JCCA and its predecessor institutions are inextricably bound to the history of New York City, and the United States, as welcoming immigrants from poverty-stricken and war-torn countries around the globe. The Hebrew Benevolent Society, which eventually evolved into JCCA, was created for the express purpose of caring for the children of immigrants. Before and during World War II, JCCA welcomed child refugees from Nazi Germany. Many were placed in foster homes through our agency or passed through our Pleasantville Campus on their way to their new families. JCCA also employed the young professionals who fled Europe, as counselors, cottage parents, and more. The children and adults who passed through our doors went on to create families, serve our country, build businesses, and contribute to the rich tapestry of American life, and we are better for it.

Friday’s Executive Order regarding travel bans for refugees, legal residents and visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries  runs counter to our organizational history, values, and mission. While it may not affect our direct care, the order’s impact on the New York community is enormous. Advocacy opportunities will be posted on our Intranet. If anyone you know is affected, please contact ActionNYC or CUNY CLEAR, two free resources for immigrants and non-citizens. If you believe you may be impacted, the JCCA Human Resources department is here to support you.

JCCA is committed to inclusivity — of nationality, cultural identity, religion, age, gender identity or expression, physical ability, racial and ethnic identity, sexual orientation, and social and economic status. We will continue to stand by our staff, our clients, and the most vulnerable among us. And we must fight harder than ever to repair the world, child by child.

Very sincerely yours,

Ronald E. Richter, CEO