Anat Ben-Dor (l), an Attorney in the Refugee Rights Clinic at Tel Aviv University and Leah Biteolin, an Ethopian Jew who lives in Israel and works for the Jewish Agency. Canada Israel Committee (CIC), Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) and JIAS Canada were instrumental in bringing the two Israeli women to speak at the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) International Refugee Rights Conference. JIAS Canada is a founding member of the CCR. (Photograph courtesy Carolyn Blackman, Canadian Jewish News).
• Information and Publicity
• Public Education
• Government Relations
• Integration and Community Involvement
JIAS Canada has been the clearinghouse for pertinent information and materials with regards to immigration, settlement and integration. We have been consistently receiving materials from a variety of sources from Canada, the United States and overseas which we analyse and disseminate to our community partners as appropriate.
In addition, our service includes explanation and interpretation of new and amended laws, legislation and policies relating to immigration including information on services offered by the Federal and Provincial Governments. Information is tailored to relate how changes can affect their advice to cases in their respective communities.
As a voice of the Canadian Jewish community, we maintain and enhance relationships with elected and non-elected officials on Federal and Provincial levels, in order to impact positively on immigration policies and processes as well as individual immigration cases. We regularly meet with Federal and Provincial Ministers of Immigration as part of the Jewish and NGO communities. We meet annually with non-elected Federal and Provincial immigration officials and regularly visit each critical visa post overseas. Our Agency presents submissions to the Parliamentary Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.
We maintain and enhance relationships with NGO’s in order to ensure that the Jewish community’s concerns are reflected in the general NGO’s priorities and that a positive image of the Jewish community be projected to other ethnic communities. We are founding members of, and retain membership and participation in, the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) and OCASI (Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants). We are active in provincial umbrellas such as AAISA (Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies) and AMSSA (Affiliation of Multi-cultural Societies and Service Agencies of B.C). We continue to develop positive inter-personal relationships with emerging immigrant service organizations.
Because knowledge of immigration is broadly based, JIAS Canada is called upon to consult on immigration matters and provide advice on issues which affect the Canadian Jewish community and the community at large.
JIAS Canada supports development of a positive pro-immigrant environment with the Jewish and general communities and promotes integration and community development of Jewish newcomers to Canada. Priority has always been given to meet the critical and immediate basic needs of immigrants. Little has been done, however, to address the long-term integration needs of immigrants or to support our community organizations and Agencies to become inclusive and reflective of our diverse population. At the same time many immigrants still feel like outsiders and community leaders often question their level of participation.
JIAS Canada, in collaboration with our Service Provider Partners, has undertaken the task of bridging the gap in this area.