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Israeli immigration plan targets France, Ukraine

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet approved a $17 million program to promote immigration from Europe.

The program approved Sunday at the regular Cabinet meeting will target Jews from Ukraine and France who are considering making aliyah due to anti-Semitism and economic difficulty.

The Cabinet also approved a plan to help integrate new immigrants into the workforce, including making it easier for new immigrants to transfer their professional credentials.

Half of the $17 million will set up a nonprofit corporation to promote aliyah that will be owned jointly and run by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization. The corporation will reach out to potential emigres in cities throughout Europe.

The other half of the allocation will go to the Immigrant Absorption Ministry to provide financial incentives to the new immigrants, including for Hebrew studies and day care.

Jewish immigration to Israel during the first quarter of 2014 increased by 50 percent over the corresponding period last year, mainly due to arrivals from France and Ukraine, according to data compiled by the Jewish Agency for Israel ahead of its current Board Of Governors meeting in Jerusalem.

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