Absorption Ministry, Jewish Agency Kick Off New Program
13 b'Av 5769/Aug 3, 2009, 3:04 AM
(IsraelNN.com) Absorption Minister Sopha Landwer (Yisra'el Beitenu) and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky (Yisra'el b'Aliyah-Likud) kicked off a new 32-million-shekel program on Sunday to encourage immigration from the former Soviet Union during this time of international financial crisis. Half of the program is being funded by the state; the other half by the agency.
The program consists of housing and other grants, as well as employment assistance for 850 families and 200 individuals between the ages of 18 and 55 who come in the next few months to communities that have expressed an interest in receiving new immigrants.
Landwer said that if the participants in the pilot program succeed, they will encourage others to come on Aliyah (immigration to Israel) and the project will be the basis for future absorption programs if it's successful. Sharansky said that the assistance will give the new olim (immigrants) mental and fiscal peace of mind during their first year to concentrate on learning Hebrew and on employment, which are the central factors in their success during this initial period.
Let's be honest. How many of these "new immigrants" are Jewish?
While living in an absorption center in Tel-Aviv for two years, I had many opportunities to meet, speak with, and get to know my fellow residents who were almost all from the Former Soviet Union.
Already knowing that at least 60% of them were not even Jewish, in my naivete, I was still shocked to hear statements like the following,...in English, of course.
"I'm not Jewish. My father was. I don't care about Israel. I don't want to learn Hebrew. I am hear for my free bachelor's degree. Then I'm off to Canada."
My experiences only revealed the tip of the iceberg. These residents were the educated, university students, and this was 10 years ago. You can only imagine what it is like now.
I have heard reports from appalled, even secular emissaries from the (non) Jewish Agency of being told to encourage and even recruit goyim to make Aliyah. When candidate would ask what should do about documentation, he would be told not to worry about that. (Meanwhile I have a friend who presented a ketubbah from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate to the Interior Ministry, and that "was not good enough" to prove he was eligible to make Aliyah.)
Meanwhile, a friend of mine traveling through small towns in the Ukraine (visiting the grave sites of rabbis) reported meeting Jews left out in the cold because they could not aford the train fare to the Agency's offices in Kiev. How did he know they were Jewish? They recognized his Hassidishe garb, and approached him in Yiddish. That was how they were able to communicate.
Anyone from the (non) Jewish Agency will tell you that it is not the agency's job to make policy, but to execute the policy of the Israeli government. ("Just following orders.")
Another thing the (non) Jewish Agency does not want you to know is that the biggest critics of encouraging of these goyim to immigrate to Israel are the olim who arrived from the Soviet Union 20 plus years ago,...you know the ones who really are Jewish.
These olim, like and MK Yuli Edelstein and Sharansky himself, fought hard to leave the Soviet Union to come and dwell in the Jewish Homeland, and suffered for their desires greatly at the hands of the Soviet government. It is important to note that these Jews are mostly secular and traditional, not necessarily religious. Yet, they still protest the influx of goyim.
But, so what? Shimon Peres needed votes for his Labor Party, and so the not so secret campaign began. What better way to get them than to steer government policy in the direction of bringing a religious minority into the country en masse?
Sharansky's old Yisra'el b'Aliyah Party certainly was not going to stand in the way. They would campaign hard for these votes. Remember their 5762/2001 "Nosh Kontrol" campaign, demanding that the Interior Ministry control be taken away from Sh"as, and handed over to Yisra'el b'Aliyah? Signs in Russian were plastered all over Israel. ("Nosh" is Russian for "our.")
Netanyahu = Shas Kontrol
Sharansky = Nosh Kontrol
Sharansky = Nosh Kontrol
The issue of "Who is a Jew?" was exploited for the sake of votes, while the country's Jewish character gradually eroded. If Sharansky could get control of the Interior Ministry, he could have control over what was displayed on Israeli ID cards, pleasing the countless goyim from the Former Soviet Union, those with or without fake or quickie "conversions."
As it happens, then Interior Minister Eli Yishai removed the "nationality" categroy from the ID cards completely, a way he found to avoid implementing the High Court's ruling that all so-called "conversions" to Judaism would be accepted, and those individuals would be identified as such.
Now that Yisra'el b'Aliyah is dead, Lieberman and Landwer's Yisra'el Beitenu Party hope to reap the benefits. They will need it, too, with Lieberman's legal troubles. Lieberman can no longer count on the secular Sefardi vote he received this time around. That will invariably revert back to the Sh"as religious party or to the Likud.
Meanwhile, the Labor Party, assuming is survives, and the "religiously pluralistic" un-Jewish Mere"tz Party will undoubtedly try to snag their share of this goyshe voting base.
When Ariel Sharon first came to power in 5761/2002, an attempt was made to change the "Law Of Return," which has allowed such "Nuremberg Jews" and their spouses to settle in Israel. The change was quickly shot down.
In 5767/2007 response to the discovery of Neo-Nazi cells in Israel, former MK Effie Eitam (National Union) said that he planned on submitting legislation that would have prevented non-Jews from immigrating to Israel under the "Law of Return." That never panned out, and it took the serious and embarrassing issue of finding Neo-Nazis in Israel to raise the issue. (The ostriches were froced to pull their heads out of the sand for a day or two.)
Canada has been offering a limited number of such Russian, Belarussian, and Ukrainian "Israelis" residency, under the category of the "religiously oppressed," or some such nonsense.
Let them go directly to Canada, or Germany, or wherever else they desire. I don't care, just as long as Israel (ie. your and your parents' donations to Jewish Federations) does not have to foot the bill.
How many American Friends of Peace Now are Jewish?
I give up.
probably not too many, and even fewer of their spouses
Proving that one's halachikly Jewish is getting harder and harder, because some halachik Jews can't even show a kosher ketuba of grandparents.
People have no problem getting others to sign false affidavits.
"ours" in Russian is "nash" not "nosh."
For what it's worth I completely agree with you, being myself one of those "Russian" immigrants who want the law of return to conform to the halakha.
Yaakov, for the first time in reading your blog, I have found something that I completely agree with you on.
I started my army service at a place called Mikveh Alon. Basically an ulpan for new immigrants before being shipped off to the rest of the army. The vast majority (85-90%) of the soldiers in my ulpan there were people from the FSU, we just called them all Russians, seeing as they all spoke Russian to each other.
Anyways, I pretty much found exactly what you found in the absorption center, these kids were completely disconnected with Judaism, Israel, and unfortunately had just come here for the economic benefits. It's kind of ridiculous that this exists today.
Back in the 70's as well as when the Soviet Union fell in the early 90's, there were tons of people who came here who did have a connection to Israel, who were Jewish, and have contributed greatly to our society. Unfortunately, after they came, the rest of the Russians with dubious ties to Judaism came as well cause they took advantage of the law of return. Grandpa or Grandma was Jewish, so they got a free ride to Israel, even though they are not Jewish, have no connection to Israel, and are for all intents and purposes Christian.
The Law of Return has done a lot of great things for the State of Israel, it brought millions of Mizrachi Jews here, as well as millions of others, all Jewish and having a great connection to the State and the land.
I understand why the law was written, Jews needed a homeland, and we needed it badly. It was not until 1970 was the clause added that said that "The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law... are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew". The intention here is to provide citizenship for people persecuted under the Nuremberg laws, which included all of the above, not just Jews. I can sort of understand why this was done, but now, you are right, it has gotten out of hand. The problem is, what can we do about it??
Avi, Thanks for the correction. If I remember correctly, the Cyrillic "O" is used in this word. I didn't know it was pronounced "Ah," here. Although I know it is sometimes.
Zack, You've NEVER agreed with anything on my blog? Not even about Harry Potter and Seinfeld? I guess you don't read it much. ;-}
A long time ago, I think we agreed that we were coming from different perspectives, and thus [albeit not necessarily spoken] agreed to disagree.
But, thanks for your support here.
So, when are you going to writing again? If you recall I thought you wrote well, even though I didn't always agree with your content [either].
Check out Israeli By Day. You could always do the "Soldier Blog" thing for a while, until you get back into it. ;-}
I didnt say that I haven't agreed with you in the past, just that on this we are in 100% agreement :)
In terms of blogging again, I am not sure, to be honest, I just don't have the time to do it anymore, being in the Army and such. A lone soldier blog doesn't really appeal to me that much, I mean I am sure it would be good, but i'd have to do it using my cellphone and it would just be a pain, and I just don't have time to sit down and write for more than 5 minutes at a time. I don't know, maybe I'll pick it up after I get out in May. We shall see...
also, i do read your blog, all the time, its just i read it when i get home, and open up google reader and have like 2000 things to read, so i usually read them all faster than I'd like to...haha
Zack, it's cool, but thanks for the clarification.
I may take my issues seriously, but I try not to take myself too seriously, if you know what I mean.
I don't have any misconceptions about my importance in the universe, or lack thereof. ;-}
Regarding a blog for you, you gotta do what's good for you. I was just saying that if you did start writing again, I'd like to read it. :-}
We are getting ready to make allia. This is taking us a long time partially because I had to come to grips with the bureaucratic idiocy surrounding the alia for Jews born in Russia, who now live in the US. My husband and therefore the kids are Israeli citizens. So the following applies only to me.
Here is what I am told:
It does not matter that I am frum, has lived in the frum community for over 10 years and there are Rabbonim, who know me since I came to America. One of them is also closely acquainted with my parents and my maternal grandmother. No the letters from them are not needed.
My ksuba is a prof that my children are Jewish at the same time it does not prove that I am Jewish. Interesting?
They - the Jewish agency wants my original birth certificate, they are supposedly going to send it to Israel to chemically analyze the ink. I have to trust them, that they will not loose it. If they do loose it (I asked), I would have to get another one. HUH?
They - the Jewish agency wants photos of my late relatives berried in the Jewish cemetery in Russia, with the Hebrew writing on the matseyva? Are they idiots? It is Russia, remember! There were no Jewish cemeteries when we left. I am 39 and still vividly remember the times when people were arrested for having anything written in Hebrew. Only if you really dislike your dead relations would you make a Hebrew inscription on the matseiva. The grave would be violated overnight!
They want an affidavit from a NON-Jew that they were acquainted with me in Russia, and they were aware that I was Jewish. Since I was 19 when I left and did not keep in touch with any non-Jews it is almost impossible.
They want my parents and my grandparents kesuba, made out before I was born. I was born in 1970, my parents were married in 1968, my grandparents were married in 1937, how many people had a kesyba then?
At the same time they do not want to see my very Jewish Mother, or even more Jewish, Yiddish speaking Grandmother. I was told that it is not relevant to my case.
I am told, that once I get all my parers together it will be from 6 month to one year.
Henya, thank you so much for sharing your story here.
I think the point is that it does matter that you're frum.
Because, I believe that the Israeli gov't makes frum people jump through hoops we never new even existed.
May you and your family successfully get through the bureaucracy and arrive in Israel soon.
Have you worked with Nefesh b'Nefesh at all? If so, was that helpful?
Post a Comment