THE MUSEUM OF FAMILY HISTORY presents

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

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Immigrant Inspection at Ellis Island within the Great Hall.

HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, is America's oldest international migration and refugee resettlement agency. Dedicated to assisting persecuted and oppressed people worldwide and delivering them to countries of safe haven, HIAS has rescued more than 4.5 million people since 1881. Growing from organizations founded in the 1870s and 1880s to assist Jewish migrants arriving in America, HIAS is responsible for the rescue and resettlement into the United States of noted academics, artists, athletes, entertainers, scientists, mayors, governors, and members of United States Congress, as well as everyday people. Its operational goals are based on Jewish religious teachings.

From Wikipedia. photo: Immigration inspection at Ellis Island. Courtesy of the U.S. National Park Service.

Many immigrants who entered countries such as the United States sought assistance upon their immigration, e.g. food, housing, etc. Aid societies, such as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, founded by Russian Jewish immigrants in New York City in 1881, often had a representative stationed at the major ports of entry, waiting to help each and every immigrant they could. The founding of HIAS was in response to the huge wave of immigration that occurred following the assassination of the Russian Czar Alexander II in 1881 and the subsequent pogroms. Many Jews were forced to flee Russia and immigrate to the United States, the majority entering via the port of New York. There, HIAS would provide food and shelter to the new immigrant, and try to find them a job. In 1911, HIAS even provided a kosher kitchen at Ellis Island and fed more than half a million meals between 1925 and 1952.  next ►►
 

 

 


 



 

 


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