5 Tevet, 5762
Jewish Agency Prepares For Increased Aliyah From Argentina in Light of Emergency Situation
Sallai Meridor Calls on Government to Include Support for Argentinian Immigrants in 2002 Budget
Following last night's declaration of a state of emergency in Argentina, the Jewish Agency has taken measures to prepare for increased Jewish immigration from Argentina to Israel. The head of the Jewish Agency mission in Argentina Kito Hasson, reports that yesterday, twice the usual number of Jews applied to Jewish Agency offices with requests to immigrate. Due to the situation and in order to deal with the stream of applicants, vacations of Jewish Agency employees in Argentina were canceled, and offices will remain open till . At the present time 18 Jewish Agency emissaries are deployed in Argentina in the fields of immigration and Jewish education. They supervise some fifty local employees.
Jewish Agency Chairman Sallai Meridor called on the Government of Israel to include special assistance to immigrants from Argentina in the 2002 budget, within the context of the immigration absorption program drawn up by the Jewish Agency and the Government. Argentina is one of three target countries (along with France and South Africa), which had been the object of a special Jewish Agency-Government of Israel program for promoting and facilitating immigration and absorption. Against the backdrop of the economic crisis in Argentina, the Jewish Agency allocated additional resources for preparing prospective immigrants for aliyah, improving assistance for their absorption and promoting Jewish Zionist education in Argentina.
Some 200,000 Jews reside in Argentina, 80% in Buenos Aires. In 2001 about 1,500 individuals immigrated to Israel from Argentina. This represents a 30% increase over last year (ca. 1,200 immigrants). This year, the number applicants for aliyah at Jewish Agency offices throughout Argentina, was 6,000. They are currently in various stages of processing and preparation.
For additional information please contact Yehuda Weinraub: 055-284805. For further information:
Contact the Office of the Spokesman:
Liaison to Foreign Press and Media JAFI