8 Tevet, 5762
URGENT BREAKING NEWS:
THE GOVERNMENT AND THE JEWISH AGENCY LAUNCH OPERATION FOR PROMOTING ALIYAH OF ARGENTINE JEWS
The Governent of Israel and the Jewish are launching a special operation to encourage immigration of Jews from Argentina.
Today, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Jewish Agency Chairman Sallai Meridor decided to award a special package of absorption benefits to immigrants from Argentina in a one-year directive, promulgated for the year 2002. This measure was undertaken due to the gravity of the situation in Argentina.
In the context of this operation, the Government will award each family approximately $20,000 in additional assistance for the acquisition of an apartment (two thirds as a loan and one third as a grant). The Jewish Agency, for its part, will award an initial absorption allocation of $2,500 per family.
These benefits are in addition to to existing decisions and follow upon decisions taken by of the joint Government Jewish Agency Coordinating Commission of June and October.
Today an emergency meeting, presided over by Jewish Agency Chairman Sallai Meridor and Cabinet Secretary Gideon Sa'ar, was held in the Jewish Agency. Senior officials of Government ministries which deal with absorption participated in the meeting.
Jewish Agency Treasurer Chaim Chesler is coordinating all budgetary matters of the Jewish Agency concerning the emergency program for aliyah and Jewish education in Argentina.
Absorption Ministry Director General Ronen Plut announced that branch offices of the Absorption Ministry have made special prepartions.
The representative of the Ministry of Absorption and Housing announced that his Ministry will will be a full partner in housing assistance to immigrants who will be arriving.
This morning Prime Minister Sharon telephoned Sallai Meridor and informed him of the Government's commitment to special measures for the absorption of immigrants from Argentina.
Following the meeting a decision bearing the signatures of the Prime Minister and Chairman of the Jewish Agency was promulgated as a directive for the year 2002 which awards special assistance to immigrants from Argentina.
Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pini Avivi, requested sensitivity in dealing with aliyah given the situation in the field and coordination with the Embassy.
On Tuesday 61 immigrants from Argentina will arrive, and on Wednesday 40 youngsters of high-school age will arrive. They will join 100 other high school students from Argentina who are studying in Israel in the context of the two-year Naaleh secondary school program. They will be studying in Shaarei Hanegev and Gilboa regional schools. In addition 25 Argentinians will arrive this Wednesday on a pilot trip to examine absorption possibilities in Israel.
Since the establishment of the State of Israel somme 60,000 immigrants arrived from Argentina. By the end of 2001 some 1,500 will have arrived, a 30% increase over last year. Approximately 200,000 Jews reside in Argentina.
For additional information please contact Yehuda Weinraub, 055-284 805For further information:
Contact the Office of the Spokesman:
Liaison to Foreign Press and Media JAFI