HIAS Steps in to Take Over NY Resettlement Operation
Jun 19, 2015
(NEW YORK, NY)—HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, has officially taken over the Federation Employment & Guidance Service’s (FEGS) resettlement program in New York after FEGS declared bankruptcy for unrelated reasons. HIAS will assume responsibility for the resettlement operation in New York beginning this week, basing FEGS’ resettlement employees at HIAS’ New York headquarters. The program is focused on family reunification, bringing refugees to New York to join family members already living in the region. Additionally, two former FEGS staffers have been hired by HIAS: Tatyana Kogan, coordinator, and Dalya Kanbarova, case worker.
“When we learned that FEGS was going out of business, we realized immediately that HIAS would need to step in,” said Aaron Gershowitz, Associate Vice President of HIAS’ Global Program Operation. “In order to ensure the continued presence of a strong resettlement service provider for refugees of all faiths and background in the New York metropolitan area, we immediately expressed our interest to FEGS and UJA-Federation of New York. Working together with our Jewish community partners, we will continue our historical work to ensure that refugees will be welcomed and supported by New York’s Jewish community for years to come.”
FEGS has been HIAS’ resettlement program affiliate in New York since September 2008. Between September 2008 and April of this year, FEGS resettled a total of 593 refugees, nearly all from the former Soviet Union and Iran. HIAS has maintained a continuous presence in the New York area for more than 130 years. By taking over this program, HIAS can preserve the Jewish community’s role as a reliable resettlement service provider in the New York area.
FEGS resettled 64 refugees in Federal Fiscal Year 2013 (44 from the former Soviet Union and 20 from Iran; 41 Jewish); 76 in FFY 2014 (48 from the FSU and 28 from Iran; 53 Jewish); 53 in FFY 2015 to date (all from the FSU; 32 Jewish).
In addition to the resettlement program, HIAS also previously contracted FEGS to provide case management and employment services to LGBTI asylees in New York. HIAS will be continuing this program as well as the resettlement program, with the help of FEGS staff joining HIAS’ team.
In order to formally take over the responsibility of resettlement work from FEGS, HIAS was required to receive approval from the New York State Refugee Coordinator; the Department of State Bureau of Refugees, Population and Migration; as well as the UJA-Federation. This process is now complete, and beginning this week, HIAS assumes responsibility.
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