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June 29, 2016 / 23 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘immigrants’

South Koreans Visit Israel to Help Their Own

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai broadcasts from the offices of Nefesh B’Nefesh to talk about the visit of representatives from South Korea in order to gain knowledge regarding absorbing and matriculating large amounts of immigrants. Thousands of North Korean refugees have snuck across the border into South Korea and in order to assist, the South Koreans have looked towards Israel for guidance.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Israeli Jewelry Entrepreneurs Give Back to Ethiopian Community

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Orna Levy is a fourth generation Jerusalemite whose family has been in the jewelry-making business for the past 100 years. Orna and her husband Itzik Levy, an immigrant from Argentina, created the Yvel company in 1986, and their jewelry line—featuring pearls, sapphires, diamonds and other gems—is internationally known. Today, Yvel (Levy spelled backwards) manufactures its jewelry in Israel and exports to 650 retail outlets on five continents including Neiman Marcus. Katy Perry, Rihanna, Maria Sharapova, Scarlett Johansson and Isla Fisher have been seen wearing Yvel-designed jewelry at celebrity functions and on magazine covers.

The company’s employees are mostly immigrants who have come to Israel from places like the United States, Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia. The Levys’ business philosophy is firmly rooted in social responsibility and philanthropy.

“Itzik’s father lost all of his family’s savings in a bad business deal upon arriving to Israel,” explains Orna. “Itzik has never forgotten this and has always aimed to strengthen weaker immigrant populations in Israel.”

This is why Itzik and Orna celebrated Yvel’s 25th anniversary in 2010 by establishing the Megemeria School of Jewelry and Art, which offers professional training in jewelry crafting and design to new Ethiopian immigrants.

Partnering with the Association for Community Empowerment (Yedid), which assists Israelis in becoming self-sufficient members of society, the Levys opened the school within the Yvel complex, outside Jerusalem. The school gives the students, who are all recent immigrants from Ethiopia, jewelry-making training followed by employment opportunities in the Yvel factory once they complete the program.

While learning the jewelry trade, including gem-setting, gold and silver-smithing, and the design process, the students also receive Hebrew lessons, family budget and management training, math courses, and Israeli cultural lessons. For many of the Ethiopian students, who had little if no formal education back in Ethiopia, these supplementary courses are critical for a better integration into Israeli society and finding employment.

Yedid’s executive director Sari Rivkin says that the first graduating class of Megemeria has produced a special collection which was inspired by the immigrants’ personal and collective journey from Ethiopia to Israel. “Many of the jewelry designs feature words from the students’ native Amharic language. This is a very unique social enterprise,” Rivkin explains.

Once the students graduate and take the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor certification exam, they can begin working at Yvel’s Design Center either in jewelry design or in sales and administration. For the graduating class this year, eight will continue on with Yvel, making and selling jewelry, with profits helping to cover their salaries and the costs of the school.

Abbito Einalem, an Ethiopian student who came with no background in crafting jewelry, now looks on proudly at a pendant she has created, inscribed with the Amharic word desta, which means happiness. “I want to continue in this profession in the future,” she says. “It has given me so much already.”

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Sharansky Complaining Iran Fears Hurt Aliya Stats

Monday, August 20th, 2012

A JTA story quotes Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky who said the fear of a war with Iran has caused Jews in the Diaspora to delay their aliyah plans.

Sharansky told Israel Radio on Sunday that potential immigrants who had finalized their plans to move to Israel have delayed their arrival by several months because they are afraid of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and an Iranian response.

Sharansky complained that public discussions by Israeli politicians and defense officials about an Iran strike “have crossed every red line.”

I used to live on Grand Street near the FDR Drive, where any international security expert would have told you was one of the safest places on the planet. One morning, from the panorama window of my two-bedroom apartment, I saw a silver bullet circle the second Trade Tower, about a mile from my home, and smack into it in a giant ball of fire.

I didn’t see the first plane go into the first tower, hardly anybody did. But I and millions around the globe saw that second agent of horror.

Over the following 11 years, the U.S. economy collapsed around us, thousands of American lives have been lost on the battlefield, trillions were wasted on bizarre expenditures and still, no one and nothing in America is safe.

If I were Sharansky, I would not complain so much about the heated exchange of opinions about the next most crucial decision our political leadership is expected to make. It’s a democracy, and what’s more, it’s a Jewish democracy. Blabbering all over the place is what we do, and rightfully so.

I’m surprised at Sharansky, dubbing this no-holds-barred debate as crossing “every red line.” He should remember reds and lines, and should tell our U.S. brethren (and sistren) that the real danger is not in a Jewish style noise, but in a Soviet style silence.

Jewish folks on Grand Street and further west, in Jersey and all the way out to Long Beach, Ca. – there’s nothing to be afraid of. We have a better army here, dollar for dollar, than the one defending you over there, and we have a better economy, also dollar for dollar.  Honestly, go ahead, start packing, you’ll never regret it.

Yori Yanover

Yishai and Malkah Welcome New Olim

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

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Yishai and Malkah present this segment from Ben Gurion International Airport as they wait for the arrival of a 747 jet full of new immigrants from North America. To continue the segment, Yishai and Malkah interview many Olim that are both fresh off of the plane and have been in Israel for some time. The segment ends with a speech presented to the new Olim by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Don’t miss this moving segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Israeli Government Seeking Bank to Manage Fund Spawning New Immigrant Businesses

Monday, July 30th, 2012

The Accountant General division of the Israeli Ministry of Finance, and the Entrepreneurship Department at the Absorption Ministry on Monday issued a tender to choose a commercial bank that would establish and operate a fund granting credit to businesses created by new immigrants and returning residents.

This is a significant step taken by the state to aid these populations, to encourage their economic integration in the Israeli economy, as well as encourage starting new businesses or bolstering existing businesses that would create new jobs in Israel. Encouraging entrepreneurial immigrants will also contribute to their absorption into Israeli society.

The new tender is expected to bring about a significant increase in loans granted to new immigrants and returning residents.

The state will place the sum of NIS 10 million a year, 30 million over three years, at the disposal of the fund, as loan guarantees to the bank that wins the tender with an option for a period of up to three additional years. The tender will go to the bank that puts up the largest credit fund and offers the lowest interest rates to startup businesses.

Utilizing the facilities of a commercial bank will extend the number and scope of loans given out to olim and returning Israelis, and the government guarantees will enable these entrepreneurs to receive loans when other sources may not be available or affordable to them. The government will also operate a fully financed fund to be used by the bank in special cases.

The tender was formulated by an inter-ministerial tenders committee, headed by Senior Vice to the general accountant Yair Tal, and led by Absorption Ministry Director
Dimitri Apartsev.

Jewish Press Staff

From Georgia to Tel Aviv

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

A group of immigrants from Soviet Georgia in Lod airport, circa 1972.

In 1907, my own family, on my mother’s side, arrived from Gruzia (I never understood that whole “Georgia” thing – those Brits would have made the whole world sound like it was a suburb of London if we let them). They first settled in Jerusalem, but in the 1930s moved to Tel Aviv, after my mother was born.

On my mother’s side everyone is big and burly and with foreheads that go all the way back to the base of their skulls. My father came from gentle, small framed Polish Jews with heads full of hair.

You win some, you lose some.

Yori Yanover

The Demographics of Israeli Politics

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Israeli demographics have always made for a chaotic political culture. While to the outside world, it’s a nation of Jews, internally it’s a nation of Russians, Anglos, native Sabras, Yemenites, Syrians, Persians and a hundred others. Even the smallest group has its compartmentalized identities: the delicate differences between immigrants from a single country but different towns, the countless distinctions among its religious communities in their own way are united and disunited.

The politics of such a country encompass too many groups to list. There are the 19th Century Hungarian immigrants who came in preparation for the coming of the Messiah and have resented all other Jews who came before them or after them as usurpers: these form much of the Neturei Karta, a fanatical group that rejects the State of Israel. There were the German Jews who brought with them an equally fanatical efficiency, building chicken processing plants that were as clean as operating tables. There are the truly old Jerusalemites and the immigrants who have just arrived and are already learning to resent the new immigrants who get off the plane and expect to have everything handed to them on a silver platter.

Israeli politics are born out of the chaos of the nation’s demographics. Its Knesset is a room where fanatical atheists and the fanatical religious, urbanites and hill-dwellers, representatives of Russian and Middle Eastern Jews, settlers and Arabs, feminists and patriarchs, socialists and capitalists, scream at each other for hours, not always for the reasons you expect, and do nothing constructive. That makes Israeli politics a lot like everyone else’s politics, but it has its unique features as well.

The Israeli left is one of the few socialist movements in the First World to lose power because of immigration. Around the same time that Western immigration policies were being tuned to bring in populations with less investment in their new nations, new Israeli immigrants were more patriotic and nationalistic. To understand the effect, imagine that the United States today was being flooded, not with the morass of Mexicans, Haitians, Pakistanis and Kenyans, but with Irish and Italian immigrants who had no hesitation about flying the Stars and Stripes or identifying with their new country.

Russian and Middle-Eastern Jews who arrived in Israel (and the United States) were more likely to be conservative and to regard the left’s growing preoccupation with appeasing terrorists with suspicion. And in a two party system, their votes would have prevented the left from ever doing more than having a few token elected members denounce the state on the floor of the Knesset before slinking back to their cafes.

The Israeli left was never particularly fond of immigration to Israel. Their ideal from the start was a land settled by a cadre of young men and women, trained in their schools and indoctrinated with their ideology. British restrictions on Jewish immigration were not nearly as troubling to them as they were to the right. Israel, as they saw it, would be for a small chosen elite, a socialist enterprise that the vast majority of European Jews did not have the skills or temperament to participate in.

Their vision of a country consisting of collective farms and a few state-operated enterprises under a single union was ended by the Holocaust. While the right took the lead in smuggling Jews into Israel, particularly in the fading days of the war, the left had still not come to grips with a country being overrun by the kind of people they had wanted to leave behind.

The left seized power early on and, with the Altalena massacre, demonstrated that it was entirely willing to kill to maintain that power. But it couldn’t maintain it against the press of the ballot box. The system of patronage that it implemented was meant to marginalize the right, as well as those outside its club, the Holocaust survivors and Middle Eastern Jews, who were meant to play secondary roles in the life of the country.

One of the peculiarities of Israeli politics was that its left was nativist while its right took on the role of the defenders of marginalized minorities. A role reversal that was made possible because, while most Western leftist parties viewed immigration as a way to destabilize the nativist vote, the Israeli left saw immigrants as destabilizing their existing power base.

Daniel Greenfield

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/sultan-knish/the-demographics-of-israeli-politics/2012/06/21/

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