On Sunday, the government in Israel approved a budget of NIS 90 million, which is more than $25 million, for absorbing the Jewish immigrants arriving in the country from Russia.
This is in light of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. The funds that have been approved would be used for providing immigrants with additional housing solution, education, health services, employment assimilation and other basic requirements.
Many of these immigrants are arriving in haste and without little, or no preparation, whatsoever.
Officials in Israel have also indicated that they plan on increasing the number of flights between Tel Aviv and Moscow and to facilitate in the transfer of assets to Israel from Russia.
The Ministry of Aliyah and Immigration Absorption provided data, which showed that since the launch of the Russian invasion in Ukraine on February 24th, approximately 24,000 Jewish immigrants have come to Israel.
This is the most prominent wave of immigration seen from that region since the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago when thousands of people had come to the Jewish state.
According to the ministry, additional immigrants will arrive in the next few months, partly because of the ‘partial mobilization’ announced in Russia with its military dealing with setbacks during the war.
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Pnina Tamano-Shata, the Minister of Immigration and Absorption, worked on the initiative to provide these funds.
These are to be used for making preparations for the arrival of Jewish immigrants from the Russian Federation.
Tamano-Shata said that every Jew in the world can consider Israel as a safe haven and their migration gives the spirit a boost, regardless of the reason.
She added that the Immigration and Absorption Ministry would do everything to ensure that all immigrants from Russia who are arriving in such challenging times can get the holistic care they require for integrating into Israeli society.
Liberman echoed the same sentiments and said that the Finance Ministry would do everything to allow Jews and others eligible for Aliyah under the Law of Return.
This is the Hebrew word for immigration and the Finance Minister said that it is a great asset for Israel and one of its growth engines.
Express Aliyah program
The Aliyah cabinet also had a meeting on Sunday that was chaired by Tamano-Shata in which an ‘express Aliyah’ program was approved for those coming from Russia.
This expedited process would enable immigrants to get their Aliyah approval before they undergo an eligibility check. They can complete this after their arrival in Israel.
According to the ministry, they believe 40,000 more immigrants will come into the country in the next six months.
The Jewish Agency is also planning on opening centers in Finland and Azerbaijan for assisting Russians who wish to migrate.
The chair of the Jewish Agency, Doron Almog said on Sunday that the organization needed NIS 300,000 for aiding the wave of immigrants predicted.
They have already received NIS 200,000 for facilitating immigrants coming from Ukraine.