The cabinet on Sunday, approved two important decisions regarding immigrant absorption.
According to the first decision, the Government will increase – and provide budgets for – projects to encourage immigrant absorption in the field of education, at an overall cost of 40 million NIS. The Government is thereby ensuring the continuation of its joint projects with the Jewish Agency which, due to budgetary constraints, faced uncertain futures. In this framework, the Government will support the Immigrant Absorption Ministry Student Authority, which provides scholarships to new immigrants and is a very significant tool in encouraging young Jews to immigrate to Israel. In recent years, the Authority has assisted approximately 6,500 students per annum, one third of which 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. According to the decision, budgeting for the project will be carried out immediately so as not to harm registration and the start of the academic year for immigrant students. Also, the Government will support approximately 90 Hebrew language schools, and four youth villages that are operated by the Education Ministry and which mainly house youth-at-risk.
According to the second decision, the Government will expedite the immigration to Israel of the Falash Mura, in wake of last year’s historic decision to bring all Falash Mura to Israel. According to the plan, immigrant quotas will be increased so as to bring all 2,200 Falash Mura by the end of March 2014. Efforts will be made to bring most of the immigrants close to the start of the academic year so that the children may begin classes together with Israeli pupils.
Also, in order to assist the immigrants’ absorption, an absorption center will be opened at Ibim this September, at a cost of approximately 17 million NIS. Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Harel Locker, who will monitor the arrival of the immigrants, noted that in order to implement the decision, all available places in absorption centers in Israel will be filled with immigrants. “We must act to bring all of the Falash Mura to Israel and close the immigration camp in Gondar as soon as possible,” he said.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “Immigration to Israel from anywhere in the world is a central goal of the Government.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)