200 Immigrants and Jewish Agency Program Participants from Ukraine and Germany to Arrive in Israel
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Some 200 new immigrants and participants in Jewish Agency teen programs landed in Israel on Thursday, September 1 aboard three flights, two from Ukraine and one from Germany, organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel in partnership with Keren Hayesod-UIA, Christians for Israel, and Ebenezer International. The new arrivals were greeted by Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky and Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver at a festive welcome ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
The three flights from Ukraine and Germany included both immigrants and participants in The Jewish Agency’s Selah and Na’ale programs for Jewish teenagers from abroad. The individuals aboard the flights are from some 30 cities and towns across Ukraine and Germany and the mean age was 17 1/2. Ukraine was the second-largest source of Aliyah (immigration to Israel) in 2015, with some 7,000 immigrants, compared to 2,000 just two years prior. Most of the new arrivals from Ukraine have been coming from the embattled areas in the eastern part of that country. Aliyah from Germany, though smaller in scale, has also seen a significant increase, rising 50% last year. Some 85% of the German Jewish community is made up of individuals who immigrated to that country from the former Soviet Union. Many of the young families who made Aliyah aboard the flight were to spend their first six months in Israel living on kibbutzim as part of The Jewish Agency’s First Home in the Homeland program.
In the week before the flights arrived, thousands of people attended Jewish Agency opportunity fairs for potential immigrants in St. Petersburg, Kharkov, and Dnepropetrovsk. The job fairs were organized in cooperation with the Israel Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and were attended by Minister Sofa Landver. Participants met with representatives of government ministries, employers, and Israeli municipalities and received both general information and individual counseling. Additionally, a seminar aimed at strengthening Jewish identity and connections to Israel took place in Odessa, and was attended by 100 people from around the region. As Jewish Agency representative in Odessa Marina Ben Aryeh said, “We hope that after this workshop, the participants will not only know a lot more about Israel, but will also better understand its meaning for the Jewish people and for every individual Jew.”
The Jewish Agency for Israel is the largest Jewish nonprofit organization in the world. Since 1929, the organization has worked to secure a vibrant Jewish future and has brought more than three million Jews home to Israel. The Jewish Agency was instrumental in founding and building the State of Israel and continues to serve as the main link between the Jewish state and Jewish communities around the world. Today, the organization connects the global Jewish family, bringing Jews to Israel, and Israel to Jews. The Jewish Agency builds a better society in Israel and beyond, energizing young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose. The Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world's first responder, prepared to rescue and bring Jews home to Israel from countries where they are at-risk.