News & Views

HIAS PA Will Now Require COVID-19 Vaccinations

I write today to inform the public that HIAS Pennsylvania will be requiring all its staff and interns to be vaccinated effective October 1, 2021. We are taking this important step because it is clear both from science and history that vaccination is not a personal choice, it is a necessary step to protect the community. In our fight for social justice we strive, always, to advocate for policies that are just, equitable, and inclusive. Respecting human dignity and celebrating human life requires this. A policy that ensures that we are doing everything in our power to keep each other and our friends and neighbors safe does just that.

While we are in the process of implementing this policy and figuring out numerous others that address the concerns raised not only by COVID-19 but all of its variants, we will continue to work from home officially although staff and interns have been permitted to work in the office on a voluntary basis and with few exceptions, clients, volunteers and visitors are not allowed into our space. In addition to advocating on behalf of immigrants, resettling refugees and providing as many social services as possible to help our clients adjust to their new home, our staff is busy trying to figure out how and when we can open our office once again to all of you.

A first step will be to ensure that all of you are vaccinated. We therefore stand ready to assist you in any way that we can if you have not yet been vaccinated. If you are a client and are having trouble getting the vaccine because you have issues with transportation, childcare or with needing time off from work, please let your attorney or case worker know. We will try to assist you or connect you to resources so that these challenges can be overcome. If you are a client and have health related concerns about the vaccine, please contact your primary care physician or go to a district health center where your questions can be answered free of charge even if you have no insurance.

We so look forward to being able to see you all again, to share with you in person the joys of working together, of welcoming together and of learning from one another. Meanwhile, get vaccinated, stay safe and keep in touch!

With love and anticipation for a better tomorrow,

Cathryn Miller-Wilson