Founded in 1881 originally to assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, HIAS has touched the life of nearly every Jewish family in America and now welcomes all who have fled persecution.
Starting in the 2000s, HIAS expanded their resettlement work to include assistance to non-Jewish refugees, meaning they became involved in the aftermath of conflicts from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Hungary, Iran, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Tunisia, Vietnam, and the successor states to the former Soviet Union. They began to work in countries where refugees fled to identify those in immediate danger to bring them to safety. They realized that there were many refugees who would not be resettled and that it was important for them to help.
HIAS began a new chapter in 2002 when they established operations in Kenya to provide protection to refugees from several African countries plagued by conflict, to advocate on their behalf, and to resettle the most vulnerable. This was the beginning of HIAS’ work to build safe communities for refugees in the countries of first refuge where the majority now remain indefinitely.
HIAS stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom.
HIAS rescues people whose lives are in danger for being who they are.
They protect the most vulnerable refugees, helping them build new lives and reuniting them with their families in safety and freedom.
They advocate for the protection of refugees and assure that displaced people are treated with the dignity they deserve.
Guided by their Jewish values and history, they bring more than 130 years of expertise to their work with refugees.
Impassioned by their mission, they bring the lessons of HIAS’ history and Jewish ethics and experience to their commitment to serve refugees and other displaced persons of concern around the world through the following values: Welcoming, Dignity and Respect, Empowerment, Excellence and Innovation, Collaboration and Teamwork, and Accountability.
WELCOMING: They respect the experience, identity, and beliefs of all people. Their welcoming atmosphere begins at their doorstep and extends to their work with refugees and stakeholders around the globe.
DIGNITY AND RESPECT: They embrace the uniqueness of every human being. As a respect-driven organization, they appreciate the diversity of ideas and perspectives that imbue their work. They uphold the value of each individual and what each has to offer. They make time commitments to one another and are fully present in all their interactions.
EMPOWERMENT: They value each person’s voice and ensure that all have an opportunity to be heard. They are committed to clear and open communication through active listening and open mindedness to maintain a supportive organizational culture.
EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION: They approach their work with purpose, vigor, and humility to achieve the greatest impact. As leaders in their field, they apply their professional expertise and skills with the agility to initiate and implement strategic partnerships and innovative programs.
COLLABORATION AND TEAMWORK: They work collaboratively with stakeholders and refugees to accomplish their mission. They recognize the imperative to include their breadth of ideas, experience, and skills as they work internally and across continents, regions, and cultures.
ACCOUNTABILITY: They are dedicated to integrity, transparency, and discipline in every aspect of their work. They are committed to robust monitoring, benchmarking, and evaluation to effectively meet their objectives and fiscal responsibility to their stakeholders.See more