A Jewish Response to the Refugee Crisis: Learning from the Past, Rising to the Moment
Over the last year, the number of refugees and displaced people across the world has grown to more than 68 million – more than any time in history. Because of our experiences and our values, the Jewish people have a unique connection to these most vulnerable people. Join Melanie Nezer, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at HIAS, to learn more about Jewish displacement in history and the current global refugee crisis, and explore how Jewish values call on us to respond.
Melanie Nezer, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs
Melanie Nezer leads HIAS’ efforts to inform and educate individuals, institutions, elected officials and communities about refugees and to galvanize them to take action. As Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, she oversees the Communications, Community Engagement, Development and Policy and Advocacy teams.
A longtime refugee rights advocate, Melanie has shaped much of HIAS’ policy and advocacy agenda and its legal work in her time at the agency. She previously served as HIAS' Vice President for Policy and Advocacy, as Migration Policy Counsel, and as Director of HIAS’ Employment Visa Program, representing at-risk Jewish professionals and religious workers seeking to work in the U.S. during times of instability and crisis in their home countries.
Before joining HIAS, Melanie was the Immigration Policy Director for the organization now known as US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), where—in addition to conducting advocacy on immigration and asylum issues—she was co-editor of Refugee Reports and a writer for the annual World Refugee Survey. Prior to her work in Washington, Melanie was in private practice in Miami, Florida, where she specialized in immigration law and criminal defense.