Posted by HIAS – NY on Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 10:15 am
As the global number of refugees continues to grow, Jewish communities from Berkeley to Budapest hold those unable to return home in their prayers this High Holiday season.
Rabbi Ferenc Raj, Rabbi Emeritus from Congregation Beth El in Berkeley and founder of Bet Orim Reform Jewish Congregation in Budapest, brought the refugee theme to his congregation this Yom Kippur—along with his very personal experience.
Born at the height of World War II in Budapest, Raj became a rabbi in Communist Hungary and
Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 16:28 pm
Eight months after his arrival in the US, M., a 28-year-old gay Iraqi, shudders to think what would have happened to him if he hadn’t fled his country. “In Iraq people don’t like gay people. They are not accepted, they are oppressed. It is very difficult to come out to your family so most gay men live a double-life. If I hadn’t left, my life would have been miserable,” he explains.
M. participates in HIAS’ Preferred Communities Special Populations project, which
Posted by HIAS - Ukraine on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 10:42 am
This week HIAS Ukraine Director Aleksandr Galkin met with Valeria Lutkovska, the Ukrainian Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman), to discuss migration and asylum issues and enhancing collaboration between the Ombudsman Office and HIAS.
The meeting marks an important step towards collaboration between the Ombudsman and civil society. The representatives discussed detention of asylum seekers, extradition, legislation gaps, coordination of efforts of various relevant state agencies, and other acute problems faced by migrants in Ukraine.
"The cornerstone of a solution to the refugee
Posted by HIAS – DC on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 17:49 pm
“Immigration reform” has become a buzzword in Washington—and all over the country. Broad coalitions of legislators, business leaders, students, law enforcement officials, faith leaders, farmworkers, and human rights activists have been urging for reforms to our outdated system. We recently saw a huge victory with passage of an immigration reform bill out of the U.S. Senate … but the fight is far from over and we are in it for the long haul.
As the Jewish nonprofit agency that protects refugees,
Posted by Rachel Levitan on Thu, Aug 08, 2013 at 18:16 pm
In December 2012, the Kenyan government announced a troubling new policy: it intended to send the more than 100,000 refugees living in Nairobi and other cities into refugee camps. Around that time, Kenya’s big cities had been hit with a spate of bus bombs tied to Al Shaabab, a terrorist group based in neighboring Somalia. The government hoped that by sending the refugees—many of them Somali—into camps, that terrorist threat would disappear. But at what cost to the refugees themselves?
Posted by Allison Mandeville on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 13:46 pm
After passing through a metal detector and barbed wire fence, visitors to Delaney Hall Detention Facility are greeted by a white cinderblock wall splashed with the word “Welcome!” in Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and French. The detector, the fence, and the wall mark the start of each trip that HIAS’ “Know Your Rights” team makes to the Newark, New Jersey detention center. It is an ironic, and yet somehow fitting, set-up. While I would hardly describe the facility as “welcoming,” it
Posted by Emily Hecker on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 17:11 pm
The Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of Jewish and Hispanic members of the House of Representatives, recently introduced several principles that outline the group’s commitments on immigration reform. The caucus formed two years ago to address issues of mutual interest to the two groups, such as education and foreign policy (especially the U.S.’s relationship with Israel and Latin American countries).
The five principles they have committed to including in any immigration bill are:
- A pathway
Posted by Daniel Rosenberg on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 15:21 pm
Yesterday, June 18, the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) organized a fly-in advocacy day in Washington, DC. Faith leaders from around the country convened to lobby for fair, commonsense, effective, and comprehensive immigration reform. Leaders in the Christian and Jewish communities articulated to members of the House of Representatives and the Senate the importance of welcoming the stranger and including the moral treatment of all immigrants in policy. “DREAMers” shared their personal experiences as they argued for a pathway to citizenship
Posted by Yael Nagar on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 15:18 pm
In 1977, when my mother was 19 years old, she dropped out of SUNY Binghamton and moved to Israel. She was following her heart—more specifically, her cute Israeli boyfriend Ehud from her English class. After a while in Israel, Mom enrolled at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
By a twist of fate, the women’s dorms were under construction when she moved in, so she ended up living next door to my dad. She couldn’t have known they’d end up together, but my
Posted by Mark Hetfield on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 11:30 am
Recent headlines in Israeli publications Haaretz and Ynetnews about the "willful emigration" of detained migrants to their countries of origin have raised some questions in my mind about the meaning of free will.
Repatriation is considered the preferable durable solution for people in refugee situations, usually both by the refugees themselves and the international community. When an asylum seeker no longer fears persecution in his or her country of origin and can return there in safety and
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