Mission & Impact

About Us
Mission & Impact

When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt… Leviticus 19:33–34

“HIAS” stands for “Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society,” and is an acronym that has been part of our name since the early 20th century. We are proud of our history as a Jewish organization that was created to help Jewish refugees, and, since the 1970s—precisely because we understood what it meant to be a refugee—we have been proud of our work to help refugees of all faiths and backgrounds.

The freedom to be and to practice your faith without persecution is fundamental to our work, as is the freedom to live and thrive without persecution for any reason. We are commanded as a Jewish people to welcome the stranger because we were once strangers in Egypt. Our clients, immigrants and refugees of all faiths and backgrounds, are welcome here, and we are grateful for what they bring to us.

Our Mission

HIAS Pennsylvania supports low-income immigrants of all backgrounds as they build new lives in our community. Through immigration legal services and an array of social services, we work to address their needs, defend their rights, and advocate for their equitable inclusion in American society.

Our Values

Our values are based on the core Jewish beliefs of “welcoming the stranger” and tzedakah (generosity, charity and fairness). HIAS Pennsylvania views newcomers as valuable resources, not burdens to the community. We believe in the dignity of the individual. We believe in compassion, empathy,  tolerance, and respect. All of this is embodied in our commitment to a multicultural society.

In 2021-2022,
we served

Clients

In 2021-2022,
we provided

Legal & Social Services

In 2021-2022, we served
individuals from

Countries

Our Impact

HIAS Pennsylvania celebrates immigrants as a source of vitality for our society. We are proud that our work:

Strengthens Philadelphia and our region

Our work ensures that immigrants can take their places as legal and full members of our communities. Immigrants:

  • Have helped stem Philadelphia’s population loss over the past decade. Residents born outside the U.S. now make up 12.7% of Philadelphia’s population.
  • Prepare our young people for a future in the global village, where they will work and live constantly with people from other cultures.
  • Bring new power into the workforce. Nationally, immigrants 16 and older work at a higher rate than native-born individuals. Through job search assistance and job mentoring, HIAS Pennsylvania makes sure immigrants contribute to Philadelphia’s work force as quickly as possible.
  • Show our children a path of love, civility, and respect for others in a society fractured by xenophobia and hate.

Fills a great need.

HIAS Pennsylvania continues to:

  • Grow as much as funding allows to address a growing volume of callers. From 2014 to 2018, the number of new clients served has increased by 55 percent.
  • Serve as one of the three federally designated refugee resettlement organizations for Philadelphia.  From the moment refugees disembark in Philadelphia, we help them gain a foothold in American society.
  • Support special services for those immigrants who are most easily isolated and abused: children and youth, the disabled and elderly, and victims of torture, crime, trafficking and domestic violence.
  • Help families reunite and stay together.
  • Represent immigrants forced by violence, persecution and economic hardship to enter the U.S. without documentation as they plea for humanitarian relief in the courts.
  • Reach out to immigrants in their communities to educate them about their rights and resources.
  • Train other professionals, ranging from lawyers to healthcare workers, social workers and school personnel to serve immigrants fully and effectively.
  • Advocate for immigrants’ rights and dignity at all levels of government.
*Each client may have multiple cases opened for them.
Board portal

Find out how you can help.

Thanks to HIAS PA’s emergency response to the pandemic,

clients have received
LAPTOPS

clients have received
$800 CASH GRANTS

clients have received
GROCERY DELIVERIES

G'mar chatima tova.

HIAS Pennsylvania's office will be closed on Monday, September 25th, in observance of Yom Kippur. 

TONIGHT (4/20) - Join us ONLINE at the 2023 Golden Door Awards!

Join us ONLINE at 6:45PM TONIGHT, Thursday, April 20th, for HIAS PA's 2023 Golden Door Awards: United for Immigrants!

Happy Passover from HIAS Pennsylvania!HIAS PA is closed in observance of the Jewish holiday of Passover

HIAS Pennsylvania will be closed in observance of the Jewish holiday of Passover from 1PM on Wednesday, April 5th through Friday, April 7th, and on Wednesday, April 12th and Thursday, April 13th.

Join us at the 2023 Golden Door Awards!United for Immigrants

The Golden Door Awards is HIAS Pennsylvania's annual fundraiser. Your generous support helps us serve low-income immigrants from all over the world as they build new lives in our community.

Last chance to be the light for immigrants this year!It only takes one spark to light an entire room.

Your support today means your immigrant neighbors are able to make a home for themselves and thrive in our community.

Building closed until further noticeHIAS PA remains open!

HIAS PA’s physical offices at 600 Chestnut Street are CLOSED until further notice due to a burst pipe in the building.

Our organization remains open, and HIAS PA staff continue to work remotely at this time.

Please call (215) 832-0900 with any questions.

Building closed until further noticeHIAS PA remains open!

HIAS PA’s physical offices at 600 Chestnut Street are CLOSED until further notice due to a burst pipe in the building.

Our organization remains open, and HIAS PA staff continue to work remotely at this time.

Please call (215) 832-0900 with any questions.

Unleash generosity this Giving Tuesday!

This Giving Tuesday, you can change an immigrant's life!


This Giving Tuesday, you have the opportunity to be part of a worldwide effort to give back to those in need in our community and help immigrants and refugees begin new lives here in Pennsylvania!

Join us ONLINE at 12:45PM TODAY at the Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) Volunteer Appreciation Awards!

Thanking our volunteers, who, in times of crisis and calm, constantly step up to “repair the world” by supporting immigrants and refugees.

Join us at the Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) Volunteer Appreciation Awards!

The in-person Tikkun Olam Awards are sold out!

Join us online TOMORROW, Wednesday, October 19th, at 12:45PM at the virtual Tikkun Olam Awards!


Thanking our volunteers, who, in times of crisis and calm, constantly step up to “repair the world” by supporting immigrants and refugees.

TONIGHT: Join us at the table!Join us for Thankful Together!

Thankful Together, formerly known as Refugee Thanksgiving, is happening TONIGHT at 6PM!

Register here to join us tonight: https://hiaspa1.wpengine.com/event/thankful-together-2021/

Celebrate our volunteers who make this all possible!Click here at 11:45AM to join our Annual Meeting!

Click here to join our virtual Annual Meeting!

The Annual Meeting starts at noon, but join us at 11:45AM for an informal chat before the event!

POSTPONED! Speed Advocacy: Afghanistan

Today's Speed Advocacy: Afghanistan Facebook Live event has been postponed due to a worldwide Facebook outage. We will update you as soon as possible about rescheduling the event.

Join us for Thankful TogetherWatch performances from cultural groups and immigrants from around Philadelphia.
Give immigrants a brighter future

Make 2021 better for immigrants and refugees by ensuring they have the support to recover from anti-immigrant policies and the pandemic.

Double your donation this Giving Tuesday!All gifts will be matched up to a total of $11,000

Help every immigrant achieve their greatest potential by ensuring there are no obstacles like a lack of legal status or language access stand in their way.