Jewish Family & Children’s Services (JFCS) of Southern Arizona is proud to participate in the fifth annual International Refugee Shabbat, which takes place February 3-4, 2023. Founded by HIAS (originally the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), it is a moment for congregations, organizations, and individuals in the United States and around the world to dedicate a Shabbat experience to reaffirming our support for refugees and asylum seekers. Following the success of the Hanukkah refugee supply drive, Be a Light This Hanukkah, JFCS invites all community members to take part in this special Shabbat by adding a special additional prayer to your Friday night Kiddush (Shabbat blessing over the wine).
The Jewish community founded HIAS more than one hundred years ago to help Jews facing violence. Today, JFCS of Southern Arizona, in collaboration with HIAS, is committed to helping refugees from diverse faiths, ethnicities, and backgrounds, offering full-service resettlement, bringing these new Americans into a safe and supportive community. Since December 2021, JFCS of Southern Arizona has resettled 122 refugees from Afghanistan, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Guatemala, Somalia and Sudan. In addition, JFCS of Southern Arizona has served 52 Ukrainian humanitarian parolees as they sought to escape the war in their home country.