Photo: Haim Ziv
Jewish Agency wants Germany to become les attractive to Jews. (archive photo)
Photo: Haim Ziv

Germany to decrease benefits for Jews

Partially complies with several Jewish Agency requests to prevent competition with Israel for Jewish immigrants from former Soviet republics; German authorities agree to refrain from using the term ‘refugees’ to define Jewish immigrants

Following a two-year Jewish Agency campaign, Germany has agreed to decrease the benefits package awarded to Jewish immigrants from former Soviet republics.


According to the Jewish Agency, the current German benefits package to the immigrants is five to seven times larger than that which is awarded by Israel.


According to Israeli sources, Germany is pro-actively encouraging the immigration of Jews from former Soviet republics in a bid to rebuild the affluent Jewish community that thrived in pre-World War II Germany.


Negotiations between Jewish Agency and German authorities led to a partial compliance by the Germans to decrease some of the benefits.


Among other things, new Jewish immigrants in Germany will be obligated to prove their proficiency in the German language and their ability to make a life for themselves in the country.


In addition, German authorities agreed to refrain from using the term “refugees” to define Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union.


Jewish Agency officials said Germany’s decision would prevent a situation whereby the country would compete with Israel for Jewish immigrants. During the past decade the some 200,000 Jews immigrated to Germany, they said.


Jewish Agency Head Sallai Meridor said that Germany’s decision to refrain from using the term “refugees” to describe Jewish immigrants serves as “a removal of a stain from the German policy.”


“Since the establishment of Israel Jews cannot be regarded as refugees in any country,” he said.


Regarding Germany’s decision to decrease the benefits package awarded to Jews, Meridor said, “Germany is showing its consideration for the interests of the Jewish people and Israel.” 


פרסום ראשון: 06.26.05, 08:30
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