kids in israel

New Olim Begin School in Israel

New Olim Begin School in Israel
This summer, more than 2,000 children and teens made Aliyah. Now, it’s time for them to begin school.

On September 1, a new school year kicked off in Israel. Among the new students starting classes were over 2,000 children and teens from 37 countries who made Aliyah this summer with assistance from The Jewish Agency for Israel. Of those, 31 Jewish children made their way to Israel with their families in complete secrecy, in covert Jewish Agency operations, from countries with hostile relations with Israel.
New olim children enjoy a day at the zoo before school starts
Image: The Jewish Agency for Israel

The new olim include a Sudanese family who were the last three Jews in South Sudan who arrived in Israel after a long and complicated Aliyah process which started a year and a half ago. Suzy and her three children took an eight-day bus ride from South Sudan to Ethiopia via Uganda and Kenya. After remaining in Ethiopia for more than a month to recover from malaria, Suzy was able to make Aliyah with her kids, where she had an emotional reunion in Ben Gurion Airport with her mother who she had not seen in more than 10 years. Suzy and her children are now living in an absorption center for the next few months while the kids begin school.

One girl, 14, who covertly immigrated to Israel last month from Venezuela – which in the past year has experienced political upheaval that threatens the Jewish community there – spoke about starting school in Ashdod, saying, “Going to a new school will be difficult, but it feels good to be doing so in Israel. I have a lot of friends in the Beit Canada Absorption Center. I have friends from Venezuela, Brazil and lots of countries. It’s good to be here.”

“Going to a new school will be difficult, but it feels good to be doing so in Israel.

Interested in making Aliyah? The Jewish Agency will help you every step of the way.

In addition to these more covert Aliyah journeys, there were 800 children from Russia, 400 from the United States, around 270 from France and about 150 from Ukraine who all immigrated to Israel over the summer. The new pupils also come from less common countries such as Armenia, China, Thailand, Cyprus, India and Panama.

Upon arriving in Israel, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog met with some of the 31 children and families in Jerusalem who came to Israel in secret. He gave them school supplies and advice about making new friends and being successful in their studies.

“You all immigrated in the last few months from countries that are very complex, and we are very happy that you are in Israel,” Herzog said in the meeting. “We all want to wish you a most successful school year. May you feel safe here, in your country, in the holy land, in the State of Israel. You are continuing a legacy of generations and we are very proud of you.”

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