Israel’s Cabinet approved a more than $46 million plan to encourage immigration and to adapt the absorption process to Jews from France, Belgium and Ukraine.
The plan was approved Sunday, hours after a gunman killed a volunteer Jewish guard at a synagogue in Copenhagen.
“We say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters: Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe. I would like to tell all European Jews and all Jews wherever they are: ‘Israel is the home of every Jew,’” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before the vote. “To the Jews of Europe and to the Jews of the world I say that Israel is waiting for you with open arms.”
The plan was designed by the ministries of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, Education, Economy, Social Affairs and Social Services, Interior and Health.
“The government ascribes great importance to realizing the unique window of opportunities that has been created and to realizing the latent potential of the considerable increase in the number of telephone inquiries regarding the possibility of immigration from France, Belgium and Ukraine. Based on the understanding that successful absorption is a condition for additional immigration, the plan includes three layers: Encouraging immigration, strengthening and adapting absorption processes and special assistance for immigrants from emergency areas,” according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Among the programs included in the plan are encouraging links to Israel and boosting Hebrew studies in the home countries; speeding up dealing with immigrant files by increasing the number of immigration emissaries; and counseling on personally adapted absorption tracks while still in the countries of origin including on looking for work and establishing businesses in Israel, or moving existing businesses to Israel.