Take Action for Refugees


Ask Candidates to Take a Stand for Refugees
Use our election toolkit to ask candidates running for office a simple question: will you stand up for refugees once elected?  Our goal is to encourage as many candidates as possible to be publicly in support of the refugee program, even before the November 6 midterm election.  Research who is running in your area, ask them to support refugees, then let us know that you did.
Take Action to Protect Asylum Seekers
This Administration is detaining asylum seekers in jail-like facilities, separating children from their parents, and criminally prosecuting families seeking protection. Send a message to your Member of Congress asking them to protect people seeking safety in the United States, and sign our petition to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling on him to preserve the U.S. asylum system. 

Tell Congress that Welcoming Refugees Makes America Stronger

This year, the United States is on pace to welcome the lowest number of refugees in decades. Write to your Members of Congress, or call them, and ask that they support higher refugee admissions. Urge them to ensure that there are no further attempts to restrict or dismantle the program. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program provides safety to tens of thousands of people every year. With unprecedented attacks against the program, we need to keep the pressure up.

Join the “Jews for Refugees” Facebook Group

Joining this group is a great way to connect with thousands of other committed individuals across the country, access up-to-the-minute information about the Jewish response to the refugee crisis, and share the actions that you are taking. Click here to join.

Write a Letter to the Editor or Op-ed and Submit it to a Local News Outlet

Policymakers are accountable to their constituents, and the editorial page is often a flashpoint for public opinion on key issues. Contact HIAS staff if you would like to draft a letter for your local newspaper arguing for great protections for refugees.


Here’s how you can stand up to take public action to support refugees in your local community.

#MissingNeighbors Poster Campaign

Hang our flyers all around your neighborhood to make a powerful statement that when the United States shuts out refugees, we notice.  The flyers are designed to look like "Missing" posters, because it is our potential neighbors who are being denied a chance at safety and a new life in our communities.  After hanging the poster, take a photo and share it on social media with the hashtag #MissingNeighbors.

Attend an Event

Events in support of refugees are happening around the country. Check out the HIAS events page for upcoming events across North America, and show up to add your voice to the American Jewish movement in support of refugees.

Rally for Refugees

It is more important than ever to display your commitment for welcoming refugees. Publicly show your support by printing “Refugees Welcome” signs for display at your home, office, place of worship, and especially for attending rallies in your area.

Show Up to Town Halls

In addition to writing and calling your elected officials, holding leaders accountable in person is a critical tool for defending the rights of refugees. Attend a town hall in your area and ask your local leaders to stand in support of refugees. Use HIAS’ guide for helpful pointers.


One of the most powerful steps you can take to help refugees is to encourage your friends, family and colleagues to get involved. Together, we can build a more powerful response to largest global refugee crisis since World War II. Here are ways you can make sure your community is part of the American Jewish movement in support of refugees.

For more information about ongoing opportunities for congregations, visit Make a Difference

Join the HIAS Welcome Campaign

The HIAS Welcome Campaign is a network of nearly 400 synagogues that are taking action for refugees through advocacy, direct service, community education, and tzedakah. Ask your synagogue to join the HIAS Welcome Campaign, and check out the ways that synagogues can make a difference at this crucial time.

Participate in National Refugee Shabbat

Join communities across the country for National Refugee Shabbat on October 19-20, 2018. Click here to learn more or to sign up to participate.

Organize an In-District Meeting

An effective way to appeal to your Member of Congress about supporting refugees is by setting up a meeting with their district office - so that they can hear directly from constituents. Set up a meeting between members of your community and your Member of Congress - or their district office staff.*

Educate Your Community

Raise awareness in your community about the global refugee crisis. HIAS has educational materials that you can use in planning programs - and may also be able to send a speaker to your community.

Organize a Rally or Action

In 2017, Jewish communities organized 60 rallies, vigils and actions for refugees, some independently, and some through a HIAS Day of Action. Organize a Jewish action for refugees in your city. A sample action can be found here.*

Become a Sanctuary Congregation

Local communities can play an important role in providing assistance to those at risk of deportation. Learn about and take steps toward becoming a Sanctuary Congregation.

Hang a Banner

Broadcast your support for refugees. Hang a “Refugees Welcome” banner outside your synagoge or community organization.

*If you are planning a program, action, or congressional meeting, be in touch with Janna Diamond, Campaigns Specialist or Rebecca Kirzner, Director of Campaigns - who can support you and provide resources.