A wide range of pre- and post-migration services are available through HIAS Chicago, including aid with consular authorities and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, education on U.S. immigration rules and processes, and finding missing friends and family. Additionally, the program actively promotes immigrant and refugee rights at the federal, state, and municipal levels and informs the public about the advantages immigrants offer the community.
Brief History of HIAS Chicago
The Jewish community established HIAS (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) in New York City, the country’s main entry point for immigrants, more than a century ago. The founders of hias Chicago were inspired by Jewish traditions, texts, and history—a history of oppression, exile, and diaspora—as they assisted Jews fleeing poverty and persecution in Eastern Europe. Since then, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society has assisted numerous generations of persecuted Jews, and it is still dedicated to aiding Jewish refugees everywhere in the world.
Today, both the employees of HIAS Chicago and its clients come from a variety of racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Across five continents, they fight to ensure that refugees today receive the crucial resources and opportunities they need to flourish. They do this by bringing their experience, history, and principles to their work.
|Areas of immigration legal assistance:||Adjustment of Status, Consular Processing, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Employment authorization, Family-based petitions, Naturalization/Citizenship|
|Types of immigration legal services provided:||Help completing forms, Filings with USCIS|
|Non-legal services:||Citizenship / Civics classes, Language services, Referrals to other services|
|Populations served:||Individuals who are not in legal immigration status, Lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender|
|Languages spoken:||English, Russian, Spanish|
|Access to a commercial interpreting service or language bank:||No|
|Nominal fee charged?||Yes|
|Other information:||This organization serves clients from the greater Metro Chicago area. Services have nominal fees.|
Helping Jews whose lives and freedom are in danger is the main goal of HIAS.
HIAS Chicago seeks to accomplish the following in carrying out its mission:
- Helping persecuted Jews and others travel to safe havens of their choosing after fleeing hostile environments;
- Through collaboration with a network of resettlement and social service organizations spread across the United States, to guarantee the provision of resettlement support to refugees and migrants (both Jewish and non-Jewish);
- To continue HIAS’s concern for refugees and migrants throughout their post-migration era, especially by working through the nation’s network of social service and resettlement organizations;
- To continue working together in rescue efforts for Jews who decide to relocate in the State of Israel;
- To promote Jewish migrant and refugee needs at the local, national, and international levels;
- To make the resources available In order to fulfill its goal, HIAS needs the assistance of the American Jewish community, the US government, its members, and other donors; and
- Sustain HIAS’s standing as a reputable nonprofit organization that operates with the help of its volunteer board and qualified personnel.
HIAS Chicago Academic Scholarship
Since 1991, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) has had the good fortune to award academic scholarships to an incredibly impressive group of people who immigrated or whose family immigrated to the Chicago area with HIAS’ help or who used HIAS’ services once in the country. This has been made possible by the kindness of HIAS’ friends and supporters.
The Tilly Warshaw Scholarship for high school graduates, the Max and Anna Warshofsky Scholarship, the Michael Polsky Family Scholarship Funds for high school graduates and career enhancement, the Ruth Schultz Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Bernard Gordon Memorial Scholarship Fund, and funds donated in cherished memory of Beatrice Nessenson are just a few of the undergraduate and graduate scholarships mentioned above.
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HIAS Scholarship Eligibility
To be eligible for the HIAS Chicago academic scholarship, you must be;
- A Jew who received aid from HIAS Immigration & Citizenship to immigrate to the United States (the local office in Chicago and not the national HIAS organization)
- A Jewish immigrant who received help from HIAS Immigration & Citizenship (the local office in Chicago, not the national HIAS organization) and gave birth in the United States, or their grandchild; OR
- Someone who used HIAS Immigration & Citizenship’s assistance to submit an application for citizenship or permanent residence (a “Green Card”) (the local office in Chicago and not the national HIAS organization).
Additionally, you need to
- Have spent at least two years living in the United States;
- Academic brilliance, financial need, involvement in the Jewish and larger communities, and a well-thought-out educational plan must all be demonstrated.
- In a 4-year college or university, start or continue your studies full-time in 2022–2023.
- Former recipients of HIAS Immigration & Citizenship scholarships are not eligible to obtain the same category of grant due to the funding restrictions.
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Application Process: Required Documents for HIAS Chicago Scholarship Application
Applications that are incomplete won’t be considered. You need the following documents:
- HIAS Immigration & Citizenship Scholarship Application completed
- A copy of your most recent GPA from your school records
- A copy of your most recent tax return or that of your family, or justification for not filing taxes on your income. (NOTE: If your parents support you financially, please include a copy of their tax return. Only your tax return is needed if you are financially independent.
- Jessica Schaffer, the HIAS Director, should receive TWO letters of recommendation through email at JessicaSchaffer@jcfs.org.
FAQs about HIAS Chicago
What do the HIAS do?
HIAS aims to defend refugees, especially ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, who have been compelled to abandon their home countries because of who they are. HIAS has been assisting refugees in reestablishing their lives with safety and dignity for more than 130 years.
Is HIAS a trusted organization?
With a 92% rating, this charity is given a Four-Star rating. You can donate with assurance if this organization shares your interests and ideals.
Is HIAS based on religion?
HIAS, Islamic Relief Worldwide, and LWF work to protect and fulfill the needs and rights of the most vulnerable people, no matter who they are, as faith-based organizations responding to crises around the world. In addition to carrying out this humanitarian duty, Hias do so because their spiritual teachings direct them to.
Who is the HIAS CEO?
The head of the American Jewish community's international refugee organization, HIAS, is Mark Hetfield. One of the nine national resettlement agencies in the United States, HIAS was founded in 1881 and is the oldest refugee-focused organization in the world.
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