Pittsburgh shooting follow-up: HIAS


As many of you following the story may know, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter specifically named the organization HIAS, or, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, as one bullet point in their list of grievances against Jews.

For those of you who have not heard of it, HIAS was founded in ~1882 to provide aid and resettlement assistance to Eastern European Jews fleeing pogroms and other anti-Semitic forms of violence. It continued working to rescue, resettle, and provide aid to Jews through about the 1960s, in the later years working with Middle Eastern and North African Jewry, and Jews behind the Iron Curtain. 

In the 1970s HIAS expanded its operations to provide the same services to any group in need of humanitarian aid, rescue, resettlement, government advocacy, etc. HIAS has worked with refugee populations from, but not limited to, Vietnam, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Bosnia, Egypt, and Syria. You can learn more about HIAS, its history and activities here.

The Pittsburgh shooter was not a person who valued this type of work, especially as it meant bringing non-white people from non WhiteAmericanChristian backgrounds into the United States,

If you would like to support HIAS and its important work, you may donate here. Further, if you would like to support the maintenance and preservation of HIAS’ legacy and work, please consider contributing to the American Jewish Historical Society to ensure that these important archives will exist for researchers in perpetuity.

Notice of Conflict of Interest: I work for the American Jewish Historical Society, and I spent a little over a year working with the HIAS papers before shifting to my current role.