The Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees (OCJCR) is a volunteer led affiliate of HIAS (formerly known as Hebrew Aid Immigrant Society.) Established in January 2018, OCJCR is a group of individuals, synagogues, and Jewish communal organizations inspired by our people’s history to support refugees locally and worldwide. OCJCR is the local arm of the HIAS Welcome Campaign: a network of 400+ congregations and organizations across the United States who are responding to the largest refugee crisis in human history.
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The Jewish Collaborative of Orange County was the first local organization to join the HIAS Welcome Campaign and serves as OCJCR’s fiscal sponsor.
OCJCR operates under the guiding principles of HIAS, to “welcome the stranger, and protect the refugee.” We do this by concentrating our efforts on four key areas:
- Raising awareness: learning about the global refugee crisis and building connections between the OC refugee and Jewish communities
- Tzedakah: raising funds and supplies to support refugees
- Direct service: encouraging volunteerism among our members to work with local agencies serving refugees
- Advocacy: in partnership with HIAS, promoting policies and educating legislators on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers
Our accomplishments to date include:
- Raised funds for Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees and Lighthouse Peace Initiative (Lebanon)
- Coalition members have opened their homes for temporary and long-term housing to asylum seekers
- 2 Diaper drives for the Tiyya Foundation
- Clothing drive for Friends of OC Detainees
- Screening of Exodus: a documentary about refugees and their perilous journeys to Greece
- Educational programs introducing OC-resettled refugees to the Jewish community
- Coalition members volunteering with OC orgs providing direct service to refugees
- Coalition Leaders’ participation in HIAS mission to Mexico to visit detainees & deportees
- Advocacy in support of raising the refugee cap for the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program
- Meetings with local policy makers and legislators
- Op-Eds published by Coalition leadership
Participating members of OCJCR and the HIAS Welcome Campaign are:
- Congregation B’nai Israel
- Congregation B’nai Tzedek
- Congregation Shir HaMa’alot
- Temple Bat Yahm
- Temple Beth Emet
- Temple Beth David
- Temple Beth Sholom
- The Jewish Collaborative of Orange County
- University Synagogue
- To join the HIAS Welcome Campaign click here.
To join the HIAS Welcome Campaign click here.
Click here to find out ways to help refugees from Orange County.
Click here for a one-pager about OCJCR.