Press Releases

HIAS Calls on Congress to Reject Flawed Proposals

Posted on Mon, Mar 24, 2008 at 9:29 am

by Gideon Aronoff, President & CEO

As the nation’s leading migration arm of the Jewish community, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) continues to call for effective, fair, and humane immigration laws that balance the need to provide immigrants seeking freedom the opportunity to build a better life with the need to protect our homeland and national security interests. Regrettably, the Save America through Verification and Enforcement Act (SAVE Act, H.R. 4088) introduced by Representatives Heath Shuler (D-NC), Tom Tancredo (R-CO),


Op-Ed: Passover and Our Inner Immigrant

Posted on Tue, Apr 01, 2008 at 9:27 am

by Gideon Aronoff

New York (JTA)- Immigration restrictionists frequently charge that American Jewish attitudes about immigration are mired in a sepia-toned time warp where bubbes in babushkas and wide-eyed zaydes are still hobbling off boats from the old country.

Sentimentalities aside, we must not lose sight of the fact that Jews are a religious and ethical people and the bearers of an ancient tradition whose messages take on even greater immediacy as we prepare to celebrate Passover.

We are taught to internalize the


The Irony Of U.S. Immigration Laws

Posted on Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 9:23 am

by Gideon Aronoff
Special To The Jewish Week

On Tuesday, in Warsaw, the nations of the world joined Poland in commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a signal event in the modern history of the Jewish people. Unwilling to buckle to their oppressors, the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto are an enduring symbol of the force of life over the power of pure evil.

At that event, Michael Chertoff, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), represented President


Postville a Clarion Call for Jews and Americans

Posted on Sun, May 18, 2008 at 9:20 am

by Gideon Aronoff

New York (JTA)-The recent raid in Postville, Iowa, on this country's largest kosher slaughterhouse, where at least 390 people were arrested on immigration charges, is troubling on many levels.

As Jews, a collective shudder runs through the community whenever a business enterprise so closely connected with the community is raided by government agents. Because of the terrifying associations of other raids against Jews by uniformed personnel in Europe and elsewhere, we must take it seriously when the unprotected among


Statement by Gideon Aronoff, President & CEO, HIAS, at Postville Immigration Raid Press Conference

Posted on Wed, Jul 02, 2008 at 9:18 am

For HIAS and the Jewish community, working to assist refugees and other immigrants, and to promote welcoming policies at the federal, state and local levels, is an important community priority. This stems from the Jewish community’s essential and enduring identification with immigrants -- both current Jewish immigrants and immigrants of other backgrounds. The reasons for this identification are many, but include:

• The centrality of the biblical commandment to welcome, protect, and love the stranger;
• The lessons of


HIAS Receives Special Consultative Status at UN

Posted on Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 9:16 am

(New York, NY)– HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, is gratified by the decision made late yesterday to recommend it for Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). HIAS first applied in 2007 and its application had been considered and reviewed over the course of two sessions by the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs); yesterday’s action marks the successful completion of the review and acceptance process so that HIAS can participate


Progress by Passover -- Press Conference Videos

Posted on Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 18:00 pm

HIAS President and CEO Gideon Aronoff speaks of the success of the Progress by Passover campaign and our next steps.

 

Congressman Jerrold Nadler joins the Progress by Passover press conference to voice his strong support for immigration reform.

 

Reform Rabbi Amy Schwartzman from Falls Church, Virginia, speaks of the Jewish mandate to welcome the stranger.

 

Conservative Rabbi Morris J. Allen of Beth Jacob Congregation in the Twin Cities


HIAS Lauds Senate Passage of SSI Extension: Measure would help thousands of elderly and disabled Jewish refugees at risk

Posted on Fri, Aug 01, 2008 at 15:52 pm

(Washington, D.C.)– HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, applauds the Senate’s passage of a bill yesterday extending Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for disabled and elderly refugees. HIAS is particularly gratified because when this bill becomes law among its primary beneficiaries will be the aging Russian-Jewish émigré community in the U.S. – a population that HIAS has worked tirelessly to protect through years of intensive advocacy work at the grass-roots, local, regional, and national levels.

“This is the most encouraging sign


Midwest Summit Mobilizes Faith Community for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Posted on Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 15:47 pm

(Columbus, OH)– Faith-based leaders and advocates from more than 20 religious denominations and 17 states met late last week at the Midwest Interfaith Immigration Summit in Columbus, Ohio to learn how to engage and mobilize their communities in support of fair and humane immigration reform. The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, a partnership of faith-based organizations committed to enacting comprehensive immigration reform , and local partners convened the Midwest Summit to stress the importance of the faith community as a moral voice


HIAS Lauds Today's House Passage of SSI Extension: Measure will help thousands of elderly and disabled Jewish refugees

Posted on Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 15:46 pm

(Washington, D.C.)– HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, applauds the House of Representatives for passing the SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act today. The legislation now moves to the White House for the President’s signature.

Once the legislation is signed into law, tens of thousands of humanitarian migrants – including aged and/or disabled Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union – who have lost their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will qualify for two additional years


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