Russian Jews waiting 6 months for aliyah meeting with Nativ

There are between up to 100,000 Ukrainian and Russian citizens who are eligible for aliyah on the outskirts of Ukraine and Russia.

 SOVIET OLIM celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1990 great wave of aliyah, at the Jerusalem Convention Center, 2015. (photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)
SOVIET OLIM celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1990 great wave of aliyah, at the Jerusalem Convention Center, 2015.
(photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)

Russian Jews need to wait more than six months in order to get a meeting with a representative of Nativ – the Israeli governmental liaison organization that is in charge of checking the eligibility for aliyah from former Soviet Union countries – in order to determine whether or not they can make Aliyah, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

“The number of representatives from Nativ who work in Russia wouldn’t be enough even for normal times: before the war,” a Russian Jew told the Post on Thursday. “The situation is horrible. For instance if someone asked for a meeting with Nativ during the month of March, in order to check their Jewish documents, they received a meeting only six or seven months later, in September or October,” the source said, explaining that at times there is need for more than one meeting.

There is a second option, where the Russian Jew flies to Israel independently and takes care of all of the official documents at the relevant government offices. In that situation, these future olim need to wait at least two months, if not more, in order to meet relevant representatives. 

Nativ head Neta Briskin-Peleg confirmed that these are the approximate amounts of time that Russian Jews are expected to wait for a meeting. She explained that “in Russia, we offer the opportunity to go through a shortened route that does not grant a visa, but allows them to change their status in Israel. In addition, they can arrive as tourists in Israel and do all of the necessary steps while here.” 

“all [Russian] borders are open, so those who are in a hurry can skip meeting a Nativ consul in Moscow and leave to Israel as tourists.”

Neta Briskin-Peleg
 Portrait of Israeli minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90) Portrait of Israeli minister of Aliyah and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

The holdup isn't just for Native

The two-month wait in Israel isn’t just for Nativ, she said, but rather for all of the Israeli government representatives such as the Aliyah and Absorption Ministry and Interior Ministry officials. “Since there is a huge wave of aliyah, the government offices don’t have enough personnel. Unfortunately, there is a wait.”

Israeli sources have told the Post that there are between 75,000 and 100,000 Ukrainian and Russian citizens who are eligible for aliyah on the outskirts of Ukraine and Russia in several different countries. The source explained that when the cold European winter will arrive and the energy crisis will become reality, they expect that there will be another potential wave of olim

Those who aren’t expected to make aliyah in the near future are the Ukrainian Jewish refugees who were accepted by Germany. Israel understands that there are more than 8,000 Ukranian Jews who have immigrated to Germany since the outbreak of the war in February.

There are almost 80,000 Russian citizens eligible for Israel’s Right of Return law, who have either already received an aliyah visa or who have applied for one. Every day during October, about 200 new Russian olim arrived in Israel. In addition, between 300 and 400 Russian citizens become Israeli citizens every day after finishing their process while in Israel.