JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel has offered extra immigrant benefits to Maccabiah Games participants who make aliyah.
The new inducements were announced Sunday by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption on the eve of the 18th annual Games. The ministry hosted a welcome event for foreign participants Sunday night.
Professional athletes and coaches will be offered a grant of about $1,000 for sports equipment or to train in training camp, as well as monthly scholarships of $300 during their first year of school in Israel. In addition, partial funding for 24 months will be provided for professional coaches
Participants in previous Maccabiah Games have made aliyah following their participation, according to the Jerusalem Post.
"Today each man represents his country, but I hope that in the coming competitions many of them will march under one flag, the flag of the State of Israel, and will be an integral part of Israel’s Olympic delegation," Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver said. "And I call on the athletes themselves, don’t be satisfied with the saying ‘Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem,’ come now and realize the vision."