JEWISH AGENCY TO PUSH 'ALIYAH-IN-STAGES'
As part of its "Aliyah In Stages" strategy, the Jewish Agency for Israel is launching its largest-ever educational project with the aim of infusing young Jews in the Diaspora with a love for Israel.
The Israeli government is expected to give $10 million toward the project - funding groups that bring 18- to 26-year-old Jews from around the world to Israel on educational programs with a duration of at least five-months. The government has committed to increase its contribution by $10 million each year, while the Jewish Agency has committed to coordinate a matching grant from other sources – with a maximum of $100 million a year combined.
The program is meant to drastically reduce the financial obstacles preventing 18- to 26- year-olds from studying in Israel, following a model successfully implemented by Nefesh B'Nefesh – an organization that has sought to remove those same obstacles in Jews wishing to make aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel).
Eligible programs will include universities, kibbutzim (cooperative communities) and Ulpanim (intensive Hebrew immersion programs), Zionist yeshivas, as well as other programs run by various youth movements.
"It's something that is going to change the culture, the tradition of youngsters" all over the world, Amos Hermon, chair of the Agency's education committee told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. "A meaningful year of Israel this is the most effective factor as far as encouraging aliyah," added Hermon.
The Jewish Agency has allocated $400,000 for marketing the program across North America. There are currently 4,000 North American Jews studying in Israel in various programs, mostly in yeshivas. According to Hermon, the Jewish Agency is aiming for 20,000 by the year 2008.
Arutz-7 - 25 June 2004