Jewish Journal: This is What it Takes to Resettle a Refugee

The Los Angeles Jewish Journal recently featured the work of HIAS and our partners, Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

When Sebazira Amatutule, a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, arrived in California on June 10, 2015, after spending nearly two decades in a refugee camp in Uganda, he found a world where the rules were foreign to him, often in ways that surprised and pleased him. 

“In Africa, you can’t move,” he said in a recent interview. “You’re supposed to have your ID, and people are supposed to know where are you going. But here, you just have your bus pass, you board your bus, not even the driver is asking you where you’re going, you just stop, you go out and you reach home.”

...“Six months ago, we felt we were shouting into the wind trying to get people to understand there’s a refugee crisis,” Riva Silverman, vice president of external affairs for HIAS, a Jewish refugee aid organization, told congregants at a Shabbat lunch in January at Temple Beth Am on La Cienega Boulevard. Suddenly alert to the crisis, synagogues across the Southland are now trying to decide how, if it all, they can help.

Click here to read the full story in The Jewish Journal.

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