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Help restore hope and transform lives to individuals and families in our community who need help.
provides grief counseling to low-income adult who lost her spouse
provides homebound older adult with shopping and meal prep assistance for 1 month
provides a family of four with a week's worth of groceries.
helps temporarily house a newly arrived refugee family for one month.
We cannot accept gifts under $10
Please note: mailed tribute notifications can take up to two weeks to process and send.
What is a refugee?There are different classifications for people seeking to come to the United States. Refugee: A refugee is someone who has fled from his or her home country due to war and violence and cannot return because he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion, sexual orientation or membership in a particular social group. They have fled human rights abuse or conflict and have sought asylum outside their home country. A person who is approved into the U.S. under refugee status, is eligible for medical and cash assistance, may work immediately upon arrival into the U.S. and must apply for a Green Card and citizenship status. Humanitarian Parole: Individuals who are outside of the United States may be able to request parole into the United States based on urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons. Parole allows an individual, who may be inadmissible or otherwise ineligible for admission into the United States to be paroled in the United States for a temporary period. Parole is usually granted for no more than 1 year but may be extended longer depending on the reason for the parole. A person granted temporary parole may be eligible to work in the U.S. but is not eligible for medical or cash benefits. Asylum: An asylum seeker is someone who is seeking international protection but whose claim for refugee status has not yet been determined. People seeking asylum in the U.S. can only do so if they are physically present in the United States. An asylum seeker may apply for employment authorization after applying for asylum. If asylum is granted, the asylum seeker may then apply for permanent residency.
Who do we resettle?JFS is assigned refugee resettlement clients by the U.S. State Department and HIAS (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society). In recent years, our resettlement clients have primarily come from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the former Soviet Union, Africa, Syria and Burma. Due to the recent war in Ukraine, we are now serving Ukrainian newcomers arriving in Santa Clara County. HIAS determines the best resettlement location for candidates, utilizing determinants such as family ties and health factors.
What services does JFS provide to refugees?We resettle refugees at arrival and also provide comprehensive case management including social services, language and vocational services, cultural and integration services, information and assistance and volunteer support. For a full list of services, please see the list above.
What is the refugee screening process?Refugees undergo 18-24 months of screening before being allowed to enter the U.S. The first step for most refugees is to register with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the country to which s/he has fled. The UNHCR performs an initial assessment, including collecting biographical data and biometrics. Qualifying refugees are then referred to the United States for resettlement and vetted by a Resettlement Support Center (RSC). The RSC creates an applicant file, collects important documents and compiles information to conduct biographic security checks. National security agencies, including the National Counterterrorism Center/Intelligence Community, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the State Department all conduct checks. The Department of Homeland Security and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services personnel who are specially trained in interviewing, conduct in-person interviews. Fingerprints are collected and submitted. A thorough medical screening then takes place. Refugees are then screened by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and The Transportation Security Administration program. After one year in the U.S., they are required to apply for a green card, which triggers another set of security procedures.
When did JFS SV begin resettling refugees?JFS SV began assisting refugees in 1978. The agency was a leader in resettling Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union in the 1980’s who resettled here in Santa Clara County. JFS SV also resettled Iranian refugees who fled as a result of the Iranian Revolution and the fall of the Persian monarchy. JFS SV continues to be a premier agency providing comprehensive resettlement services to refugees and immigrants from all over the world resettling in Santa Clara County and the greater Bay Area.
Why does JFS SV resettle refugees?Jewish history and values guide our work. The commandment to treat strangers with kindness and love them as ourselves is mentioned 36 times in the Torah (Jewish bible), more than any other commandment. We understand from our devastating first-hand experience the tragedy that occurs when citizens and nations turn a deaf ear and blind eye to those who are fleeing persecution, war and terror.