December 25, 2007 / 16 Tevet 5768
IN THE YEAR 2007 A RECORD NUMBER OF
200 IMMIGRANTS FROM IRAN ARRIVED IN ISRAEL
This Represents a Threefold Growth in Comparison with the Previous Year,
Thanks to the Financial Assistance of 4 Million N.I.S. Contributed by the
International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
A group of 40 immigrants from Iran will land today at Gurion Airport thanks to the initiative of the Jewish Agency. This is the first time in many years that such a large group of immigrants from Iran has arrived in Israel on a single flight.
According to Jewish Agency data, with this flight the number of immigrants from Iran arriving in 2007 will reach a record number of 200, representing a threefold growth in comparison with the previous year when 65 Jews from Iran arrived.
The Jewish community in Iran totals 28,000 people, most of whom live in the capital Teheran. Additional clusters of Jews are located in the cities of Shiraz and Isfahan and the balance in the outlying towns of Iran.
Last year a large growth was recorded in the number of immigrants from Iran, thanks to special assistance provided the immigrants, over and above the standard absorption basket, by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein that totaled
$10,000 per capita. The support is awarded by the Zionist Federation of Iranian Jews in New York and other bodies.
The group that is landing today in Israel comprises 10 families and 3 singles. They will be absorbed in one of the Jewish Agency Absorption Centers in the south of Israel.
The Absorption Ministry will operate a special program for these immigrants that will be tailored to the unique needs and characteristics of Iranian immigrants and will award them increased assistance in the areas of housing, employment, language acquisition and particularly in the area of commercial entrepreneurism.
Yossi Shraga, the person in charge of immigration from Middle Eastern countries at the Jewish Agency for Israel, says that in addition to the enhanced incentives awarded the immigrants, another factor accounting for the increased immigration is the rise in anti-Semitism and the harassment of Jews by the Iranian governmental authorities such as the closing of Jewish schools, the prohibition on studying the Hebrew language, etc.