Israel offers incentives to post-Maccabiah olim

Ministry of Immigrant Absorption anticipates the Maccabiah games will offer Jews from abroad opportunity to be introduced to Israel.

By
July 14, 2013 17:36
2 minute read.
Sofa Landver

sofa landver 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The Immigrant Absorption Ministry announced on Sunday that it will offer special assistance and benefits to people who will make aliya to Israel following the 2013 Maccabiah Games, which will open later this week.

According to the ministry, the 19th games, which will include the participation of some 9,000 Jewish athletes from over 70 countries around the world, most of whom will be visiting Israel for the first time on the occasion, is “a unique opportunity to bring the immigration of outstanding athletes, coaches and their families to Israel,” mostly due to the games’ global exposure.

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“Following previous games, hundreds of olim moved to Israel and this time we decided to build a special program that meets the unique needs of these athletes,” Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Athletes participating in this year’s Maccabiah Games, and who will make aliya by December 31 2014, will receive benefits such as special grants, Hebrew courses for athletes and coaches and assistance in finding employment.

Eligible sports professionals will also receive “special assistance” from the Israel Student Authority including scholarships and assistance in financing vocational studies.

“It’s always good to have immigrants, no matter what their profession is,” Landver added. “The ministry is trying to encourage as many Jews to immigrate to Israel, where our assistance is also adapted according to various professions of the olim.”

Such as, the MK noted, previous efforts by the ministry that brought thousands of doctors to Israel in recent years.



“The assistance we will provide to Maccabiah athletes include academic studies and specific sports-oriented assistance such as helping them acquire the appropriate professional language,” she explained.

Landver, who stated she is proud of the initiative, added that she strongly hopes that upon their arrival in the country in the coming days, the Jewish athletes will “realize that this is their home.”

“I hope they will see that Jews have only one home and it is Israel,” she told the Post.

“They will be exposed to the many opportunities that exist here: Their opportunities to advance in their profession or to retrain for another profession, their opportunity to establish a home and a family here and to plant roots here.”

“If we succeed in this mission [to show athletes their opportunities in Israel] we will have achieved our goal,” Landver said.


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