Posted by Rebecca Wener on Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 11:42 am
My summer as an intern with HIAS in Ecuador provoked many of the emotions that I learned were common to refugee work. It was often difficult, emotional, or simply unexpected or confusing, but also deeply, profoundly moving.
First, I spent much of my time working with children who had come with their parents to the HIAS offices. I quickly came to understand this was a regular need in the office, but was not always filled due to a
Posted by Gideon Aronoff on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 15:53 pm
Along with Americans across the country, we at HIAS today are mourning the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy.
Many people aren’t aware of his ongoing commitment to immigrant causes over the years, yet no member of Congress has fought harder than Senator Kennedy for comprehensive immigration reform. Ever since entering the Senate, he worked to protect refugees fleeing persecution and to welcome newcomers from around the world to join in America’s future. In fact, it was his leadership on the 1965
Posted by Mark Hetfield on Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 11:59 am
At today's meeting Secretary Napolitano proved by a show of hands that representatives from more than 100 faith, business, union, and human rights groups meeting in the White House on Comprehensive Immigration Reform all agreed on one thing - the Immigration laws of the United States - as written - do not work.
The existing laws keep families apart, do not respond to labor market needs, and do not provide sufficient disincentives for those unscrupulous employers who seek competitive
Posted by Gideon Aronoff on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 10:42 am
I’m just back from Washington, DC where earlier this week I joined clergy and religious leaders at an event, organized by HIAS and other partners, to address the broken state of our immigration system. Representing Jewish, Catholic, Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, and Unitarian organizations, the group came together out of a shared belief that people of faith in America want real reform of our immigration laws to end our current de-facto illegal immigration system – one that leads to violence
Posted by Gideon Aronoff on Thu, Jul 02, 2009 at 9:42 am
As we prepare to celebrate the 233rd birthday of the United States, my thoughts go to the role that HIAS is playing in the lives of today’s refugees and immigrants – and in our country as well.
A Yeshiva student, originally from Yemen, who HIAS recently successfully represented in an asylum case, made a moving statement on the promise of freedom in America. He declared:
“I would like to learn English and be able to participate in American society to the fullest, and
Posted by Gideon Aronoff on Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 10:09 am
The Talmud instructs us that To Save One Life is to Save the Entire World. At HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, we witnessed a powerful example of this eternal Jewish teaching earlier this week when a year-long HIAS advocacy campaign to reunite a four-year-old Darfuri girl with her parents came to a joyful conclusion. This young child, Wesal Adam, was separated from her mother and father for much of her life because of a tragic
Posted by Gideon Aronoff on Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 12:59 pm
HIAS has been a proud partner of the State of Israel since its founding, contributing to the ingathering of new immigrants and helping to create new institutions for the Jewish State. HIAS assisted Jews from Poland, Germany, Russia, Romania, Turkey, Yemen, Morocco, Ethiopia and other countries to immigrate to Israel. In 1955, HIAS contributed to the development of the Negev region when we established “HIAS House in the Negev,” a hostel for new arrivals coming to build the land.
Posted by Gideon Aronoff on Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:50 pm
2008 was a tremendously eventful year – with dramatic political, economic, and social changes that will profoundly affect the future of the United States and the entire world. While much uncertainty exists, advocates for humane and effective refugee and immigration policy look to 2009, and the new Administration and Congress, with great hope and excitement. Like every New Year and every governmental transition, this is a season of renewal: one that offers us a chance to build on our country’s
Posted by Gideon Aronoff on Fri, Dec 26, 2008 at 12:48 pm
Chanukah is often viewed as a holiday of little spiritual significance in the Jewish holiday calendar– a celebration whose importance is enhanced simply by its proximity to Christmas. Yet, its story provides vitally important teachings that can embolden and inspire ordinary individuals to accomplish great deeds against unimaginable odds, and is deeply meaningful for those of us engaged in refugee and immigration work.
At Chanukah we celebrate the ultimately successful three-year struggle for religious freedom of the tiny Jewish resistance, the
Posted by Gideon Aronoff on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 12:47 pm
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we at HIAS and all Americans stop to reflect on the joys of our individual lives – our families, careers, and material successes. But our gratitude goes far beyond these personal concerns to the gifts America has provided our community, and the American people as a whole.
For Jewish-Americans – and to all who cherish our country’s identity as a pluralistic nation of immigrants – we trace our communal blessings back to a 1790 exchange of
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