The Jewish community understands what it means to leave one’s home and settle in a foreign land. JFS has a long and meaningful history of aiding refugees and immigrants from around the world make a successful transition to self-sufficiency in the United States.
JFS RISE (Refugee Integration Support Effort) is the name for JFS Delaware’s Refugee and Émigré Services. RISE is a team approach to supporting refugees who are newly arrived and recently settled in Delaware. The JFS RISE team includes JFS professional staff and JFS RISE Volunteers, Community Partners, and Integration Leaders. Through intensive, culturally sensitive case management, our staff enables refugees to integrate into their new communities, obtain and retain employment, and maintain healthy lifestyles.
JFS offers outpatient behavioral health and counseling, services for older adults, youth and family support services, and refugee resettlement and émigré services to people without regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation, or gender expression. Committed to continued expansion and deepening of our contributions to the vulnerable communities of Delaware, our vision for the agency is to use our evolving position as a key social service provider in Delaware to strengthen the support available to our most under-served populations.
Refugee clients are empowered to integrate into their new communities. We teach them to access and use public services such as transportation, police, and emergency medical services; enroll their children in schools; choose primary physicians; and obtain things like state identification, driver’s license, or library cards.
After reviewing refugee client’s education level, English language competence, and job skills, we assist with job readiness and English language classes, employment counseling, and job placement and retention.
We support and guide refugee clients through required medical screenings and vaccinations, and help them to access health care providers and treatment.
We provide assistance in applying for low cost housing, enrollment in school, college, or training programs, medical and legal needs, citizenship applications, and accessing additional needed services.
Jewish history and values guide our work. JFS has resettled immigrants since our founding in 1898 and are committed to serving refugees today. We are obligated to love and befriend the stranger because we were once strangers and to treat all of humanity with kindness and dignity. We deeply understand the human tragedy that occurs when nations and citizens turn a blind eye to those who are fleeing persecution, war, and terror.
JFS has been providing what are called Émigré services for refugees already in Delaware since 1997, helping them transition to life in this country. Before that, we coordinated the resettlement of Jewish refugees from the Former Soviet Union. Now, we are partnering with HIAS, one of the nine national resettlement agencies, to meet refugee families the moment they first step into the country and assist them with everything they need to start a life in Delaware.