Jewish Family Service of San Diego Statement Re: Little Amal Visits San Diego - JFSSD
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Jewish Family Service of San Diego Statement Re: Little Amal Visits San Diego


From Michael Hopkins, CEO, Jewish Family Service of San Diego

Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) welcomes Little Amal to the San Diego borderlands Nov. 3-5. A 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old refugee girl named Little Amal, this cross-border interactive art experience is spreading the critical story of hope throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

From our roots as an organization that welcomed refugees 105 years ago, JFS remains committed to compassionately welcoming asylum seekers, refugees, and immigrants. We continue to advocate for the need to rebuild our country’s broken asylum and immigration systems and call on all levels of government to enact human-centered, supportive policies to ensure individuals are welcomed with dignity and respect.

Today, JFS proudly celebrates its service of welcoming hundreds of thousands of children and individuals like Little Amal who are seeking safety in the U.S.

JFS is one of only a few refugee resettlement agencies in San Diego, providing comprehensive services for newly arriving refugees referred by the U.S. Refugee Program. On any given day, we help families enroll their children in school; gain proficiency in English; learn to navigate banking systems, public transportation, and community resources; further their education; find permanent employment; and become contributing members of the community. Over the last service year, JFS resettled 338 individuals (94 households) into our San Diego community. Together, we empower refugees to rebuild their lives and create a brighter future for their families.

JFS is also the operator of San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter Services, providing food, shelter, case management, and medical and legal services to welcome asylum seekers with dignity and respect. Since Oct. 2018, the shelter has welcomed more than 169,000 people seeking asylum and helped them travel to their loved ones across the country.

The nonprofit also offers a range of immigration services by immigration attorneys and Department of Justice accredited representatives. Together, we can help with filing forms, applications, and petitions related to immigration legal and work status. We also provide free and low-cost legal assistance to individuals and families in need of removal defense. In the last year, JFS’s immigration legal services assisted over 7,000 people in our community, including helping 22 people become U.S. citizens.

This critical local work is only possible with the support of donations at  and volunteers at