HIAS NY Legal and Asylum

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the HIAS NY Legal and Asylum Volunteer Program! To get started, click the black “fill in an application” button on this page and follow the instructions to create a basic volunteer profile. You can find more information about available volunteer roles below.

Volunteer opportunities for individuals in New York include:

Long term volunteer roles

  • Mentors work one-on-one with HIAS clients, acting as a cultural liaison and providing varied types of support as asylum seekers learn how to navigate healthcare, education, and public transportation systems.
  • English as a New Language Tutors help clients with beginner-level English develop language skills in speaking, reading, and writing.
  • English Language Partners help clients build conversational English skills that allow them to communicate more fluently with their neighbors, employers, and service providers.

Short term volunteer roles

  • Special Project Volunteers work on goal-oriented, shorter-term projects. Each project is unique – volunteers may help a client apply for a replacement social security card, review a resume, submit job applications, or navigate a specific affordable housing challenge. Projects vary in length from a few days to several weeks.

Other volunteer roles

  • Volunteer Interpreters and Translators are regularly needed to assist with remote interpretation and translation needs that support our asylum-seeking clients’ legal case and social integration.
  • Social Service Volunteers work with our social service department to create, update, and expand our resource guides for clients. Guides help clients easily access resources in NY, such as housing, financial, medical, and job placement assistance across multiple counties.
  • Accompaniment Volunteers provide or assist with transportation for appointments related to HIAS clients' legal cases.

We will be onboarding new volunteers for direct service opportunities in the NY area in the Spring! To stay tuned for our next onboarding opportunity, please complete a basic volunteer profile at the link above and sign up for our New York volunteer newsletter.

For group volunteering inquiries, questions, or accommodations, please contact our volunteer coordinator at anita.shenoi@hias.org.

Thanks again for your interest. We look forward to connecting with you!

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Mission Statement

HIAS rescues people whose lives are in danger for being who they are. We protect the most vulnerable refugees, helping them build new lives and reuniting them with their families in safety and freedom. Guided by our Jewish values and history, we bring more than 130 years of expertise to our work with refugees.