In honor of National Volunteer Week—a special opportunity each year to thank volunteers who lend themselves to support causes they care about—HIAS is recognizing some of the incredible people sharing their time and talent.
“It seemed tailor-made, to do something that I would really enjoy and I could add value to,” said Fisher, who holds an MBA and a degree in accounting. “I thought it would be fun, and also very, very worthwhile.”
Since joining the HIAS pro-bono legal program last fall, volunteer attorney Alan Lipsitz has been putting his skills to work for asylum seekers in both Washington, D.C. and New York. HIAS attorneys introduced Lipsitz to the intricacies of asylum law, matched him with clients in need of legal assistance and provided guidance and oversight throughout the case.
Last year saw the number of people worldwide forced from their homes by war and persecution balloon to over 65 million, including millions fleeing the horrific conflict in Syria. As the need for urgent refugee assistance grew, so did the Jewish community’s grassroots efforts to help welcome and protect the most vulnerable refugees.
The social hall at Temple Micah in Washington, D.C. was humming with conversation. Roughly 100 people, representing more than 20 synagogues in the D.C. area between them, eagerly awaited information about how their congregations might take on the global refugee crisis in a very local way: partnering with a newly-arrived refugee family through the HIAS Welcome Campaign.