They arrived from all around the globe with a wide variety of knowledge and a great desire to learn – 105 single Jewish academics, aged 22-35, who have begun studying at an international center for young people inaugurated by the Jewish Agency in the southern city of Beersheba.
The group, which includes lawyers, economists, teachers, athletes, artists, engineers and even one pilot, is the first class of a new initiative which aims to help young immigrants and tourists to get together, integrate in Beersheba and contribute to the local community in a variety of fields.
The center was opened by the Jewish Agency in the Negev's capital for young single men and women in a bid to ease their absorption in the State of Israel by studying Hebrew with young people their age.
The group members, who are all single academics from countries like the United States, Venezuela, South Africa, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Brazil, will live together at the Jewish Agency's Ye'elim Absorption Center in Beersheba and will receive a unique absorption program.
The program is designed both for single olim immigrating on their own and for young Jews arriving to experience Israel for several months as part of the government and Jewish Agency's Masa project.
The five-month plan includes studying in an advanced Hebrew ulpan emphasizing academic terminology, connecting the young people to adoptive families in Beersheba, volunteering in the local community with the Ayalim association, meeting young Israelis, and more.
The group members will also go on tours across the country, enjoy a rich and diverse social and cultural program, and receive professional guidance for integrating into the Israeli labor market, studying or enlisting with the IDF.
Yehuda Sharf, Director of aliyah and absorption at the Jewish Agency for Israel, said the organization was working on a variety of programs aimed at connecting young people from all over the world to Israel, offering them a variety of options to get to know the Israeli society.
"I estimate that the vast majority of young academics who arrive at the singles' ulpan in Beersheba will immigrate to Israel at the end of the course," Sharf added. "We believe they will integrate into the Israeli economy and contribute to the Israeli society."