HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, was founded in 1881, and its initial goal was to help Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe escape from the pogroms. As an organization, HIAS has maintained its original goal of helping Jews around the world flee undesirable, threatening situations, as well as managed resettlement programs for the individuals who must leave their homes.
Operating through the values of dignity and respect, empowerment, welcoming, collaboration and teamwork, excellence and innovation, and accountability, HIAS partners with other local refugee assistance organizations in order to maximize the amount and quality of care that goes towards helping refugees settle into new environments.
HIAS partnerships span all across the United States in order to help those seeking better homes both locally and abroad. Partners include the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay, the Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts, the Jewish Family and Vocational Service of Middlesex County, the Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency and many more.
HIAS endeavors to not only provide refugees with physical freedom and aid, but also with emotional and psychological support. HIAS gives legal protection to those separated from their children, those seeking asylum, those who need medical attention and those who need protection from danger.
HIAS offers psychological counseling to refugees in order to help them deal with both the trauma they experienced in their old homes and with the shock that comes with moving to a radically different place. HIAS’ goal is to provide refugees with the chance to create a sustainable new life for themselves.
An example of HIAS’ success includes the securing of an asylum in New Jersey for a Syrian refugee who was being targeted by the Assad regime. Additionally, HIAS is managing to sustain a growing community of individuals coming from Iraq to Toledo, Ohio.
— Jordyn Horowitz
Sources: HIAS 1, Charity Navigator, HIAS 2, HIAS 3