GN 00302.975 Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HIAS) Records

A. Introduction

HIAS is a non-profit organization devoted to assisting Jewish immigrants to the U.S. and, through cooperating and branch agencies throughout the world, locating friends and relatives.

B. Records available 1950 on

Proof of age can be obtained from HIAS for most Jewish immigrants who entered the U.S. from 1950 on.

C. Difficulty in obtaining records for 1909-1949 period

  • The organization's immigration records begin with 1909. However, records for immigrants who entered the U.S. prior to 1950 are difficult to access and often illegible.

  • HIAS advises that:

    • For the period 1909-1949 they are able to locate only about 1 record for 50 searches, and

    • For those who entered the U.S. between 1940 and 1950, only about 1 in 10 of the records are found.

D. Rule

A request for search of HIAS records established before 1950 should not generally be made. If the claimant has other evidence of age established near the time of entry into the U.S. do not request a HIAS record. A search should be made for years before 1950 only if other evidence of comparable probative value is unavailable.

E. HIAS policy on release of information

HIAS will assist SSA in any way it can. There is no charge.

If a search is requested by mail, HIAS will not demand the claimant's authorization for release of information.

HIAS does insist, however, that SSA limit its requests to those that are necessary for an equitable determination of age for Jewish immigrants.

F. How to request information

This chart tells the FO interviewer how to obtain information from HIAS records.

StepAction
   

1

Request information from HIAS files by SSA-562-U3 addressed to the FO at:

5th Floor
237 West 48 St.
New York, NY 10036

2

Attach a statement patterned as follows:

 

Request for Information from United HIAS Service Files

To: HIAS
      333 7th Ave.
      Suite 1700
      New York, NY 10001
      212-967-4100
RE: (Insert name, current address, and Social Security Number)

 

Name used on arrival:
Port of Arrival:
Name of Ship:
Sailing from:
Place of birth:

Mother's maiden name:
Father's name:
Age on arrival:
Destined to:
Accompanying family members:

3

Supply as much information as possible, placing special emphasis on the name used on arrival and the date of arrival.

NOTE: If the date of arrival is not known, make every attempt to relate the arrival to a particular season or holiday to facilitate the search. Provide any spelling changes or phonetic distortions of the name used at the time of entry in the U.S.

4

If you have difficulty obtaining information, contact a rabbi or local Jewish agency for assistance.

5

Allow 6 weeks for a response from HIAS.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200302975
GN 00302.975 - Hebrew Imm