200+ Immigrants from France Arrive in Israel

Photo: Jeremy Fournée for The Jewish Agency for Israel.

More than 200 French Jews, half of whom are children, arrived in Israel this morning aboard a special Aliyah flight organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption. Despite the plane's arrival in the wee hours of the morning, the immigrants were warmly received at a festive welcome event at Ben-Gurion International Airport. According to data compiled by theAgency and the Ministry, some 4,260 immigrants from France have arrived in Israel so far this year, an 11% increase compared to the 3,830 who came during the equivalent period in 2014. … [Read more...]

New Initiative has Canadian Universities Embracing all things Israel

canada:israel flags

By Daniel Horowitz With contributions from Lior Cyngiser and Eran Shafir Imagine a university or college campus on which students, teachers and faculty alike celebrate, rather than demonize Israel or, at best, present it as one-dimensional, engaging only a handful of students. Imagine a campus where the majority of students are having conversations about the role and intersection that Israel plays within their field of study - an environment where not only are the conversations about Israel not limited to the classroom, but are at the forefront of students’ minds, and develop in a holistic, positive manner. Imagine Jewish faculty members enthusiastically acknowledging their respective roles in changing the campus ecosystem linking Israel engagement to their professional … [Read more...]

Jewish Agency, Government, Announce Major Expansion of Efforts to Combat Delegitimization on Campus

Meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and seven cabinet ministers in Jerusalem yesterday (Tuesday, June 23), Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman of the Executive Natan Sharansky announced that The Jewish Agency will increase the number of Israel Fellows dispatched to college campuses abroad by more than 30% in order to help combat rising efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel. The announcement took place during a meeting between Jewish Agency leaders and Israel's leadership as part of the Coordinating Committee of the Government of Israel and The Jewish Agency, convened during The Jewish Agency's Board of Governors' summer meetings. 85 Israel Fellows will be sent to 170 university campuses across North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and - for the first time - South … [Read more...]

Ethiopian Immigrants could be Evicted from Jerusalem-area Absorption Center

The Absorption Center in Mevaseret Zion; photo by Dr. Avishai Teicher via the PikiWiki - Israel free image collection project.

The Jewish Agency's pension fund seeks to sell the building to real estate developers. By Nimrod Bousso Haaretz.com Knesset members and NGOs have been battling to halt the sale of an immigrant absorption center to real estate developers, a move that could evict the building’s 1,300 residents - immigrants from Ethiopia. The center, in Mevasseret Zion near Jerusalem, is due to close on Sunday. It is being sold by the pension fund of the Jewish Agency, traditionally a key player in helping to bring over and integrate immigrants to Israel. The deal raises several questions, especially because all papers on the run-up to the sale have disappeared from the files of the Israel Land Authority, an ILA ombudswoman says. “The agency’s behavior in this story is more of a real estate agency … [Read more...]

3rd Under 40 Joins Jewish Agency Board

Alex Selsky's induction Sunday to The Jewish Agency Board of Governors brings to 3 the number of members under 40. All represent the World Zionist Organization (WZO). Selsky was born in Ufa the capital of the Russian autonomous republic of Bashkortostan and made Aliyah at age of 16 through the NAALE (Elite Academy) program. In the past he served as an advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, focusing on relations with Russian-speaking Israelis and the Russian-speaking Jewish Diaspora, as well as the Israeli and foreign Russian-language press. In parallel, he was spokesman of the National Economic Council in the Prime Minister’s Office. Previously he served as a spokesman for The Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization to Russian-language press and an emissary of The Jewish … [Read more...]

Iron Dome Wanted: A Rare Visit to a Jewish Refugee Camp in Ukraine

Learning Hebrew. Jewish refugees in a Jewish Agency facility in Eastern Ukraine. Courtesy Walla.

The fighting in Eastern Ukraine has made hundreds of thousands homeless, and only some of them have a place to go. While both sides resist being labeled anti-Semites, The Jewish Agency has begun an operation to rescue the Jews in the battlezones. Here, a Walla reporter talked to them about what the refugees are leaving behind and the hope of a new life in Israel: “Know that your government cares about its people.” By Amir Tibon, Saturday, January 31, 2015 The white minibus stopped at the entrance to the refugee camp during the early afternoon hours. The nervous passengers looked around and saw only snow and trees. The air was frozen. They had been traveling all morning, passing from one roadblock to another, each one manned by an armed militia of one kind or another. Now, for the first … [Read more...]

Faces of the Ukrainian Aliyah: Profiles of Ukrainian Jewish Refugees in Israel

Stukalo family; photo courtesy Jewish Agency RSJ unit

By Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt special to eJP Young, successful, hopeful - the Stukalo family of Donetsk, Ukraine had everything that one could ask for. Ilya (28) was working as a surgeon, Anzhelika (36) as a neurologist - and their little Veronika had just turned 3 this year. Two apartments, two cars, a nanny, daycare, weekend trips to the country. As active members of the local Jewish community, the Stukalos joined the local Jewish Agency office often for holiday celebrations and events; Ilya had traveled to Israel on Taglit-Birthright with The Jewish Agency as well. For a while, the family had considered making Aliyah to Israel, but didn’t plan to move in the near future, hoping to take the time to prepare for a stable future in another country and to study Hebrew in time. But with … [Read more...]

In Tbilisi, Georgia, a Celebration of 25 Years of Aliyah

photo by Nathan Roie

Tbilisi, Georgia recently celebrated the anniversary of the first aliyah, called the "great aliyah," 25 years ago from the Soviet Union. Various celebratory events will be continued in Israel during 2015 organized by the Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business and supported by both the Knesset and Georgian government. According to Itsik Moshe, the first Jewish Agency director in Georgia, the aliyah heralded the beginning of relationships between Georgia and Israel and Georgia and world Jewry, still ongoing today. … [Read more...]