HIAS' Newly Launched Web Site Wins Davey Award

Posted on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 15:53 pm

(New York, NY) – HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community and the oldest refugee agency in the United States, has won an award for excellence in design for its recently launched Web site: www.hias.org. Announced by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, the 2009 Davey Awards singled out HIAS’ Web site as among the finest creative work from the best small firms, agencies and companies worldwide.

One of the unique features of the site is myStory, a Russian-English social media site, where the more than 400,000 clients whom HIAS assisted in leaving the former Soviet Union can come together to share their immigration stories, reconnect with old friends, and make new ones through their shared immigration experiences. It was the brainchild of Genia and Michael Brin, parents of Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, who recently donated $1 million to HIAS, in gratitude to the agency for helping his family to immigrate to the U.S. from the Soviet Union in 1979. Genia Brin also serves on HIAS’ board.

Additionally, the HIAS Web site houses a unique art collection at HIAS’ Sidney Krum Gallery. The gallery, celebrating the artistic contributions of refugees and immigrants to Jewish and American life, was established through the generosity of the Estate of Sidney Krum. It serves as a showcase for the annual HIAS Poster Contest for Immigrant Youth, with downloadable versions of posters from 1995 to the present available online. As the site develops, the offerings will expand to include other immigrant art, literary excerpts, video and music clips.

HIAS’ newly developed Web site will better serve the overall needs of the agency’s broad and varied audiences – from the general public to clients, members, board and staff users – with a variety of Web 2.0 features and applications, like interfaces with Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Digg, plus event and advocacy registration, and the ability to donate on line. Graphically rich and technically robust, the new Web site is in keeping with the agency’s vibrancy and dynamism. It was designed and developed by Purple, Rock, Scissors of Orlando, FL.