News and Announcements

The Jack Shindman / ShaRna Foundation Scholarship 2017

This scholarship opportunity helps  Jewish newcomers and immigrants to pursue a post-secondary degree or to upgrade their skills through education as they rebuild their lives in Canada.

Click here to download the application.

Terms and Eligiblity

  1. Jewish immigrants to Ontario who arrived in the past 5 years and who are/were clients of JIAS Toronto
  2. Enrolled in a post-secondary educational program in Ontario as of September 2017 (i.e. university, college, or qualification training)
  3. Awards are based on proven financial need
  4. Prior recipients are not eligible to apply again
  5. Only complete applications submitted on or before April 28, 2017 will be considered
  6. Eligible candidates will be requested to participate in a personal interview

Address applications and enquiries to:

Jack Shindman/ShaRna Foundation Scholarship Committee

c/o JIAS (Jewish Immigrant Aid Services)  Toronto

4600 Bathurst Street, Suite 325

Toronto, ON     M2R  3V3

Tel: (416) 630-6481 ext. 5440     

Press Release:  CIJA Statement on Immigration and Refugee Debate in the U.S.

Montreal, QC — Since Friday, there has been intense debate about new U.S. policy on immigration and refugees. In response, David J. Cape, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following statement:

“Every state has a clear obligation to ensure the security of its citizens. However, as central as that imperative may be, it is essential that it be informed by the twin imperative of demonstrating compassion for the most vulnerable, including refugees fleeing persecution, terror and war.

“Protection of human life is at the very core of Jewish tradition. Indeed, this concept is considered of such great import that it supersedes virtually all other considerations. The Jewish community in Canada has demonstrated this by welcoming and privately sponsoring many refugee families fleeing the conflict in Syria. In that regard, we note with appreciation Prime Minister Trudeau’s principled statement, which was reinforced by both opposition parties, leaving no doubt about the Canadian consensus on this issue.”


The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.

Martin Sampson, CIJA

JIAS Toronto and Lifeline Syria:  Co-Recipients of Ve’ahavta’s Tikun Olma Humanitarian Award


JIAS Toronto and Lifeline Syria are proud to announce that they are co-recipients of the Ve’ahavta Tikun Olam 2016 Humanitarian Award for their work bringing Syrian refugees to Canada. The award was presented at the Starry Nights Award Ceremony on November 13, 2016.

“It is a most rewarding time for JIAS Toronto and for the many community groups who are so generously and tirelessly working to sponsor refugee families. Many in the Jewish community, motivated by Jewish values and history, felt it was important to take action, and JIAS Toronto, in our capacity as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, responded,” said Janis Roth, Executive Director of JIAS Toronto.

“We’re honoured for this recognition, which we really see as a recognition of the numerous funders and donors and volunteers and partners we have worked with, propelling us forward in our goal of welcoming 1,000 Syrian refugees within the first two years. We’re immensely proud of our small but dedicated team, and truly, by the response of the Canadian people who’ve opened up their hearts, their homes, and their wallets in incredible ways,” said Lesley Brown, Executive Director of Lifeline Syria.

JIAS Toronto is a government and community funded immigrant service organization providing comprehensive settlement and integration services to 8,000 immigrants a year. The organization is also a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) with the Government of Canada– the only Jewish SAH in Canada –giving it a mandate to sponsor refugees from overseas to come to Canada. JIAS Toronto is working with 32 volunteer Constituent Groups to submit applications and support the refugee sponsorship process. In total, 40 applications have been submitted to sponsor approximately 140 Syrian refugees and reunite them with their families living in the GTA.

Lifeline Syria facilitates refugee arrivals to the GTA. It does this through recruiting, training and assisting sponsorship groups; connecting cases to pro-bono lawyers to facilitate the application process; and through providing post-arrival supports.  Lifeline Syria continues to work with governments at all levels to help inform policy decisions affecting refugees and newcomers. The organization committed to helping Syrian refugees settle in the GTA.

To date, over 31,000 Syrian refugees have settled in Canada.


Janis Roth, Executive Director                               Lesley Brown, Executive Director

JIAS Toronto                                                              Lifeline Syria

416-630-6481, #5437                                                 647-943-6303                                     

Click below to watch our  video:  JIAS Toronto:  Supporting Those Who Seek Safety in Canada

JIAS Toronto Campaign videoOur appreciation to McIntosh Media for creating the video


Click here to watch a presentation about our work and how you can help:  Presentation on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

For any of our LINC or ESL Programs, contact the English Program Coordinator closest to you.

In Toronto:  416-635-7044

In York Region:  905-761-5116

We offer a variety of full-time and part-time English classes, including some classes specifically geared for seniors.

Eligible students (permanents resident or convention refugees) can apply for participation in our free LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers) classes.  Before registering, you must get a LINC assessment.  Please contact the English Program Coordinator to get instructions about how to get your assessment and then register for classes.  Our LINC programs are funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

We also offer other free ESL (English as a Second language) programs in Toronto and in York Region for those who are eligible.  To find the location and program that is right for you, please contact the English Program Coordinator.

Syrian Family to Reunite in Toronto, Thanks to Unlikely Partnership:  The Globe and Mail, January 1, 2017

JIAS Recognized for its Role in Aiding Syrian Refugees:  Canadian Jewish News, December 14, 2016

Canadians Answer Call to Help Syrian Refugees:  NOW, November 2, 2015

JIAS Tells Torontonians How to Sponsor Refugees:  Canadian Jewish News, September 24, 2015

Synagogue Votes to Sponsor Christian Refugee Family:  Canadian Jewish News, July 30, 2015

JIAS Toronto Staff Skilled and Caring:  Canadian Jewish News, December 11, 2014

JIAS Makes Life Easier for Immigrants:  Canadian Jewish News, August 28, 2014