Mission Countdown: Preparing to visit HIAS' operations abroad

Posted by Nathaniel Berman on Mon, Oct 04, 2010 at 15:04 pm

This is the first in a series of blogs by Nathaniel Berman, who will be reporting on his travels to HIAS' operations in Austria, Ukraine, and Israel, as he joins HIAS' Board of Directors on the 2010 Europe/Israel Mission.

Hello readers and welcome to my first HIAServe blog post! I have been given the opportunity to travel with members of HIAS' Board of Directors on the upcoming Mission to visit HIAS' operations in Austria, Ukraine, and Israel. We leave this weekend, and I'm already so excited! The draft agenda that we received seems jam-packed with extraordinary meetings, including with refugee coordinators, United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representatives, and ambassadors. I consider my participation in this mission to be a huge honor, and I can hardly wait to embark on this opportunity.

Personally, I hope to learn a lot from this mission. Through my involvement with HIAS, I have learned the finer details of immigration and refugee protection issues. I ultimately hope to provide learning opportunities to others and to raise awareness of these issues in the DC area. On this mission, I will observe the Overseas Processing Entity in Vienna, the Temporary Accomodation Center for Refugees in Odessa, the Refugee Service Center in Kiev, and a detention center in Tel Aviv. In addition, HIAS works with the governments in each of these locations to provide services for refugees. My goal on this mission is to take what I learn from observing these operations and work towards providing better services to the immigrant populations that HIAS Young Leaders work with in the DC area, hopefully with the support of the government and, of course, other HIAS Young Leaders.

So, stay tuned for my updates as I proceed through this mission, and all that I hope to discover along the way!

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