JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s government has budgeted more than $10 million to provide college scholarships and Hebrew language schools to new immigrants.
The Cabinet decision Sunday to continue to financially support the Immigrant Absorption Ministry Student Authority is "ensuring the continuation of its joint projects with the Jewish Agency which, due to budgetary constraints, faced uncertain futures," according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office
The money will be made available immediately "so as not to harm registration and the start of the academic year for immigrant students," the statement said.
In recent years, the student authority has assisted approximately 6,500 students a year — one-third are from Ethiopia — and it is "a significant factor in the decision of young people who are eligible to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return."
Under the decision, the government also will support about 90 Hebrew language schools and four youth villages operated by the Education Ministry that mainly house youth at risk.
The Jewish Agency for Israel in a statement praised the decision, saying it would allow the Jewish Agency to concentrate on increasing and encouraging aliyah while the government "will assume responsibility for the olim from the moment they arrive in Israel."