The story captures the family’s early days in the U.S. and shows the many rewards and challenges of starting a new life here—finding work, learning English and, for the older children, starting school.
In an op-ed published on Scribe, the Forward’s curated contributor network, Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer challenges the community “to commit to have at least one conversation with a family member, co-worker or friend on behalf of today’s refugees.”
On January 31, the Forward published a letter to the editor charging that “under Jewish law,” HIAS is in “no position to judge” Trump’s executive order banning refugees because the organization has a “profit motive” and receives “millions of dollars” to admit refugees.
"Cutting all funding to the U.N., which includes the Refugee Agency, the World Food Program, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF, would cause immeasurable suffering," writes HIAS VP for Policy and Advocacy Melanie Nezer.
HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield was named to the Forward newspaper's annual list of “Jews who have impacted American life” for 2016. This year’s Forward 50 recognizes Hetfield for being at the forefront of the Syrian refugee relief efforts.
As part of the ongoing Jewish response to the global refugee crisis, HIAS created new visual resources for congregations and families to print and hang in their sukkahs. The visuals provided an educational component to the familiar sukkot tradition, a reminder that today, 65 million refugees and displaced people still wander the earth in search of a safe place to call home.
Former HIAS client, Kindertransport survivor and refugee advocate Manfred Lindenbaum was interviewed live on Democracy Now!, sharing his personal experiences as a refugee and responding to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s son’s comparison of Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles.