but her story is immense. Nhi fled war-torn Vietnam as a child refugee and the soles of her feet still bear the scars of her escape – trudging through the jungles of Cambodia as a 12-year-old with a group of strangers seeking the land of opportunity: America.
Nhi is a Denver-based author and a Roots & Branches Foundation alum. Her new memoir, Soles of a Survivor, chronicles her continent-spanning journey and reveals inspiring common threads, experiences and humanity between different cultures and religions. Having come full circle from prosperity to poverty and back, Nhi hopes to encourage others to believe that in spite of overwhelming odds, all things are possible.
Rose Community Foundation recently hosted a virtual book launch for Soles of a Survivor, which is now available at local bookstores and online retailers. Nhi sat down with Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, the Foundation’s president & CEO, for a conversation about her incredible journey as a child refugee, her Vietnamese and Jewish identities, how her experiences with poverty and oppression inform her current philanthropic approach and the lessons she hopes readers will take away from her book.
We encourage you to watch their full conversation below:
The audience for the book launch included Asian American and Pacific Islander community members, immigrant and refugee advocates, members of Denver’s Jewish community, and many more. The breadth of the attendees speaks to the numerous intersections of Nhi’s life and memoir.
Rose Community Foundation operates at those same intersections, rooted in our Jewish history and values, with a mission of advancing inclusive, engaged and equitable Greater Denver communities through values-driven philanthropy.
Throughout our 26-year history, the Foundation has made grants and hosted endowments to support Jewish Life in our community. We are fortunate to be able to support organizations and programs that are reflective of the Greater Denver region’s diverse Jewish communities and offer meaningful and relevant opportunities to engage in Jewish life, while welcoming a wide range of individuals, families and practices. And over the past several years, as our community has been impacted by shifts in the federal immigration policy landscape, escalating discriminatory rhetoric and troubling upticks in hate crimes, Rose Community Foundation has deployed the tools we have at our disposal—our grantmaking dollars and our voice—to support organizations on the frontlines of serving our immigrant and refugee neighbors, with the aim of ensuring our community feels welcoming and safe for all.
- Soles of a Survivor is available for purchase at local bookstores and online retailers– we hope you will give it a read!
- If you are interested in learning more about Roots & Branches Foundation, the Foundation’s Jewish collaborative philanthropy program for adults 25-40 years old that Nhi participated in, please reach out to Emily Kornhauser, director of collaborative philanthropy.