Jewish Vocational Service and refugees in Kansas City

Hilary Cohen Singer, Executive Director of Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) of Kansas City, discusses their program and what they are doing with refugees, especially now following the official US withdrawal from Afghanistan.  She also discusses how JVS coordinates efforts with other organizations like Catholic Charities, and Della Lamb.  Ms. Singer is interviewed by Susan Sarachek and regular Radio Active Magazine host Spencer Graves.  The discussion includes commentary on the research on the impact of refugees in communities in the US, which indicates that the impact is usually small but positive for the existing residents of the receiving community;  this contradicts the anti-immigrant claims of certain politicians and ill-informed xenophobes.

JVS Kansas City was founded in 1949 to help Holocaust survivors, refugees and those returning from WWII.  In the 1970s they had a major focus on supporting Russian refugees.  In the 1980s they added support for individuals with disabilities.

In a 2016 panel discussion on faith responses to “Confronting Extremist Violences”, panelists from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City, the Islamic Society Of Greater Kansas City, the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, and a retired Kansas City Star reporter on faith all agreed that JVS did the best work with refugees in this geographical area.



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