(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Immigrant Absorption Ministry will more than triple its direct support for some 400 private aliya absorption organizations, Minister Ya'acov Edri said this week.
"This is a profound change in the priorities of the Absorption Ministry," Edri said, adding that the change would "strengthen the important work of hundreds of voluntary organizations working to absorb olim and integrate them into Israeli society." These organizations, Edri added, are an "operational arm" helping to advance the goals and policies of the ministry in integrating olim.
In 2007, ministry support for private non-profit absorption organizations amounted to some NIS 700 million, with an additional NIS 2 million in funding achieved through coalition agreements. The ministry will now allocate some NIS 3 million in the 2008 budget, while Edri hopes to gain the same additional NIS 2 million through coalition agreements as in 2007.
The organizations are involved in various programs, including education, helping at-risk youth and enhancing Jewish identity. The organizations have long complained that their activities are severely limited because of a lack of funds.