Aliyah minister seeks to promote Aliyah of entire communities

Sofer met with a delegation of Orthodox rabbis from North America at the Nefesh B'Nefesh center in Jerusalem.

 Aliyah and Integration Minister Ofir Sofer meets with a delegation of Orthodox rabbis from North America.  (photo credit: COURTESY OF ALIYAH AND INTEGRATION MINISTRY)
Aliyah and Integration Minister Ofir Sofer meets with a delegation of Orthodox rabbis from North America.
(photo credit: COURTESY OF ALIYAH AND INTEGRATION MINISTRY)

Aliyah and Integration Minister Ofir Sofer (Religious Zionist Party) met with Orthodox rabbis from North America, including representatives from Yeshiva University, for their help with promoting aliyah of entire communities, including representatives from Yeshiva University, at the Nefesh B’Nefesh center in Jerusalem.

The rabbis congratulated Sofer on his assumption of the role and said they would help him with the challenges he faces. The rabbisThey told Soferhim that “strengthening the olim communities in Israel will encourage [American] Jews to make aliyah.” They added,” adding that “aliyah to Israel may be a counter effect to assimilation,” of American Jews.

The rabbis told Sofer that "strengthening the olim communities in Israel will encourage [American] Jews to to make Aliyah."

Countering assimilation 

 Aliyah and Integration Minister Ofir Sofer meets with a delegation of Orthodox rabbis from North America.  (credit: COURTESY OF ALIYAH AND INTEGRATION MINISTRY) Aliyah and Integration Minister Ofir Sofer meets with a delegation of Orthodox rabbis from North America. (credit: COURTESY OF ALIYAH AND INTEGRATION MINISTRY)

Among the rabbis who were present at the meeting were Rabbis Aryeh Lebowitz, Eli Belizon, Shmuel Marcus, Issac Rice, Shay Schachter, Daniel Stein, Larry Rothwachs, Yeshai Bane and Efraim Polakoff.

Sofer's budget and plans

As published by The Jerusalem Post, Sofer will have a budget of up to NIS 350 million per year that “will be allocated for the purpose of programs to encourage the aliyah of young Jews from the US and France.” This adds up to NIS 1.4 billion during the assumed four-year term of PMPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

Sofer insisted on this budget since his party is focused on promoting more aliyah from Western countries. A majority of the olim coming from these countries are Jewish and trained in professions that are useful for the Israeli economy. RZP sees olim from these communities as natural constituents for their party – a large percentage of olim from France and the US are Orthodox and politically conservative.

The new minister said he was happy to meet them and that he is encouraged to “hear about the challenges [of aliyah], [, as well as] the difficulties and questions that arise from the community of olim from North America.”

Sofer shared that he supports “group aliyah” – aliyah of entire communities to Israel living in the same neighborhoods or municipalities. “Making aliyah as a group will make it much easier for American Jews to be integrated into Israel.”

He said that by “working together, we will be able to do good things for the State of Israel.’’

Among the rabbis who were present at the meeting were Rabbis Aryeh Lebowitz, Eli Belizon, Shmuel Marcus, Issac Rice, Shay Schachter, Daniel Stein, Larry Rothwachs, Yeshai Bane and Efraim Polakoff.