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HIAS Blog

  • New UNHCR Legal Guidelines Step Forward for LGBTI Refugees

    Nov 27, 2013

    This year’s historic election-day wins in Maryland, Maine, and Washington supporting gay marriage are emblematic of the dramatic strides that the U.S. has taken to recognize the social and legal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals. Parallel to this domestic progress, the US government has publicly supported the rights of sexual minorities internationally.

  • HIAS Urges Israel to Adopt Humane Asylum System

    Nov 27, 2013

    According to Mark Hetfield, despite the efforts of non-governmental entities, even the most democratic countries struggle with refugee protection, often subtly undermining it. A new bill before Israel’s Knesset is particularly troubling.
  • New Rules to Aid Syrians Seeking Asylum

    Nov 08, 2013

    Melanie Nezer addresses the changes in the Patriot Act’s overly broad definitions of “terrorist activity” and “terrorist group” that have unjustly prevented thousands of refugees from receiving protection in the United States.

  • The Shadow of Kristallnacht

    Nov 08, 2013

    Merely remembering the horrors of Kristallnacht, the 1938 overnight Nazi-inspired rampage that destroyed thousands of synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses, is not enough. 

  • Providing Detained Asylum Seekers Access to Representation and Justice

    Oct 25, 2013

    Imagine barely escaping a targeted, brutal attack on your family by armed militants or experiencing persecution triggered by your sexual orientation, making your way to the welcoming shores of the United States—and being immediately detained and imprisoned without any access to legal counsel or representation. This is the harsh reality of thousands of asylum seekers searching for haven in the United States.

  • HIAS Helps Garner International Interfaith Support for Refugees

    Oct 21, 2013

    Faith and protection—these are two values that embody HIAS’ work around the world, and these also were the two central themes of the United Nations Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) Dialogue on Protection Challenges last year, which inspired the drafting and circulation of the interfaith document Welcoming the Stranger: Affirmations for Faith Leaders.
  • Pew Poll on Jewish Americans Creates Space to Support Refugees

    Oct 15, 2013

    The findings from the Pew Research Center’s recent survey, A Portrait of Jewish Americans, have already sparked many discussions about what it means to be Jewish in America. HIAS remains deeply rooted in the organization’s own history of helping Jews facing persecution, but is also rooted in Jewish values, which have supported the organization as it has expanded to protect increasing numbers of non-Jewish refugees.
  • Government Shutdown Leaves Refugees Stranded

    Oct 14, 2013

    As the government shutdown continues, refugee arrivals to the U.S. continue to be delayed, leaving thousands already scheduled for departure in limbo around the globe.

  • Despite Government Shutdown, HIAS Advocacy Mission a Success

    Oct 09, 2013

    First-time mission participant Roman Zelichenko remarked, “I expect it was different than most advocacy missions but despite the inability to speak to government officials, I found the guest speakers and participants really valuable to talk and listen to.”
  • Reflecting on Plight of Refugees this High Holiday Season

    Sep 17, 2013

    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.

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