Having a heart to ‘plant’ Jewish immigrants in IsraelPublished on: 19.7.2022
By: ICEJ Staff
One of the most enjoyable activities we have as Christians serving in Israel is to go to Ben-Gurion Airport to welcome new Jewish immigrants arriving in the Promised Land. It is simply wonderful to see the smiles of those beginning a new life here and to realise we are fulfilling biblical prophecy by helping them along the way. The excitement of those airport welcomes never get old!
However, we also know that sometimes the pressures and challenges these olim (newcomers) face in the Land can be too much. Israel has become an expensive country. Hebrew is not an easy language to learn. You need professional or hi-tech skills for the best jobs. There are huge cultural gaps, societal tensions, and threats from regional foes. For various reasons, we have learned over the years that, sadly, some Jewish immigrants eventually give up and return to their former country or look for greener pastures elsewhere.
This is an outcome we never want to happen! After all, the Lord promised to bring the Jews back to Eretz Israel and “assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.” (Jeremiah 32:41)
For Jewish families making Aliyah to Israel, landing at Ben Gurion only marks the start of their journey to becoming ‘rooted’ in Israel. They need help with the Hebrew language, finding a suitable job, and adjusting to daily life in Israel. Therefore, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has always put much emphasis not only on the Aliyah part of their journey here, but the ‘planting’ phase as well.
To that end, we offer a range of Integration assistance to help newly arrived Jewish families get successfully planted in the land to stay. This includes assistance with accommodations, language classes, job placement, mentoring programs, professional training and recertifications, community needs, and so much more.
The absorption phase has become even more critical in recent months, as nearly 30,000 Jews have been forced to hastily flee either the war in Ukraine or the economic uncertainty and authoritarian rule in Russia. They left in a hurry, and if they are not given the assistance they need to successfully integrate into Israeli society, many may seek refuge elsewhere.
To that end, we have recently assisted dozens of Ukrainian Jewish families with furnishings and household items for their first apartments in Israel to ease their landing here. Our welcome packages for these war refugees also have included books, toys and games for the children. And we are funding dental care for a number of Ukrainian newcomers.
In one recent instance, the ICEJ AID team learned of a woman who fled the war in Ukraine and made Aliyah to Israel a few months ago, only to be seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident less than two weeks later. Unable to walk, she was really set back in her plans for learning Hebrew and finding work. So, the ICEJ has stepped in to help her through this difficult period until she is back on her feet. It is encouraging to see her determination to stay no matter what!
With thousands of Ethiopian Jews also arriving this year, the ICEJ is offering them a series of educational tracks, such as special courses for Ethiopian immigrants still needing to complete their high school diploma and laptop computers for Ethiopian youths to help them keep up with on-line classes. Unlike in the past, many of the Ethiopian youths arriving in Israel today have grown up in larger cities and are more familiar with computers and the Internet, and the extra assistance we provide helps them catch up faster with Israeli youngsters.
So, help us settle more Jewish immigrants in the Land of Israel for good! Your gift towards our Aliyah and Integration projects will help these families to learn the local language and culture faster, close education gaps, land better jobs, and be ready to stand on their own when their government assistance package for new immigrants runs out.
The Lord most assuredly wants to “plant” these Jewish immigrants in this land with all of His heart and soul. Let that be your heart’s desire as well!