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May 26, 2016 / 18 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘aliyah’

Nearly 1,000 French Jews Await Hollande Address on Anti-Semitism

Monday, March 7th, 2016

A crowd of nearly 1,000 is slated to attend the largest “Republican” Jewish event in France Monday night, where President Francois Hollande is to deliver remarks on anti-Semitism and French Jewry.

The country’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls and top government officials will also attend the 31st annual dinner of CRIF (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France).

At least 800 people have reserved seats for the dinner, which takes place every year and is considered the event of the season.

Leaders of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) will also attend the event, which they shunned last year. “With the new head of CFCM Anwar Kbibech, we really feel things have changed,” CRIF President Roger Cukierman,79, told the European Jewish Press.

He noted that the gathering is a forum “where we can express our feelings and concerns.” As in the past, the rising level of anti-Semitism in France will be a main topic of discussion.

“Anti-Semitic acts continue, the 2015 figures are virtually at the same level as in 2014,” said Cukierman, who ends his third mandate in May.

This will be the 79-year-old leader’s last dinner as head of the CRIF.

“Once again, Jews, who represent less than 1% of the total population, are targets of40% of racist acts committed in France and 49% of racist violence to people,” the CRIF said in its annual report. Figures show there were 808 incidents in 2015, as compared with 851 incidents in 2014, according to the Security Department of the Jewish Community (SPCJ).

France is home to the world’s third largest Jewish community, with a population between 500,000 to 600,000 Jews.

In 2015, a record 7,900 French Jews emigrated to Israel following vicious anti-Semitic terrorist attacks in the country despite the Paris government’s 100-million euro plan to strengthen protection around 700 synagogues, schools and community centers.

Hana Levi Julian

Ukrainian Jews Flee To Israel Amid Anti-Semitic Attacks in War-Torn Ukraine

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

Over 100 Ukrainian Jews fled war-torn Ukraine and arrived in Israel on Tuesday, February 23. Many Ukrainian Jews have been leaving their country of birth due to violence and frequent anti-Semitic attacks. They were assisted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which has been spearheading a project of bringing Jews to Israel from countries engulfed by war.

Sisters Marina and Alexandra Prokopovych, aged 17 and 15 respectively, were among the new immigrants who arrived in Israel. They had lived in the small suburb of Rakytne. Both were severely beaten at their high school in what began as a nationalistically-motivated attack, but which spilled over into overt anti-Semitism.

IFCJ Director of Communications Tali Aronsky told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the girls were called “separatists” and “Zhids” [Jews] prior to the assault because they spoke Russian instead of Ukrainian.

“The girls sustained serious injuries as a result. One suffered concussions and had to get stitches. Even the teachers joined in the beating. The father remembers similar things that happened when he was younger, but he decided that it was time to leave when it happened to his daughters,” she said.

Dmytro Prokopovych, the girls’ father, also remembers that he had switched schools three times due to his ethnicity. He himself suffered fourteen concussions from similar attacks during his childhood and he maintains that anti-Semitism is still very prevalent in post-Soviet Ukraine.

“I recently discovered that my family’s real surname is Evenbach and not Prokopovych. It was my grandfather’s surname. My father would not be admitted to university with this surname in Soviet times so he changed it to his mother’s maiden name,” Dmytro recalls.

IFCJ founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein decided that efforts to rescue Jews in countries with prevailing anti-Semitism were insufficient. The IFCJ then began actively searching for Jews suffering in countries affected by war. Many of the immigrants receive additional funds since they were forced to leave behind homes that have become essentially worthless due to the conflicts.

“We don’t wait for the Ukrainians to call us up. We go to them and we also give them more support. We offer them $1,000 per family and $500 for every child in addition to what they get from the government,” Aronsky told TPS.

The new immigrants will be given guidance and career advice. Aronsky said that the organization has also reached out to other countries such as Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, and even several Arab countries and has managed to bring some 2,355 Jews to Israel. Aronsky was unable to divulge the identities of the Arab countries due to security concerns for the Jews involved.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli Government Pledges To Invest Over One Million Shekels in Encouraging Brazilian Aliyah

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

The Israeli government has committed to investing more than NIS 1 million in boosting efforts to encourage Jews from Brazil to move to Israel. Only 191 Brazilian Jews moved to Israel last year while 750 of them are expected to arrive by the end of 2016. Brazilian Olim form the seventh largest group of immigrants to Israel.

The Knesset Committee for Aliyah and Absorption announced on Monday evening, February 22 that NIS 1,180,000 will be spent on a variety of programs and initiatives aimed at addressing common problems that Brazilians face after having immigrated to Israel.

The money will also go towards increasing the number of Jewish Agency representatives in Brazil to encourage aliyah, provide preparatory aliyah seminars, and to finding full-time employment for new immigrants prior to their move to Israel.

Additional emphasis will also be placed on preparing prospective students for the psychometric exams required by universities and on increasing the number of Hebrew courses in Brazil.

Committee Chairman and Likud MK Avraham Naguisa called for the improvement of the absorption of Brazilian Jews by increasing the number of Portuguese speakers available to guide them and assist them once they move to Israel.

Gladys Berezowsky, manager of the Beit Brasil [Brazil House] organization, highlighted the lack of availability of letters translated to Portuguese from the absorption centers. Berezowsky said that dozens of applications are received daily from people who are interested in making aliyah of whom the vast majority only speak Portuguese.

Bruna Drazin, who moved to Israel in 2011 from northern Brazil, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that while she already spoke English, many Brazilians struggle upon their arrival in Israel due to the language barrier.

“Everything can be hard. Almost all the websites you have are in English and Hebrew and sometimes Spanish, but never Portuguese. Some people think that Spanish is the same, but it really is not. There are many people from Brazil who cannot even read Spanish,” Drazin said.

“It can really be a problem when you come here because you do not have any support here in Portuguese,” she added.

Zionist Federation representative Oded Foyer said that around fifteen Hebrew language classes will be opened while more teachers will be trained.

“Hebrew was a problem for me when I came to Israel. I never thought about creating more Hebrew language classes in Brazil, but it could be a good idea. You leave your profession when you move here and you don’t have the language at all,” Drazin told TPS.

Foyer said that the efforts to encourage aliyah will not be restricted to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but will be made in rural areas as well.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

17-Year-Old Stabbed in Terrorist Attack Just Made Aliyah From Brooklyn

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

As the JewishPress.com reported earlier, just about at the close of Shabbat in Israel, two Arab terrorists stabbed a 17-year-old Israeli as he and a friend were leaving the Kotel after evening prayers.

It is now known that the Israeli victim was a student at Magen Shaul Nokdim, a pre-army mechina, and had become an Israeli citizen just one month ago. The young man was listed in fair to good condition when he was taken to Hadassah Medical Center’s Mount Scopus campus.

The victim’s name had not yet been released as his family, back in Brooklyn, were still observing Shabbat.

The 17-year-old said that despite having been the victim of a terrorist stabbing, he would not be deterred from his plan to join the IDF.

According to Walla, the stabbing victim was able to speak about the attack from his medical bed: “I did not see him [the stabber], he came from behind and stabbed. There were two stabbers, they were young.”

He also said that that he was unafraid, and that “now I’m enlisting in the army and I will give everything.” He hopes to join an elite unit in the Israeli Defense Forces. “God willing, I want to join the Sayeret Matkal,” he said.

As reported earlier, two Arab teenagers, both minors, have been taken into custody for interrogation relating to this terrorist attack.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Large Majority of Israelis Support More Benefits to New Immigrants

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

A vast majority of Israelis endorse the idea of offering new immigrants more economic and employment benefits — even at the expense of native Israelis.

The surprising information was revealed in a survey conducted by the Sampling, Consultation and Research Center, whose results were revealed Sunday at the weekly government cabinet meeting.

The news comes in light of an alarming wave of anti-Semitism that has struck Europe.

A whopping majority of 83 percent of Israelis in the survey expressed their belief that the State of Israel should take actions in the labor market that would grant special privileges to new immigrants.

Fifty-three percent of the survey’s respondents suggested that Israel provide financial benefits to employers who hire new immigrants.

Thirty percent recommended even requiring public agencies and large private business to set a floor benchmark of employment positions for new immigrants, even though such a policy would come at the expense of the native Israeli labor force.

Two- thirds of Israelis are concerned for the safety of Jews in the Diaspora, according to the survey.

Thirty-nine percent of Israelis believe that European Jews should escape the growing anti-Semitism in Europe by immigrating to the Jewish homeland.

Yaakov Hagoel, Deputy Chairman of the World Zionist Organization revealed the results of the survey at Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

“In light of the concern for the safety of the Jews of Europe, we have established a committee to deal with immigration barriers and we asked to check the position of the Israeli public in this regard,” Hagoel explained.

At the same time, 46 percent of Israelis recognize that many Jews in Europe continue to live there for social and economic reasons.

“The results are surprising, even to us,” commented Hagoel. “Despite the difficult economic situation in Israel, the Jews are brothers to each other in every place in the world.”

Hagoel was expected to discuss the need to reduce and remove the many barriers that new immigrants often experience in the employment sector.

Many new immigrants arrive in Israel as educated professionals with experience and potential to contribute to Israel but encounter bureaucratic hurdles. They are very often not recognized in their professional field. Professionals such as attorneys and doctors with certifications from abroad are not automatically recognized in Israel, but must instead go through a convoluted process to re-earn certification in Israel.

Hagoel was to present the establishment of a group of World Zionist Organization staff members who will work on removing the unnecessary barriers faced by new immigrants.

“There is no day more fitting than International Holocaust Memorial Day to raise this important issue to the cabinet,” Hagoel said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Final Stats Show Ukrainian Aliyah Rose 11 Percent in 2015

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

 

Aliyah from the Ukraine increased 11 percent this year compared with 2014, according to end-of–year statistics compiled by the Ministry of Absorption.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which has been offering cash payments to Jewish refugees from the Ukraine since last year, helped approximately 2,000 new immigrants move to Israel (olim). An additional IFCJ flight is scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport next week with 2543 new olim.

The total number of Olim from the Ukraine of 2015, as of mid-December, is 6,953, compared to 5,921 the year before. The biggest increase was in  January, February and March.

President of the IFCJ, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, added, “The fact that the number of Olim has increased, proves that the assumption about the demise of the traditional Aliyah is unfounded and that by using the right methods the number of Olim can increase even more next year.”

The statement was a barb at the Jewish Agency, which complained last March that the IFCJ’s program actually  is harming Aliyah:

The Agency said at the time:

Is the IFCJ prepared to offer cash to all immigrants from Ukraine, including the overwhelming majority who choose not to travel to Israel with them? Would the individuals they’ve managed to draw to their flights be quite as willing to forgo the Jewish Agency’s vital assistance if money weren’t a factor?

There’s something rather absurd about offering someone financial inducements to make a certain choice and then celebrating that choice as though it was made independently, without any connection to the monetary incentive.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

New ‘Olim’ Pass the ‘Taste Test’ of Chanukah Sufganiyot [video]

Friday, December 4th, 2015

The Nefesh b’Nefesh (NBN) Aliyah organization has gathered together new immigrants to Israel to taste different kinds of “sufganiyot” and decide which is the tastiest.

A few faces on the participants, filmed by NBN in the video below, also indicate which ones were the worst.

The Chanukah doughnut, which the food industry tries to fill with something new if not ridiculous every year, is by far and wide the favorite food associated with a Jewish holiday, Jews eat more matzo than sufganiyot but enjoy it a lot less.

The doughnuts, usually made from white flour, are fried in oil, filled with anything from jelly to chocolates, and just for good measure for anti-health freaks, are covered with powdered or glazed sugar.

The NBN’s sufganiyot tasters included a four-old and a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor.

The taster’ task was to compare the Israeli sufganiyot with American doughnuts and figure out how much time they have to exercise in the gym to burn off the calories.

The new Israeli taste testers were spared some varieties available in the United States, where offerings include sufganiyot filled with eggnog, sugar cookies, chocolate peppermint bark, custards, caramel, peaches n cream, with peach compote and whipped cream in the middle and orange pumpkin buttercream.

Our award for the zaniest goes to blogger “WhatJewWannaEat.” Are you ready?

Chicken liver mousse.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-olim-pass-the-taste-test-of-chanukah-sufganiyot-video/2015/12/04/

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