A number of Jewish Agency programs, from Absorption Centers and immersive Hebrew language instruction to comprehensive support programs with a focus on preparation for military service, university studies and employment, help new immigrants acclimate to life in Israel.
The Global Service Center: Aliyah Hotline provides vital information on The Jewish Agency’s programs and services for current and potential immigrants to Israel. The Global Center operates 22 hours a day, six days a week and representatives are available to respond to callers in numerous languages. In any given year, the Global Service Center handles 150,000 to 200,000 phone calls and internet requests and opens tens of thousands of new Aliyah files.
Nefesh B’Nefesh is an organization that operates in collaboration with The Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel in the USA and Canada, to facilitate Aliyah and reduce financial and social burdens faced by new immigrants to Israel. A few thousand Jews make Aliyah from those countries each year.
Ofek Israeli: Created in 2016, Ofek Israeli is a partnership between The Jewish Agency, the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, Keren Hayesod and the World Zionist Organization. Ofek Israeli focuses on maximizing Aliyah opportunities in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and for the Russian-speaking Jewish populations of the United States and Canada, France, the UK, Hungary, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and South Africa. Programs include Aliyah Fairs, information seminars, employment guidance services and other support activities for potential olim to learn practical information about Israeli life.
Ulpan: Intensive Hebrew Language Programs for new immigrants are housed within absorption centers, and include five hours a day of intensive, immersive Hebrew-language instruction, five days a week, for five months. The instructors, who are certified by the Ministry of Education, weave together a variety of techniques to help students improve their command of the language. Ulpanim serve around 10,000-11,000 olim each year.
Professional Licensing and Training Programs combine ulpan, practical training and other services, and are offered in partnership with local municipalities or colleges. These include incentive programs for college graduates or professionals and programs that combine ulpan studies with certification coursework in a particular field. These programs – some of which serve exclusively olim from the former Soviet Union or Ethiopia, while others are open to olim of all backgrounds – serve several hundred new immigrants each year. The range of courses offered changes annually to accommodate changes in the labor market and the needs of new immigrants, and can include physicians’ and nurses licensing, chef training, and courses in software engineering, high-tech and more.