EJC Director of European Affairs Ariella Woitchik addressed a roundtable organised by HIAS Europe on the importance of humanitarian action for a European Jewish agenda. She was joined by Public Affairs Officer Eitan Bergman.
The meeting brought together representatives of European and local Jewish community organisations to discuss current issues of humanitarian concern and opportunities to partner with HIAS, within the context of its emergency response strategy.
In her remarks, Ms. Woitchik emphasised that “We all know of HIAS successes in previous decades, helping Jews escape tyranny and persecution, and among Jewish communities many are in fact direct beneficiaries of their tireless work and generosity”.
“Today, it continues to do inspiring and essential work, helping displaced and persecuted people of all faiths and origins across the world. HIAS Europe is our trusted partner, and to all our communities thinking of enhancing their humanitarian activities, they know that they can rely on them to facilitate these efforts.” Ms. Woitchik concluded.
Ilan Cohn, Director of HIAS Europe outlined the history the current activities of HIAS worldwide. Discussions also focused on the latest developments in Afghanistan and how and how to mobilise Jewish communities concretely to be engaged in humanitarian work on this and other issues.
Consequently, HIAS, in cooperation with the European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC) has launched a website on the matter in orde to encourage communities to help Afghan refugees in different forms and also to showcase communities’ initiatives on this field.
Founded over 100 years ago in New York as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, HIAS was established to support Jews fleeing persecution and poverty in Eastern Europe. Drawing on Jewish values and history, HIAS provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers around the world and advocates for their fundamental rights so they can rebuild their lives. HIAS has since helped generations of Jews facing violence because of who they were.
Today, HIAS help thousands of people around the world, from diverse faiths, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
In 2019, HIAS opened a European office in Belgium’s capital, which liaise with EU institutions and gives a Jewish voice in support of refugees and asylum seekers.
If you wish to know more about HIAS and its work, click here.