Who We Are
HIAS is the international migration agency of the American Jewish community. We provide rescue and refuge for persecuted and oppressed Jews around the world. In recent years, as the population of Jewish refugees has diminished, we have directed our expertise to assist refugees and immigrants of all backgrounds. HIAS also advocates in Congress for fair and effective policies affecting refugees and immigrants. Since 1881, HIAS has assisted more than 4,500,000 people worldwide.
What exactly do we do?
HIAS provides protection and assistance to some of the most endangered populations around the world. Depending on location, these services can include trauma counseling, art therapy, legal advice, and humanitarian assistance. We assist refugees from more than 20 countries with U.S. resettlement, immigrant integration, and citizenship programs, working closely with the U.S. government, the government of Israel and other countries, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and a host of non-governmental organizations.
Why do we provide this help?
Drawing strongly on Jewish tradition, we provide services to Jewish immigrants, refugees, and others in need – without regard for their religion, nationality, or ethnic background. We are guided by our Jewish values and texts. The Torah (Hebrew Bible) tells us 36 times in 36 different ways to help the stranger among us. This, and our core belief that we must “fix the world” (tikkun olam, in Hebrew), are the driving principles behind our work.
Where in the world is HIAS?
U.S. HIAS helps resettle refugees from trouble spots around the world through our national affiliate network of Jewish agencies; provides extensive integration and citizenship programs for Russian speaking refugees and immigrants; advocates for just and compassionate immigration laws; connects each generation of Jews by reuniting those long separated and offering educational initiatives; provides scholarships to refugees; and offers an advocacy and social forum through HIAS Young Leaders.
- EUROPE. In Moscow and Kyiv, HIAS helps Jews and others from 43 countries receive protection and seek asylum or resettlement.
- MIDDLE EAST. HIAS helps Jewish and other religious minorities from Iran come to the U.S.; in Israel, HIAS provides scholarships for those who have recently immigrated to the Jewish state, and assists in protecting the population of refugees arriving from Africa.
- AFRICA. In Chad, HIAS provides trauma counseling and social services in five of that country’s camps for refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan, and facilitates relocation for those who need additional protection; in Kenya, our trauma counseling and resettlement operations focus on the needs of the most vulnerable of the 250,000 people displaced by conflicts in Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- LATIN AMERICA. HIAS provides full-service counseling, legal services, and humanitarian assistance for Colombian refugees fleeing to Ecuador and Venezuela; and, facilitates the resettlement and integration of refugees in Argentina and Uruguay.