The Lauder Center for Employment in the Negev and Galilee announced on the eve of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, that it has formulated a plan to aid in the aliyah process of refugees and olim arriving in Israel.
This was announced as the war in Ukraine intensified, with concerns over the involvement of nuclear weapons rising.
Studies done in the past found an inextricable connection between the trauma of displacement from the homeland and the disconnection from the familiar and safe place of employment, and the difficulty of integrating in the receiving country.
It is therefore necessary to deal quickly with finding quality sources of employment for the new immigrants as a way to ensure their quick recovery and good integration in the country
The new program, Olim to the Negev, will see the JNF-USA-managed Lauder Center in cooperation with the Absorption Ministry and the welfare departments of the local authorities offering refugees, new immigrants, and returning residents who speak Russian in the Negev assistance in integrating into quality employment.
The Lauder Center mapped the cities where the immigrants settled in the Negev, the professions they engaged in before the war, the supply of quality jobs in the Negev, etc.
Most of the immigrants that the Lauder Center encountered are graduates of academic studies, many of which worked in their country as freelancers in various fields such as marketing in digital networks, projectors in business companies, fund managers, craftsmen, architects, engineers, or high-tech people and now after immigrating to Israel they are interested in integrating as employees.
There are also immigrants who were employed in professions such as teaching, care, accounting and the health professions.
So far, the Lauder Center has helped 250 immigrants and supported their integration into work in Israel. The principle according to which the center operates is "optimal employment," which means that they will help every immigrant to find employment according to their abilities, skills and desire while also not pushing or contributing to situations of underemployment.
The following methods have been employed in order to push forward the initiative:
The Lauder Center examines the services the states make available to immigrants, as well as reviewing all potential employers and job opportunities to set each individual immigrant up with the job that most suits their unique set of skills and abilities.
To help facilitate these efforts, the center established close relations with the Immigration and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano Shata and Economy Minister Orna Barbivay.
Career and company consults
The center initiated and held meetings with employers, consulting for setting up a business, consulting for career development and various workshops that bring them together with the world of work and the economy in Israel and prepare them for it, on topics such as self-fulfillment in a changing reality, acclimatization to the Israeli labor market, preparing resumes and personal branding, and financial awareness, and more.
A Hebrew course will soon be opened at the Lauder Center for the immigrants, as a follow-up course to the regular Ulpan courses completed lately.
The conductor of this whole affair is Anat Bondarenka, a Ukrainian immigrant who fled the country in February, just as the war broke out. Her personal connection to the subject, her experience and the experiences she personally went through herself made her the most suitable to lead this important human project.
The Lauder Center has said in a statement that "this is only the beginning of the road and there is still a lot of work ahead of us. Now, in preparation for the expected new wave of immigration, we will continue to work with all our might to assist in the optimal integration of the new immigrants, and to assist employers in the Negev to absorb the high-quality human capital that has joined the Negev."
"this is only the beginning of the road and there is still a lot of work ahead of us. Now, in preparation for the expected new wave of immigration, we will continue to work with all our might to assist in the optimal integration of the new immigrants, and to assist employers in the Negev to absorb the high-quality human capital that has joined the Negev."The Lauder Center
The Lauder Center was founded in 2015 in Beersheba at the initiative of World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder. The aim of the center was to help keep the graduates of the higher education institutions in Beersheba and other southern cities in the Negev, and to stop their massive migration to the center of the country. A similar center was established in 2020 in Acre for the same purpose, just in the north.