French Jews who made aliyah, Ben Gurion International Airport
French Jews who made aliyah, Ben Gurion International Airport Flash 90

Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett and National Economic Council Chairman Avi Simhon will on Sunday submit to the weekly Cabinet meeting the team outline to formulate an Aliyah increase plan for French Jews. This follows the Prime Minister's directive at last week's meeting for Minister Bennett to lead the program in cooperation with the National Economic Council and other bodies.

As part of the proposed resolution, the Government will approve establishment of an inter-ministerial national task force to formulate a plan for submition within 60 days to promote immigration of Jews from France and better facilitate their absorption in Israel.

The team, headed by the Diaspora Minister and National Economic Council head, will include representatives of the following ministries: the Prime Minister's Office, the Finance Ministry, the Education Ministry, the Labor, Welfare, and Social Services Ministry, the Housing and Infrastructure Ministry, Immigration and Absorption Ministry, the Economy Ministry, and the Diaspora Affairs Ministry. In addition, also participating will be representatives of the Jewish Agency for Israel, the World Zionist Organization, KKL-JNF, and Qualita, the umbrella organization of the French Olim community in Israel.

The plan is currently being formulated following last week's Cabinet meeting where Minister Bennett presented an overview of Diaspora Affairs Ministry work. During the ensuing discussion the Minister highlighted the importance of immigration from France, and noted that data presented to him indicated that 43% of the French Jews - as many as 200,000 - had stated their desire to immigrate to Israel, but that in practice the State of Israel was not ready or prepared to absorb them in an efficient manner.

Minister Bennett commented, "The Israeli Government is taking a giant step in the right direction towards an historic move. After years of overlooking the wonderful Aliyah of French Jews, we'll embrace them." He added, "Immigration to Israel doesn't end on the day of arrival, that's just the beginning. The State should assist in absorption in all areas - language, education, housing, employment, and more. We'll do it. Every Jew in France should know, as should Jews anywhere in the world, the State of Israel awaits them with open arms."

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