Participants at the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption's entrepreneurship course in New York this week.
(photo credit: CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK)
While new figures published last week by the Central Bureau of Statistics regarding Israeli "brain drain" or human capital flight may be cause for concern, an entrepreneurship course taking place this week in New York City is assisting Israelis interested in returning home and setting up or transferring a business.
Organized by the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption's Entrepreneurs Division and the ministry's Israeli House program, the week-long entrepreneurship course returned to New York for a third year.
Business advisers and international tax experts from Israel came to Manhattan in order to advise expats looking to return to Israel on a range of business-related topics, including marketing, advertising, sales, local tax authorities, financial management and a variety of benefits offered to returning citizens by the ministry, including tax exemptions.
"Returning to Israel for businessmen and women is likely to be challenging. The entrepreneurship course provides the knowledge to enable a well-considered and informed decision," said Ella Saban, deputy director of the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption's Senior Division for Encouraging Aliyah and Returning Residents.
"I welcome the opening of the entrepreneurship course in New York for a third time and I hope that this year too the course will help direct, assist and support citizens in the process of returning to Israel and opening a business."
According to figures published last week, 33,000 or 5.8% of recipients of Israeli academic degrees between the academic years 1980-81 and 2010-11 spent at least three years living abroad by 2017. This figure almost doubles among doctoral graduates, with the United States and Europe the primary destinations for Israel's emigrants.
Following three courses in New York, the ministry is planning to expand the course to additional expat communities, including in Paris and London.
"The activity of the Israeli House program in encouraging citizens to return to the State of Israel is important. 47 years ago, my family and I stopped being passive observers and turned into active players in the greatest adventure of the Jewish people in 2,000 years and I am incredibly happy about that," said Dani Dayan, Consul-General of Israel in New York.
"I hope that others will also choose this path, and we, the Consulate General in New York will of course continue to assist and support this topic."
The course has already assisted a number of Israeli citizens, not only in returning to Israel but also contributing toward their economic situation and employment in Israel.
South Africa-born Norman Hayat moved to Israel after finishing high school in 1984 from Capetown, but after studying for a master's in business management studies at New York City's Columbia University, he opted to commence his career on Wall Street.
After 23 years in the United States and having worked since 2010 as a registered investment adviser, Hayat returned to Israel with his business last year after participating in the entrepreneurship course.
"For me, the course was significant and educational. For the first time I could learn in-depth about the differences between Israel and the United States in terms of business, and how to progress opposite the various authorities," said Hayat.
"This subsequently helped me during the move and establishment of the business in Israel. I have understood that it is entirely possible to succeed in Israel and there are a huge number of opportunities," he added.
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