This is a humanitarian operation of reuniting families in Israel by the Jewish Agency for Israel of which I am proud to be the head.
The Jewish Agency has named this program "Project Yona" in honor of the leader of the Ethiopian Jewish community in the 1970's and 1980's, the late Yona Bogale.
Yona is also the Hebrew word for a dove which is mentioned in the Book of Isaiah Chapter 60, verse 8 in the context of doves returning to their dove-cotes."Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their dove-cotes", ie. the children of Israel returning to the Promised Land.
The Jewish Agency facilitates the immigration to Israel of all those eligible from all four corners of the globe without distinction of origin, social status, gender, race or color.
The absorption of the Falashmura into Israeli society will be a long and complex process and the Jewish Agency will intercede with all Israeli Government ministries on behalf of the new immigrants.
Special negotiations are being conducted with the Ministry of Finance regarding the issue of enhanced mortgages for purchasing of permanent housing by all the new arrivals from Ethiopia to ensure that once they have completed the initial absorption stage at a Jewish Agency Absorption Center they will be able to purchase apartments on the free market.
The Jewish Agency for Israel has learned important lessons from its previous experience in the initial absorption of immigrants from Ethiopia and is confident that the immigration and absorption of the current wave of immigration from Ethiopia will be successful."
For further information please contact:
Liaison to Foreign Press
Jewish Agency for Israel