IFCJ announces project to bring olim from FSU, countries in crisis


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has established a project to bring more new immigrants to Israel from former Soviet Union and other countries in crisis.

The project will be led by former director general of Aliyah and Absorption at the Jewish Agency, Eli Cohen, the Fellowship announced on Monday. Cohen has been named the Fellowship’s Vice President for Immigration and Absorption.

“The Fellowship has made a strategic decision to enhance its work both in assisting aliyah to Israel and in the absorption of new immigrants through cooperation with the government and organizations active in the field,” the organization said in a statement.

Over the past year the organization has assisted Jews from the Ukraine, including combat zones in eastern Ukraine, to make aliyah in conjunction with the Jewish Agency; paid for flights for thousands of new immigrants; and funded half of the project to bring tens of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, it said.

In previous years, the Fellowship has contributed over $150 million for immigration and absorption in Israel through partner organizations such as The Jewish Agency. Fellowship founder and president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein previously served as the chairperson of the Aliyah Committee and a member of the Executive Board of The Jewish Agency.

“I have dedicated most of my professional life to bringing Jews to Israel, strengthening Jewish identity and the connection between Israel and Jewish communities,” Cohen said in the statement. “There is significant potential for aliyah to Israel at the moment and many Jews understand that Israel is their national home and the place where they can maintain their heritage and fulfill their sense of Jewish identity.”

Cohen said he would “work in cooperation with all the organizations who are operating in this field.”

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