The Jewish Agency has agreed to an official collaboration on North American aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh.
The organizations announced Sunday that under an agreement signed a week ago, Nefesh B’Nefesh will have primary responsibility for marketing and promotion, while the Jewish Agency will remain responsible for determining aliyah eligibility with other authorities in Israel and also will pay the airfare for each new emigre.
The organizations have been in competition with each other for several years.
Future olim from the United States and Canada can apply for both Nefesh B’Nefesh services and the Jewish Agency aliyah eligibility process using one application through Nefesh B’Nefesh.
The Jewish Agency will continue to maintain aliyah emissaries in North America but as a result of the collaborative venture, and Nefesh B’Nefesh’s use of Internet-based marketing and communications to promote aliyah, it will be able to curtail the scope of this function in the future.
No Jewish Agency emissaries currently serving in North America will be returned to Israel prior to the completion of their contract, according to Michael Jankelowitz of the Jewish Agency. The agency will continue to offer services to all those eligible to immigrate under the Law of Return, including those that do not fall under the umbrella of the joint venture with Nefesh B’Nefesh, he said.
“The Jewish Agency is confident that as a result of this cooperation with Nefesh B’Nefesh, aliyah from North America will grow,” said Zeev Bielski, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. “Since the creation of the State of Israel, the Jewish Agency has brought over 3 million olim to Israel. The Jewish Agency will continue to pursue its mission to facilitate immigration to Israel from all over the world.”
“We are pleased to have formalized a working agreement with the Jewish Agency, and are eager to continue facilitating and promoting North American aliyah in our new enhanced capacity,” said Tony Gelbart, co-founder and chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “This agreement will enable Nefesh B’Nefesh to further fulfill our mission of making aliyah as seamless and successful as possible.”