Hundreds of Israeli and Jewish academics from various universities around the world attended a first-of-its-kind academic employment fair in Jerusalem aimed at bringing back researchers and scientists to Israel on Sunday. Most of the participants were Israeli citizens who left the country to study abroad. The conference was also attended by Jewish academics who are exploring the possibility of making aliyah.
The conference was initiated by the Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Representatives from Israel's universities and colleges set up stations where they explained about their various faculties as well as research and employment possibilities in Israel.
The Academy of Sciences and Humanities has 2,061 Israelis listed as interested in returning to Israel. Among them 1,505 are certified doctors, 447 are doctorate candidates and 101 are MA graduates.
The majority of the listed researchers currently reside in the US (1,370). In Britain, 179 Israelis are listed as seeking to return to Israel and in Canada - 79. Some 900 of the academics come from the fields of humanities and social sciences, 800 from life sciences and 600 from engineering and exact sciences.
Exploring the possibility of coming back to Israel (Illustration: Shutterstock)
President of the Open University Prof. Hagit Yaron said that the conference allows higher education institutes to encourage researchers to come back to Israel. "These conferences are an opportunity to meet high-level researchers who left Israel many years ago. It's also a chance for them to get to know the Israeli universities and explore the possibility of returning to Israel."
As part of Israel's policy of encouraging the return of Israelis expats, the researchers will be eligible for various benefits, mainly in tax. Their employers in Israel will also earn the right to receive grants worth tens of thousands of shekels in the first two years.
Batsheva Shor of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities said: "Thankfully hundreds of researchers and scientists have expressed their will to find a job which meets their academic skills and we hope to see them in Israeli labs soon."