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Press Releases

Jewish Organizations Call on U.S. Government to Protect Unaccompanied Children and Refugees

Posted on Tue, Jul 08, 2014 at 14:57 pm

NEW YORK – The American Jewish community is sending a strong message to President Obama and Congress to respond quickly and humanely to the humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border while also maintaining their commitment to resettling refugees fleeing persecution in other parts of the world. The statement—signed by 20 national Jewish organizations—was drafted and coordinated by HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, and was signed by the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Federations of North America, the


HIAS Urges U.S. Government to Protect Unaccompanied Children and Keep Commitment to Refugees

Posted on Tue, Jul 01, 2014 at 18:36 pm

NEW YORK – The U.S. government must ensure that the safety and well being of unaccompanied children at the U.S./Mexico border are at the heart of every policy decision made in response to the humanitarian crisis. HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, expressed serious concerns about the President’s proposal, which would repeal some very basic legal protections in place to ensure that children are not deported to danger.

Mark Hetfield, HIAS’ President and CEO, said, “We strongly oppose the


HIAS Honors Jewish American Heritage Month, Highlights Impact of Former Refugees

Posted on Wed, May 07, 2014 at 13:15 pm

HIAS is proud to participate in Jewish American Heritage Month, which recognizes more than 350 years of contributions to American culture. During this month, HIAS is celebrating people whose lives we have been fortunate to touch and who have chosen a path that embodies this year’s theme: “American Jews and ‘Tikkun Olam’: Healing the World.”

“While the vast majority of Americans are descended from immigrants, most Jewish-Americans are descendants of refugees who were among HIAS’ four million clients – individuals who


HIAS Responds to Increased Violence in South Sudan, Stands Ready to Assist New Refugees

Posted on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 13:23 pm

In response to the reports of increased violence in South Sudan resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians, HIAS president and CEO Mark Hetfield issued the following statement:

"The extraordinary levels of inter-ethnic mass killings being reported out of South Sudan is a worrisome indication of where the violence that started late last year is heading. Footage showing horrifying acts including the ruthless massacre of human lives is an unthinkable scenario, but one with which we are tragically acquainted.

At HIAS, we


Auburn Theological Seminary to Honor HIAS VP for Leadership

Posted on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Rabbi Jennie Rosenn to be recognized at annual event alongside women leaders including Chelsea Clinton and Rev. Dr. Jacqueline J. Lewis

(New York, NY) – On Wednesday, April 23, faith leaders and social justice advocates will gather to honor Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, who serves as HIAS’ first ever Vice President for Community Engagement, alongside fellow leaders of faith and justice at the 18th annual Auburn Seminary Lives of Commitment Awards Benefit Breakfast.

Rabbi Rosenn recently joined HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that


In Statement to House Judiciary Committee, HIAS Calls For Refugee Protections

Posted on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 21:41 pm

(Washington, D.C.) – At today’s hearing in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, “Asylum Fraud: Abusing America’s Compassion?” Melanie Nezer, vice president for Policy and Advocacy at HIAS, submitted a written statement for the official hearing record. Below is her full testimony.


Throughout our history, America has been defined by our generosity toward those who seek a safe haven from oppression. An asylum system that is fair, effective and humane honors our country’s history and reflects


HIAS Applauds New Common Sense Approach to Terrorism Inadmissibility Grounds for Refugees

Posted on Thu, Feb 06, 2014 at 10:55 am

(New York, NY) – The Patriot Act’s overly broad definitions of “terrorist activity” and “terrorist group” that have unjustly prevented thousands of refugees—who do not pose a threat to the United States—from receiving protection in the United States will no longer be applied to certain refugees, according to an announcement Wednesday by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

Terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds—known as the “TRIG” bars—affect thousands of refugees who have fought oppression around the


HIAS Responds to GOP Immigration Principles

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 12:10 pm

(New York, NY) – HIAS today welcomed the GOP Principles on Immigration Reform as an important first step toward addressing the broken U.S. immigration system. The principles provide a general outline of standards regarding border security, interior enforcement, reforms to the legal immigration system, and a way to address the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.

Mark Hetfield, HIAS' president & CEO, was "encouraged to see Republican leadership finally discussing this issue in a serious


HIAS Celebrates Government Spending Bill and Extension of the Lautenberg Amendment

Posted on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 11:17 am

(New York, NY) – HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, celebrates the recent passage of legislation that will fund the government through September 2014. Critically important to the Jewish community is the inclusion of a one-year extension of the Lautenberg Amendment, which previously expired on September 30, 2013. This legislation, which facilitates the resettlement of religious minority groups—including Jews seeking to flee Iran and the former Soviet Union (FSU)—will now be extended through September 30, 2014 and, as


Social Justice Dream Team to Lead HIAS

Posted on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm

(New York, NY) – HIAS, the leading international Jewish organization dedicated to welcoming and protecting the rights of refugees, has announced three additions to its senior management team with leaders from the Jewish social justice world, who will join recently appointed President and CEO Mark Hetfield.

Opening a new chapter in the nonprofit’s 130-year history, Rabbi Jennie Rosenn is assuming the newly created role of Vice President for Community Engagement; Riva Silverman will join HIAS as Vice President for External Affairs;


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