North American immigrants worth $200,000
Beginning in 2008, the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption will provide organizations supporting aliya (immigration) with NIS 18 million a year. At today’s meeting, the cabinet approved by majority vote a proposal by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Minister of Immigration Absorption Jacob Edery to provide support for these organizations.
Under the decision, the government will recognize immigrant aid organizations. The cabinet also decided to set up an advisory committee headed by the immigrant absorption minister, and also including the director generals of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, and the chairman of the Jewish Agency. This committee will discuss ways to boost immigration and will submit its recommendations to the cabinet.
An organization that complies with the targets set by the ministry will receive $1,000 for each new immigrant, or coverage of a third of the direct costs related to immigration activities.
A study on the economic impact of immigration from North America found that the value to the Israeli economy of an immigrant from there was $200,000. This estimate is based on level of education, professional experience, participation in the labor force after immigrating, and financial assets. The study found that immigrants from North America had a 90% rate of participation in the labor force after one year in Israel.
This rate of participation is far greater than the participation rate of Israelis and of immigrants from many other areas. In addition, the average output of an immigrant from North America is $24,000 a year. Two-thirds bought a car within a year of arrival.
Until this year, two organizations received this trial support: Nefesh B'Nefesh, which works mainly in North America and England, and AMI, which works with the Jewish community in France. According to figures of Nefesh B'Nefesh, since it began operating five years ago, immigration from North America has grown by 80%, and in 2007 is expected to reach a record of approximately 3,200 olim (immigrants).
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