Due to a huge upsurge in applicants expressing interest in making aliyah in 2009, the Jewish Agency has launched an aliyah program targeting university students, in an attempt to enable Jewish youth to come home to Israel right out of college.
The Campus Aliyah Fellowship will bring aliyah "fellows" to 20 flagship campuses across North America. These fellows – one per campus – will be present to answer questions, foster relationships, and create an aliyah-friendly environment.
Fellows will be provided $500 a semester for aliyah-related programming on campus, including social, cultural, and informational events. They will also receive training before each semester and will be kept abreast of new rights and regulations regarding immigration to Israel.
The initial campuses were chosen based on their reputations as being pro-Israel and containing large Jewish student populations. Yeshiva University, University of Texas, University of Maryland, University of Pennsylvania, University of Massachusetts, University of Colorado, Florida Atlantic University and York University fellows have already been chosen, with applications being accepted until July 15.
The Jewish Agency is also planning a winter pilot trip for interested students, who will explore aliyah options in Israel while meeting other olim and professionals.
According to the Jewish Agency, there has been a surge in aliyah in 2009, with a 15 percent increase across America.