Come­back­home, Is­rael tells ex­pats

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANA GLOGER

IS­RAELIS LIV­ING in the UK are be­ing en­cour­aged to re­turn to live in Is­rael this year, for the coun­try’s 60th an­niver­sary.

The Min­istry of Ab­sorp­tion is work­ing with the Jewish Agency to try to en­tice ex­pats liv­ing in both the UK and North Amer­ica.

The ini­tia­tive, Re­turn­ing Home on Is­rael’s 60th, in­cludes cer­tain ben­e­fits. One of the most im­por­tant of th­ese is that the fee peo­ple re­turn­ing to the coun­try are usu­ally re­quired to pay to the na­tional health ser­vice in­sur­ance sys­tem will be re­funded.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Is­rael’s Min­istry of Ab­sorp­tion along with Jewish Agency del­e­gates held three events in Lon­don and Manch­ester this week, to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice on the ini­tia­tive.

Meira Katz, head of the Aliyah De­part­ment at the Jewish Agency in Lon­don, said: “We are en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to re­turn and come home now be­cause of the 60th an­niver­sary. The gov­ern­ment is fo­cus­ing strongly on this.”

In a sep­a­rate ini­tia­tive, Amer­i­can Rabbi Shalom Ros­ner was also in the UK this week to en­cour­age Bri­tons to make aliyah to a new English-speak­ing com­mu­nity he will be cre­at­ing in Nofei HaShemesh, near Jerusalem.

He spoke at the Ner Yis­rael Syn­a­gogue in Lon­don dur­ing the Shab­bat ser­vice, and again at a meet­ing on Sun­day, and also vis­ited Manch­ester where he spoke to peo­ple at Prest­wich Syn­a­gogue.

Rabbi Ros­ner, who will move to Nofei HaShemesh with his wife and six chil­dren in Au­gust, re­futed sug­ges­tions that he would be cre­at­ing an An­glo-ghetto. “We want to be as in­te­grated as pos­si­ble into Is­raeli so­ci­ety. The chil­dren will at­tend lo­cal schools where they will be speak­ing He­brew.

“The idea be­hind the com­mu­nity is to make peo­ple feel as com­fort­able as pos­si­ble when they take such a ma­jor step as mov­ing coun­try.”

He was op­ti­mistic de­spite the de­val­u­a­tion of the dol­lar in re­cent months. “There are al­ways chal­lenges, andI think that the pos­si­bil­i­ties that ex­ist now are greater than they have been for any gen­er­a­tion that’s pre­ceded us, de­spite the fi­nan­cial chal­lenges,” he said.

The com­mu­nity is be­ing sup­ported by the Jewish Agency and Ne­fesh B’Ne­fesh.

Happy to be in the Holy Land

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