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APRIL 2017 

Dear Friend,

The exodus from Egypt was the beginning of the most significant refugee story in Jewish tradition. We retell this story every year at our Passover Seders, but we can derive even deeper meaning from the story by recognizing the plight of contemporary refugees and working for their freedom alongside our own.  

HIAS is collecting stories from communities that are incorporating today’s refugees into your communal seders this year. Please let us know if you are doing so, and whether you are using the HIAS Haggadah supplement, too! 

With so much at risk for refugees, we encourage your congregation to take action with us during this important time. See below for information on a vigil commemorating the anniversary of the voyage of the S.S. St. Louis, as well as upcoming opportunities to do targeted local advocacy, educational resources and more.

Chag Sameach – wishing you a meaningful Passover.

In solidarity, 

Isabel Burton

Program Specialist, Community Engagement

P.S. Please share this newsletter widely. Other members of your congregation can sign up to receive them here.


  • Members of Congress will be in their home districts from April 10-21 – which is a great time to be able reach them, in person, and ask how they will take action to uphold America’s legacy of welcoming refugees.
    • Click here to sign up for a training call on Thursday April 6th at 12pm EST for congregations who are interested organizing in-district meetings with Members of Congress.

    •  Attend a town hall: When Members of Congress return to their home districts, ask them, in person, how they will stand for refugees. Everything you need for a town hall meeting can be found here.

  • This June, HIAS will convene community vigils around the nation to commemorate the anniversary of the voyage of the S.S. St. Louis.  This year, we bear witness to history repeating itself, as our nation again turns away victims of violence and persecution as they seek safety on our shores.  We encourage congregations and organizations to host their own actions locally, joining onto this powerful national moment. Please use this form to indicate whether your congregation is interested, and we will be in contact with more information.
  • Take a look at this list of other ways in which you can stand up and take action for refugees.


New Resources: 

General Resources:
  • HIAS has many additional resources including FAQs, Myths and Facts about Syrian Refugee Resettlement, Refugee Torah, and How Congregations and Communities Can Respond to the Refugee Crisis. Peruse them here. The HIAS blog is also a great place to find out about our latest work and ways to take action. Click here to take a look.


HIAS, the world's oldest, and only Jewish, refugee organization, works in 11 countries across five continents to ensure that refugees and displaced persons can live in safety and with dignity. Once, we helped refugees because they were Jewish. Today we help refugees because we are Jewish.

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