Photo: AP
אתיופים עולים אתיופיה פלאשמורה פלשמורה פאלשמורה
Photo: AP

Bringing 'Falash Mura' to Israel

United Jewish Communities and Jewish Federations of North America pledge USD 160 million for Ethiopians, Jews of former Soviet Union

NEW YORK - United Jewish Communities and the Jewish Federations of North America have pledged to raise USD 160 million to bring remaining Ethiopian Jews to Israel and assist in their absorption in the country.


The money will also go to help poor, elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union while strengthening Jewish identity among younger Jews.


In a letter sent to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, UJC president Howard M. Rieger wrote: “This commitment is truly historic, and reflects the imperative of addressing major obstacles facing our fellow Jews in Ethiopia, in Israel and in the former Soviet Union. Our action will infuse tens of millions of dollars into helping meet the present and future needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable Jews.”


One hundred million dollars will be targeted for an Ethiopian initiative.


The three-year initiative is aimed at getting the nearly 20,000 Ethiopian Jews, known as the Falash Mura, to immigrate to Israel, to resettle them, and to provide educational and vocational programs to assist the newcomers and existing Ethiopian-Israelis.


It is estimated that the Ethiopian Jewish population in Israel may reach 120,000 within two and a half years.


Money to Jews in former Soviet Union


Sixty million dollars will be earmarked for immediate and long-term needs of the nearly 1 million Jews in the former Soviet Union. Many are elderly, live in poverty and lack social services, and while some receive aid as Holocaust survivors, many others rely on UJC and the federation system to meet basic needs.


Resources will also help establish and support initiatives - leadership development opportunities, Israel travel and education programs, Jewish day schools, Jewish summer camps and Hillels, for example - to ensure community growth and continuity. Currently, less than 20 percent of the Jewish population in the FSU is tied to any Jewish program and the intermarriage rate is approaching 80 percent.


“Jews in the former Soviet Union face an array of challenges in their daily lives,” said UJC Chair Robert Goldberg. “UJC and the federations of North America always have been, and always will be, dedicated to supporting their individual and collective well-being and needs.”


Both initiatives will be coordinated with American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and Jewish Agency for Israel.


פרסום ראשון: 06.09.05, 08:37
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