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March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Agency’

Operation Dove’s Wings Begins as Ethiopian Aliyah Comes to a Close

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Operation Dove’s Wings commenced on Monday, with arrival of some 240 Olim from Ethiopia, half of them children, on the first charter flight. The flight was organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel, pursuant to the July government decision to increase the rate of Ethiopian Aliyah, in order to complete the immigration of the remainder of the Falash Mura to Israel.

The ceremony at Ben Gurion airport took place during the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors, which is taking place this week in Tel Aviv, with Jewish leaders from Israel and around the world.

On July 2012, the government of Israel decided to increase the rate of Aliyah from Ethiopia in order to complete the process as quickly as possible. It was decided to reopen the Jewish Agency’s Ibim Absorption Center at the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, which will be able to accommodate up to 600 of the Falash Mura.

Immigrants arriving from Ethiopia will also be housed in 16 Absorption centers around the country, run by the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. In order to facilitate absorption of the new immigrants, Jewish communities around the world and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews have raised $3 million, in addition to $1.5 million invested by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

Operation Dove’s Wings is expected to be completed by October 2013, with the arrival of the remainder of eligible Falash Mura, who have been waiting in Gondar. The Jewish Agency for Israel has been operating a community center in Gondar, headed by Asher Sium, to provide services for the waiting Olim. The center provides a comprehensive range of social services with the support of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. These include preparation classes for Aliyah run by a group of volunteers, humanitarian assistance, and catering services. The center also runs a school which includes Hebrew and Jewish studies, as well as the regular curriculum of the Ethiopian Education Ministry.

Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said at the ceremony: “What a miracle. I just met a brother and a sister who were reunited today after 25 years. Well, we the Jewish people have just been reunited after 25 centuries. When Ethiopian Jewry left Israel, there was no Hannukah. Now we can celebrate both Hannukah and Yom Haatzmaut together. Together we are writing the last page of the history of Ethiopian Jewry. We are now bringing all of our brothers from Africa to Israel. This is happening thanks to the State of Israel, world Jewry and our Christian allies.”

The Ethiopian Aliyah Comes to a Close

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

A ceremony welcoming the new immigrants will take place at Ben Gurion Airport Terminal 1 on Monday, 29.10.12 at 15:00. In attendance will be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chairman of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, James S. Tisch, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Sofa Landver, Chairman of Keren Hayesod, Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg, President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America, Kathy Manning and members of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors.

The first charter flight with approximately 240 Olim (immigrants) from Ethiopia, half of them children, will arrive in Israel on Monday, 29.10. The flight was organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel pursuant to the July government decision to increase the rate of Ethiopian Aliyah in order to complete the immigration of the remainder of the Falash Mura to Israel. The ceremony will take place during the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors, which is taking place this week in Tel Aviv with the participation of Jewish leaders from Israel and around the world.

In July 2012, the government of Israel decided to increase the rate of Aliyah from Ethiopia in order to complete the process as quickly as possible. It was decided to reopen the Jewish Agency’s Ibim Absorption Center located in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, which will be able to accommodate up to 600 of the Falash Mura. In order to facilitate the reopening of Ibim, the Jewish Agency raised 12 million shekels in addition to five and a half million shekels invested by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

Operation Dove’s Wings is expected to be completed by October 2013, with the immigration of the remainder of the eligible Falash Mura, who have been waiting in Gondar. The Jewish Agency for Israel has been operating a community center in Gondar, headed by Asher Sium, to provide services for the waiting Olim. The center provides a comprehensive range of social services including preparation classes for Aliyah run by a group of volunteers, humanitarian assistance and catering services. The center also runs a school which includes Hebrew and Jewish studies as well as the regular curriculum of the Ethiopian Education Ministry.

The Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Mr Natan Sharansky, noted that this was a historic moment which began with Operation Moses, continued with Operation Solomon, and will be concluded with Operation Dove’s Wings. Sharansky thanked the Jewish Agency’s partners across the Jewish World and in Israel for their contribution to the Aliyah of Ethiopian Jewry and to their integration into Israeli society.

Young New York Jews Gear Up for Aliyah Conference

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

In an effort to nudge New York Jewish students and young professionals considering aliyah to take the plunge, Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Jewish Agency for Israel will be hosting a special conference at the UJA-Federation of new York in Manhattan on October 21.

The event will feature workshops on getting jobs and higher education in Israel, serving in the army, and other topics, and will include an Israel Fair where job hunters and potential job employers from Israel can meet.  A special workshop will also be included for medical doctors.

A special webinar emphasizing Nefesh B’Nefesh’s Go North program will also highlight the benefits of living in Israel’s Galil and Golan regions.

Two free tickts to Israel will be raffled off, and a Tweetup on Twitter can be followed at #thinkIsrael.

UPDATE (2): Anti-Terror Unit Kills American who Shot and Killed a Man in Eilat

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Second update from Benjamin Rutland, Spokesperson to the Foreign and English Language Media, The Jewish Agency for Israel::

In response to the tragic incident in Eilat, the Chairperson of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky expressed his deep sorrow at the loss of life and has appointed a panel to examine the processes by which the American participant was accepted to the Oranim program in Eilat.

The Oranim program is one of 200 long term programs which are funded by Masa Israel, a joint project of the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Since 2003, over 70,000 young Jews from around the world have participated in Masa programs, which include volunteer work, study and internships.

Update from Benjamin Rutland, Spokesperson to the Foreign and English Language Media, The Jewish Agency for Israel:

The shooter in the incident which took place in Eilat today was a 23 year old from New York. He arrived in Israel two months ago and was participating in a program in Israel which is supported by the Jewish Agency. The program’s staff is in contact with the Israel Police.

A tourist in the southern Israeli city of Eilat on Friday morning overcame a Leonardo hotel security officer, grabbed his weapon and fired at another hotel employee and killed him. The armed man then holed up (according to a report, with several hostages) inside the hotel and refused to talk to police.

According to police, the shooter was drunk. According to a report in Walla, the shooter was fired from his job at the hotel kitchen a few days ago.

Police and IDF forces that arrived quickly at the scene began searching for the shooter’s exact location, and an anti-terror unit confronted the man and killed him (with no injury to the hostages, if there were any).

The entire incident lasted one hour.

Jewish Agency Provides Emergency Assistance to Netivot Families whose Homes Were Damaged By Rocket Fire

Monday, September 10th, 2012

The Jewish Agency for Israel will provide emergency financial aid to three families whose homes were severely damaged this week after they were hit by a Grad rocket fired from Gaza. The emergency funding is provided through the Jewish Agency’s Fund for the Victims of Terror and will be transferred before Rosh Hashanah in order to allow the families to complete their preparations for the festival.

The Jewish Agency’s Fund for the Victims of Terror, which is supported by donations to the Jewish Federations of North America, as well as foundations and individual donors across the globe, provides additional material assistance to victims of terror and their families. The Fund works in coordination with the Ministry of Defense and the National Insurance Institute and since its foundation has provided financial assistance of 10 million dollars to hundreds of families.

In addition to the Fund for Victims of Terror, the Jewish Agency maintains an emergency fund to provide immediate assistance to victims of terror who have suffered injury or damage to property, in order to help with their initial recovery.

Immediately after the attack, a representative of the Jewish Agency visited the families in Netivot in order to ensure that they received the necessary support. Immediately after the visit, a decision was made to transfer emergency assistance before the Jewish New Year.

‘Christians and Jews’ Pays for Jewish Agency, Chabad, Security Upgrade

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has given $1 million each to the Jewish Agency and Chabad to help them guard against anti-Semitic and terrorist attacks.

The money will go to fund infrastructure upgrades and security measures for Jewish communities around the world that are unable to fund security expenses on their own.

“There is no one group that has accepted responsibility for security of Jews around the world. The Jewish community is not stepping up to provide security,” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president and founder of IFCJ, told JTA. “This has become a major need to sustain Jewish life around the world and it is going to continue to grow.”

Chabad will use its $1 million to create a central security system to protect its emissaries and upgrade security in its facilities that are at the most risk, according to Eckstein. The Jewish Agency will distribute its money via grants using an application process, he said.

The announcement of the grants came a week after a suicide bomber attacked a bus full of Israeli tourists at an airport in Bulgaria. Eckstein said that in recent months his organization provided $100,000 to Bulgaria through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to provide for the poor in the community as well as to upgrade security.

The IFCJ says it has given approximately $45 million for security-related issues in Israel and elsewhere since 2003, the year that bombings carried out in Istanbul, including some targeting synagogues, killed 67 people and injured hundreds.

Shut Down the Jewish Agency!

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

I find myself with mixed emotions this morning. On the one hand, I was greatly inspired and overjoyed to watch the live Jewish Press broadcast of the arrival of happy new olim to Israel on a Nefesh B’Nefesh charter. Each one of these new immigrants achieved a towering greatness today in coming to the Promised Land, fulfilling the words of the Torah and the prophets of Israel, to join with their sisters and brothers of Clal Yisrael in transcending their private, egotistical concerns, to join in the rebuilding of the Nation of Israel in its Land, the goal of the Torah and the prayers we have been reciting each day, three times a day, for almost 2000 years. In effect, they have become super Jews. There is no greater achievement than this. While man’s walking on the moon is certainly a wondrous achievement, it is dwarfed in comparison to walking even four or five cubits in the Holy Land. This morning, every one of these new olim became closer to God than Neil Armstrong, even though he traveled tens of thousands of miles through the heavens to reach the moon. Their courage, their pioneer spirit, their love for the Land of Israel, for Torah, and for God, are examples we should all admire and emulate.

On the other hand, I was saddened this morning that only half the airplane was full. Less than 300 Jews out of close to six million! True, other aliyah charter flights will follow this summer, but last year’s total from North America was merely 3000 plus. 3000 out of 6,000,000!! I am not much of a mathematician, but a simple calculator gave me the tragic figure, a rate of aliyah of .0006 percent.

.0006%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have been praying to come home to Israel for nearly 2000 years. Every year, at the conclusion of Yom Kippur and the Passover Seder, we say, “Next year in Jerusalem!” God, in His infinite kindness, has given us a Jewish airline, with free tickets, to take us home to a Jewish airport in the miraculously rebuilt Jewish Homeland, and only .0006% of North American Jewry comes on aliyah each year!

Dear friends, in my humble opinion, the Jewish Agency should be closed. Imagine if we were talking about a hospital with a rate of patient survival of .0006%. Or a baseball team with a winning record of .0006%. Obviously, it wouldn’t be long before the hospital closed or the franchise folded.

Make no mistake. I am not criticizing any of the dedicated directors or employees of the Jewish Agency. Certainly, I have nothing but praise for Mr. Sharansky. But the Jewish Agency is obsolete. It is destined to failure so long as the Rabbis, and Roshei Yeshivot, and parents, and the heads of Jewish organizations in the Diaspora don’t urge their students and children and members to go on aliyah. The Jewish Agency is destined for a .0006 success rate so long as the Rabbis, and Roshei Yeshivot, and parents, and the heads of Jewish organizations in the Diaspora don’t teach Jewish youth in the Diaspora that Israel is their only future. The Jewish Agency is destined for a .0006 success rate so long as the Rabbis, and Roshei Yeshivot, and parents, and the heads of Jewish organizations in the Diaspora don’t teach Jewish youth in the Diaspora that the goal of the Torah is to establish a Torah Nation in Eretz Yisrael and that every Jew in the world is obligated to play his and her part in this transcendental mitzvah, blessing, and privilege.

Believe me, the same 3000 plus people would come on aliyah every year, even if the Jewish Agency didn’t exist. It could very well be that even more immigrants would come, without having been turned off and discouraged by hearing Jewish Agency shlichim tell them that they were too old, or too handicapped, or too unemployable. The annual budget of the Sachnut is 320 million dollars. The Israel Ministry of Absorption spends another 360 million (In comparison, the dynamic Nefesh B’Nefesh program has a budget of 20 million). Instead of paying Jewish Agency salaries and empty office rentals around the world, give each new immigrant an outright cash gift and you’ll get more olim by far than you’re getting today with all of the giant bureaucracy and payroll.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/shut-down-the-jewish-agency/2012/07/12/

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