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Jewish Agency for Israel

May 25, 2023 267 Time to read: 10 min.

Jewish Agency for Israel is an agency for the entire Jewish people. Representative offices of the organization are located in 58 countries of the world. More than 3 million Jews thanks to “JAFI” realized their dream—they returned to their historical homeland in Israel.

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    Mission and goals

    JAFI is an international organization. The full name is the Jewish Agency for Israel. The mission of the Agency is to provide links between the Jews of the whole world.

    JAFI birthday is August 11, 1929. The first constituent assembly took place during the 16th Zionist Congress in Zurich.

    The predecessor of the organization is the Palestinian Jewish Bureau, which operated from 1908 to 1928. The Bureau was the executive body of the World Zionist Organization. This function was subsequently assigned to JAFI. Since its inception, the Agency has been assisting in the repatriation of Jews scattered throughout the world. Assistance in aliyah is not the only goal of the JAFI activity.

    The agency also undergoes other tasks:

    • Assistance to Jews living in the Diaspora in maintaining and strengthening ties with Israel;
    • Development of Jewish education for youth living in diasporas;
    • Comprehensive support for repatriates from all over the world. Assistance in successful integration into Jewish society;
    • Rescuing Jews when their lives are in danger or when they are persecuted or harassed;
    • Building a global Jewish community.

    In 2008, the activities of the JAFI Social Agency in Israel were awarded the State Prize. This is the highest form of recognition for excellence. The award cannot be received twice. Jewish Agency for Israel was awarded for a significant contribution to the construction of a sovereign Jewish state, the development of society and assistance in the return of Jews to their historical homeland.

    Repatriation programs to Israel in 2024 from Jewish Agency for Israel

    One of the main goals of the Agency’s work is aliyah. The activities of the JAFI are financed by various organizations, foundations and private philanthropists of both Jewish and non-Jewish origin. In close cooperation with the State of Israel, the Agency has developed many repatriation programs. Their goal is to speed up the adaptation of new citizens in Israeli society as much as possible, to make absorption comfortable and successful.

    Youth Programs

    Youth projects from JAFI are aimed at camphor absorption of Jews aged 18 to 35 years. Program participants do not have to worry about solving financial, domestic and other issues during the first months of their stay in Israel. The solution of these tasks is undertaken by the Agency with comprehensive support from the state.

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      Youth programs from JAFI in Israel provide great opportunities for in-depth study of Hebrew, admission to higher educational institutions of the country, gaining new connections and acquaintances. There are many projects for young people, the most popular are the following:

      • NAALE – within the framework of the program, preparation is carried out for the completion of secondary education in Israel and the passing of the final exams.
      • SELA-world is the preparation for young people to enter Israeli universities.
      • TAKA – preparation for studying at colleges and universities in Israel.
      • Tech and The City is a program for young people, representatives of Hi-Tech professions.
      • MASA is a complex of programs in various directions. Participants get a unique experience in the study of Judaism, get acquainted with Israeli culture, traditions, master Hebrew.
      • Taglit – a free trip for 10 days to introduce potential repatriates to the country of Israel.

      Aliyah programs

      Before leaving for Israel for permanent residence, repatriates can seek help from the Agency and choose the most suitable repatriation program for themselves. Participation in programs helps to solve every day and organizational issues at the initial stage of residence in the country.

      The most famous projects are:

      • Municipal absorption. The repatriate can independently decide the settlement for residence. Absorption into Israeli society takes place in close cooperation with the municipality and a personal coordinator. It is worth paying attention to the fact that the set of benefits for repatriates will differ in each city.
      • Absorption programs for families. These include “The First Home in the Motherland”. Both family and non-family repatriates between the ages of 28 and 45 can take part. Absorption takes place in kibbutzim—agricultural communes. Here, repatriates are provided with housing on preferential terms. The period of participation in the program is no more than 12 months.
      • Aliya 2000. This is an absorption and training program.
      • Absorption center. Participants of the program are given the opportunity to stay in the absorption center for a while. After 1-2 months, the repatriate will have to leave the center.
      • Direct absorption. When choosing this program, the specialists of ” JAFI” can advise the city for living. A repatriate rents an apartment on his own, enrolls in an ulpan to study Hebrew.

      Ulpan

      Ulpans are specialized schools for the study of Hebrew, which were established by the Israeli Ministry of Education with the Jewish Agency “JAFI” in 1949. The first school was opened in Jerusalem.

      Now a network of ulpans has been created throughout the country. Their goal is to accelerate the development of Hebrew by repatriates. The study of Hebrew is divided into several levels, depending on the depth of knowledge gained and the degree of initial preparation of students.

      Education for repatriates in the first 6 months will be free. It is funded by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.

      Help from JAFI with repatriation to Israel

      If a decision is made to repatriate to Israel, you can apply for consulting support to the Jewish Agency. Here you will receive a complete consultation on basic issues. Agency specialists provide the following services:

      1. Information on the process of repatriation. Here you can get an indicative list of documents that are necessary for passing a consular check, find out the rules for visiting the Israeli embassy.
      2. Assistance in choosing the right repatriation program. You can find out from the agency’s specialists about the advantages of living in a particular locality in Israel, the benefits that are provided to repatriates by a particular municipality.
      3. Help with a flight to Israel. A free plane ticket to Israel is provided.
      4. Escort at the airport upon arrival in Israel. Free transfer to the place of residence.

      On the territory of Israel, with the support of representatives of the JAFI, you can get help in enrolling in Hebrew courses.

      Until the departure to Israel, JAFI acts as a coordinator. Upon arrival in the country, most of the issues will have to be resolved without his participation through an appeal to the local branch of the Ministry of Aliyah and Absorption.

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      FAQ

      In this section, we have compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions.

      Who is eligible for repatriation?
       

      A person’s right to repatriation is determined by the Law of Return. According to his theses, the possibility of aliyah is provided to Jews and their descendants up to the 3rd generation, that is, together with a Jew, the right to repatriation is received by: the children and grandchildren of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, as well as the husbands (wives) of children and grandchildren of a Jew.

      What documents are needed for repatriation to Israel?

      Foremost, you require documents confirming the right to repatriation, that is, papers proving your Jewish origin. This can be a passport, birth certificate of the father (mother), grandfather (grandmother), great-grandmother, where the nationality of the ancestor is indicated—a Jew (Jewish). Plus papers proving your relationship.

      What benefits are due to repatriates to Israel?

      The list of benefits that repatriates are entitled to include the “absorption basket” (sal klita). It is issued to all repatriates, regardless of the country of origin. The term of payments is no more than 6 months from the date of repatriation. In addition, there is a grace period for using medical services, cellular communications, 10-year tax holidays for income received abroad. Reduced tax rates for the purchase of the first real estate, cars and much more.

      What medical insurance is required for repatriates?

      New immigrants receive a mandatory health insurance policy upon arrival in Israel, which entitles them to use the so-called “health basket”. The policy is provided free of charge for 6 or 12 months. Further, repatriates are required to pay premiums for health and national insurance. If the repatriate is not satisfied with the basic package, he is entitled to expand the list of services by purchasing additional insurance. We recommend that repatriates pay attention to private health insurance in Israel. It is very relevant for those who do not plan to transfer the center of their vital interests to Israel.

      Can I repatriate to Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic?

      Yes, you can. Israel did not stop accepting repatriates even during the hard lockdown period. It is necessary to follow the restrictions that apply to visiting the Israeli diplomatic mission, as well as the rules for entering Israel.

      Am I required to quarantine upon arrival in Israel on a repatriate visa?

      No, at the end of March 2023, there is no quarantine for arrival, but the situation is changing dynamically, new strains are emerging. We advise you to follow all the updates. Our Telegram channel publishes the latest news, we recommend subscribing.

      What kind of help and advice can you get?

      The Jewish Agency helps potential repatriates choose an aliyah program and advises on basic issues. Repatriate visa holders can contact the office to book a free plane ticket to Israel. The agency is doing an outstanding job. But due to the large number of people who need support, it is not always possible to resolve all issues promptly.

      WRAI helps its clients expedite the process of obtaining Israeli citizenship through Jewish roots. Starting cooperation with the search for missing documents and preparation for consular checks, and ending with the handing over of Israeli passports. And even after that, our customer support service will be ready to support you in doing business in Israel.

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