(photo credit: QUALITA)
A day after a French NGO appealed to Labor and Social Services Minister Haim Katz not to end a project that aids the absorption of French immigrants, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the minister to try to find the necessary funds.
On Sunday, The Jerusalem Post reported that the umbrella organization for French immigrants Qualita had sent a letter to Katz asking him not to terminate a French-speaking service operated by the ministry, explaining that it would leave thousands of new immigrants – who don’t yet have a strong command of Hebrew – in the lurch.
On Monday, the Labor and Social Services Ministry sent the Post a statement, saying: “In light of Qualita’s appeal on the matter, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today with Social Services Minister Haim Katz and asked him to check how to continue next year the implementation of the government decision that was made in 2015 about the ‘community absorption model’ project.
“Minister Katz promised to look into the continuation of the project and approached the Finance Ministry in order to receive an additional budget for the project, for immigrants to Israel from both France and Ukraine.”
The project was implemented by the Labor and Social Services Ministry in 2015 as part of special programs for immigrants from France, Belgium and Ukraine who immigrated between 2015 and 2016, in accordance with government decision 2446.
“Thousands of immigrants from France, including elderly citizens, children with special needs, single-parent families, female victims of violence, at-risk youth and more won’t receive social services,” said Qualita CEO Ariel Kandel in a statement released on Sunday, as he explained that language barriers render welfare services inaccessible to immigrants.