New Israelis for the New Year

In the week before Rosh Hashanah, 600 new immigrants are expected to arrive from the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Maayana Miskin,

New immigrants arrive
New immigrants arrive
Israel news photo: (file)

Hundreds of new immigrants arrived in Israel on Sunday from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The Jewish Agency plans to bring hundreds more in the course of this week, in the days leading up to the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

A total of approximately 600 new immigrants from the CIS are expected to arrive between Sunday morning and the beginning of the Jewish new year on Friday evening.

The new immigrants will be greeted by ministers, members of Knesset, Jewish Agency officials, and other public figures. Many will continue on to participate in Jewish Agency affiliated programs, including kibbutz (cooperative community) absorption programs and “Selah,” an Aliyah (immigration) track aimed at students arriving in Israel without their parents.

Jewish Agency officials believe they may succeed this year in reversing a trend of decreasing Aliyah from former Soviet Union states. The number of new immigrants arriving from the CIS is expected to be higher in 2009 than in the previous year, the first time in a decade that Jewish immigration from the region will increase, they said Sunday.

Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky credited the global financial crisis for the increasing flow of immigration, and said his staff would work hard to increase it even more. “The Jewish Agency must take advantage of the window of opportunity created by Israel's financial stability at this time, and to do all we can to encourage the increasing Aliyah to Israel,” he said.

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