Refugee & Immigrant Services

The Jewish community understands what it is like to leave one’s home and resettle in a foreign land. That historic experience fuels our desire to help refugees and immigrants make a successful transition to self-sufficiency. Our culturally diverse staff is recruited directly from the communities we serve.

Contact us at or by phone.
South King County Office: (253) 850-4065

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Support Needed

Your support is urgently needed for families arriving from Afghanistan and other countries.

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A Refugee Story

Mitra tells her family’s story of navigating their way to America.

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Beyond Resettlement

JFS works with HIAS, formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, to resettle refugees assigned by the U.S. Department of State. We provide a required set of services from pre-arrival through the first 90 days of the resettlement period. But, our work with our new neighbors extends far beyond that initial three-month period, from Day 91 through citizenship. JFS provides holistic case management and education services to helps refugees, immigrants and asylees to become economically, socially and civically integrated in our community.

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Welcome Circles

A Welcome Circle (also called community sponsorship) is a group of individuals who provide financial, resettlement, and emotional support to newcomers for six months until they reach self-sufficiency. Circles can form as part of a synagogue, organization, community center, or other faith or interfaith community, or they can be made up of private individuals.

Most circles have 5-8 core members who lead on different tasks, such as finding housing, signing up for benefits, helping enroll children in school, and assisting adults with job readiness and employment.

If you are interested in forming a Welcome Circle, please visit HIAS for more details.

If you are already a part of a Welcome Circle, while JFS is unable to provide overarching support to individuals and community groups who have formed Welcome Circles, we are available to provide employment services for eligible individuals referred to JFS through DSHS’ Limited English Proficiency Pathway Program. We also encourage you to explore the many local resources available to support refugees in our region.

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More Ways to Get Help

Social Integration

  • Resettlement
    Refugees from all over the world are supported and encouraged as they integrate successfully into their new environments. Learn more with our Refugee Resettlement FAQ.
  • Language Classes
    English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes are offered at varying levels.
  • Intensive Case Management
    We provide comprehensive, long-term case management to refugee and asylees who face additional barriers to stability including single-parent households, members of the LGTBQI community, and those with complex medical and mental health needs.
  • Women’s Empowerment Programming
    Recognizing the increased cultural, social and systemic barriers that immigrant women face, RIS’ Women’s Empowerment Programming promotes gender equity through a three-pronged model that provides individualized case management, education workshops and social support through peer networking.

Economic Integration

  • Employment Services
    We assist with job readiness skills, employment counseling, and job placement and retention support. Comprehensive case management is provided to remove barriers to employment and includes services such as low-income housing applications, assistance with medical appointments and referral services.
  • Workshops
    We provide workshops to support the economic integration of refugees and asylees. Workshop topics include professional career re-entry, financial literacy, preparing for retirement and more.

Civic Integration

  • Citizenship Services
    We provide assistance with naturalization applications as well as classes to prepare for the citizenship exam.
  • Immigration Legal Services

Humanitarian Relief

  • Humanitarian Relief Legal Services
  • Asylum Support
    We support asylum seekers in the Puget Sound area with holistic case management support, access to basic needs, help navigating the complex immigration legal system, and help connecting to local resources, education, and employment opportunities. Limited financial assistance is also available.
  • Unaccompanied Youth
    We provide evidence-based, culturally and linguistically appropriate case management services to children who entered into the United States without the protection of an adult. The goal of this program is to help youth reunite with a guardian in Washington state and successfully integrate into their new community. Case managers also conduct outreach and education to community service providers to supplement existing services that do not adequately address the unique needs of newly arrived immigrant children.
  • Survivors of Trafficking
    We offer trauma-informed, comprehensive case management services for foreign-born survivors of sex and labor trafficking. The goal of this program is to help survivors of human trafficking achieve long-term stability and self-sufficiency as well as immigration relief. Services include help with basic needs, medical case management, legal assistance, transportation, school and higher education support, and assistance obtaining correct personal and immigration documents.


  • Funders
    JFS serves individuals and families from King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties. Most programs are offered at no charge to participants and are made possible by generous funding from:
    • USCRI
    • CWS

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