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Smoothing the Way for New Immigrants

January/February 2020 WFJ Article

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Posted on: 
14 Jan 2020
Smoothing the Way for New Immigrants

ICEJ Impacting Lives at Ye’elim Absorption Center in Beersheva

For Jewish families making Aliyah (immigrating) to Israel, landing at Ben Gurion Airport and receiving their Israeli identity cards marks the beginning, rather than the end, of a new journey. Smoothing the way for these new arrivals means helping them learn the language, find suitable employment and understand how daily life in Israel works.

Although Olim (new immigrants) face many challenges in their new lives, gainful employment is sometimes the greatest hurdle. Among the many integration projects funded by ICEJ AID over the years, vocational training and professional re-certification within Israel are vital, paving the way to economic independence for families and their successful integration in the Land. 

ICEJ AID staff recently visited the Ye’elim Absorption Center in Beersheva, to meet newly arrived immigrants and bless them with household items. Our staff also spoke with several recent recipients of vocational assistance from ICEJ.

Computer Programmer Gets a Restart
Denise, a computer programmer from Russia, made Aliyah with his wife and young son last year. Employment as a programmer with an Israeli company required a whole new system and language. Fortunately, Denise had the opportunity to study Hebrew, English and computer programming systems through an ICEJ Aid-sponsored vocational program. 

Today, equipped with fluency in both languages and new Israel-certification, Denise is ready to apply for programming jobs. He is thankful to the ICEJ for the opportunity to study, for teachers who eased his way, as well as for children’s programs which taught his little boy Hebrew and other essential skills. Laughing to himself, Denise said, “My little boy can speak even better Hebrew than me.” 

ICEJ helps Civil Engineer Build a New Life
We also met Pablo from Venezuela who needed to relearn his civil engineering skills in a completely different language. Accepted to an accelerated Hebrew and vocational training program, Pablo has worked hard to master Hebrew and relearn the engineering terms and systems here in Israel. 

“Making Aliyah is not easy, especially at my age of 52”, Pablo explained. “But because the situation in Venezuela became worse, we realized it is better for us to live here in Israel.” We rejoiced with him when he shared some good news: “Thank God, I got two job offers, and today I have to decide and give an answer to the companies”, smiled Pablo. 

Morris Korim, Director of the Ye’elim Absorption Center, expressed his heart-felt gratitude towards the Christian Embassy: “You brought presents to our Olim today, but the biggest gift is your presence….The best present is our long lasting partnership with the ICEJ and Christian friends around the world. We appreciate your support that has been for the Aliyah and integration of new arrivals to Israel. We believe this partnership of 25 years gives us the strength to continue on.” 

We rejoice with Denise, Pablo and many others who have courageously uprooted their lives to start afresh in Israel with a new language, culture, land, people, career, and way of life. Thank you for joining us in helping Jewish families not only make it home to Israel, but also to thrive here! 

"Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord God: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’" (Ezekiel 11:17) 

Help us assist more new immigrants in their transition to Israel.

 

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