“Asylum is an amazing thing,” Marty Rosenbluth said. His smile was audible, even over the phone, as he described his most recent win. “When you’re in the courtroom, and that client gets good news...that's the best feeling in the world. Money can’t buy that.”
"Cutting all funding to the U.N., which includes the Refugee Agency, the World Food Program, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF, would cause immeasurable suffering," writes HIAS VP for Policy and Advocacy Melanie Nezer.
On July 1, 2016, on the Greek island of Lesvos, HIAS launched its newest international office in order to provide assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers facing an unfamiliar and daunting legal bureaucracy. “For those who survive the harrowing journey, landing on Lesvos is only the beginning,” said Rachel Levitan. “HIAS Greece was established to meet the urgent need people have for legal assistance and guidance on the island.”
For more than five years, JF&CS Pittsburgh has offered support specifically tailored to the needs of high school students. What started as a small summer program now reaches upwards of 60 high school juniors and seniors per year at two schools in the area.
Last year saw the number of people worldwide forced from their homes by war and persecution balloon to over 65 million, including millions fleeing the horrific conflict in Syria. As the need for urgent refugee assistance grew, so did the Jewish community’s grassroots efforts to help welcome and protect the most vulnerable refugees.
The social hall at Temple Micah in Washington, D.C. was humming with conversation. Roughly 100 people, representing more than 20 synagogues in the D.C. area between them, eagerly awaited information about how their congregations might take on the global refugee crisis in a very local way: partnering with a newly-arrived refugee family through the HIAS Welcome Campaign.
This year tested us in ways we never imagined possible, but it also spurred us to reach new heights in our work protecting and welcoming refugees. Together, we made a difference in thousands of lives in 2016.
Some bold men in Uganda opted to walk in women’s shoes for a day—literally. They joined a march in the streets of Kampala, boldly decked out in high heels, purses and women’s wraps in order to make a very public statement about the need to end violence against women. This was one of many events held around the world during the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women.