Refugees & New Americans

Connecting refugees and New Americans to opportunities

Services for Refugees and New Americans

Jewish Family Services works to envelop refugees and other New Americans into the Central Ohio community and provide them a foothold from which to grow.

We assist both with the initial transition to American life – through resettlement, job search and family supports – and then access to career pathways offering opportunities for higher wages, advancement and increased stability.

Those who have been forced to flee their homelands and come to the United States through the federal refugee resettlement program receive assistance finding housing and work, and connecting to services to support them in building a new life. 

New Americans who have been in the United States for some time receive support to help them move from stable to thriving.

Connect With Services

 By phone at  614-237-9675

or via app or web browser:

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We offer full-service refugee resettlement as an affiliate of HIAS, the international Jewish humanitarian organization that supports refugees and asylum seekers. Primary services include airport transport, assistance enrolling in benefits, cultural orientation, employment assistance, establishing and outfitting housing, transportation to medical providers, and regisering children for school.

Job Search

We work to place newly resettled refugees into sustainable employment quickly and we help established New Americans work toward advancing their careers. Staff meets with clients to assess English competency, work experience and education level to provide individualized services. These include resume preparation, interview and job-readiness training, job application and placement assistance, transportation troubleshooting and community-based referrals.


We place a unique emphasis on building relationships with the employers interested in hiring refugees and New Americans. Staff ensure clients are ready for their jobs and help employers anticipate or troubleshoot issues that may occur. Our primary supports include diversity training, translation assistance, cultural services, and transportation coordination services. Our partnerships with employers create economic opportunity and enrich Central Ohio’s workforce.

Family Supports

We provide a variety of wrapround supports to help refugee and New American families achieve stability. We help them maintain safe housing, access healthy food, and connect them with donated goods such as household and personal care items.

2023 Impact

321 Refugees And Other New Americans Secured Employment

$18.99/Hour Average Wage Earned

136 Refugees from 13 countries welcomed for resettlement


Jewish Family Services’ history is directly tied to generations of refugees and New Americans from across the world coming to the United States seeking safety, security, and a chance at the American Dream.

Throughout the twentieth century, we played a significant role in the resettling of Jewish immigrants in central Ohio, including a major influx of Russian Jews in the 1980s and early 1990s.In recent decades our New American Services team has focused on building more holistic services to assist refugees through job search and family supports. During the pandemic, they began piloting a new model for business services to meet the urgent needs of both employers and New American jobseekers. This model has been highly successful, generating significantly higher job placement rates in fiscal year 2021 for jobseekers from low-income households, including a 90% job placement rate in our Refugee Social Services program. In 2022 we expanded New American services to address housing instability and assist humanitarian parolees from Afghanistan and Ukraine.

In February of 2023, the U.S. Department of State approved Jewish Family Services’ application to join the HIAS affiliate network as a refugee resettlement agency. HIAS is the world’s oldest refugee agency. As the central Ohio affiliate of HIAS, Jewish Family Services now provide refugee resettlement services to over 100 individuals throughout 2023 and many more in years to come. 

Leonard’s Story

Leonard fled his home in the Democratic Republic of Congo to escape political unrest and increasing violence. He spent 14 years in a refugee camp in Uganda before finally being resettled in Columbus, Ohio. Leonard came to Jewish Family Services for help finding a job that would pay enough for him to support himself and send money back to his wife in Uganda.

Get in Touch

Ebner Building
1070 College Avenue
Columbus, OH 43209

Call Us: (614) 231-1890

Connect With Services

 By phone at  614-237-9675

or via app or web browser:

Wayfynder Logo

Jewish Family Services is a proud member of the Human Service Chamber of Franklin County and the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies

© 2024 Jewish Family Services Columbus