International Refugee Assistance Project Director Recognized
Posted on: April 18, 2016
On April 4, Rebecca Heller, the director and co-founder of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), was awarded the 2015 Charles Bronfman Prize for IRAP’s work providing legal services to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Heller is the youngest recipient of the prize, which recognizes young humanitarians whose work, inspired by their Jewish values, has global impact.
At the award ceremony, Heller praised the resilience of refugees, who often have to wait for years as their visa applications are scrutinized. She said that the United States and other countries accepting refugees are “dealing with a self-selecting population of people who have been through things that we can’t even imagine and survived it. That’s exactly who you want coming here.”
IRAP brings together law students and pro bono attorneys to provide comprehensive legal aid to refugees throughout their lengthy registration, protection, and resettlement processes. The organization advocates for reforms to refugee resettlement policy and focuses on the most urgent cases, especially individuals who are survivors or targets of political, religious, or gender-based violence and children with medical emergencies.
Rebecca Heller on The Open Mind from PBS (March 26, 2016)