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Aliyah After Arrival

Ethiopian Integration After Arrival

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Posted on: 
19 Sep 2017
Aliyah After Arrival

From take-off in Addis Ababa to touchdown on Ben Gurion’s tarmac, the flight time is roughly 5 hours. Truly arriving in the Promised Land, however, is a much longer endeavour. Aliyah is both an event and a process, especially if you are an Ethiopian immigrant to Israel.

A basic metric such as everyday cost of living skyrockets when moving from Ethiopia to Israel. At the same time, your earning power as a new immigrant from a developing county is likely to plummet due to the challenges of participating in a modern economy, regardless of your will to work. Despite these hurdles, Ethiopian Aliyah to Israel is a special type of investment that offers great returns. Therefore, the ICEJ is privileged to invest in the longer-term trajectory of Ethiopian immigrant integration into the Land of Israel. 

One particular journey began in 2014 with a large family arriving from Ethiopia to settle in Israel’s desert capital, Beersheba. One of the family’s teenage daughters was already carrying an offshoot to a family of her own, though the father of the child settled in a different town in Israel. 

A few years later, the now 18-year-old mother, having difficulty managing her finances and finding employment, was referred to a mentoring program for new immigrants sponsored by the ICEJ. Communicative challenges in mastering Hebrew, shyness and lack of confidence were exacerbating the situation, causing her to remain on the sidelines, unable to realise her potential. However, her situation could be turned around with guidance, understanding, and someone to help her tackle the challenges before her.

Revital, the mentor who came alongside this lost young girl, reports, “The work with her was very slow and full of challenges.” Yet the young mother also displayed an admirable attitude and put in her full effort to amend and improve her own situation. Gradually, she gained a better understanding of her own capabilities and competencies, grew in independence, learned how to organise her financial life, and took practical matters into her own hands. 

The process has not been without curveballs, though, and a baby daughter of a different father was born during this period. Today, this young mother is slowly finding her place in that she is now able to work almost full-time at a centre for the mentally ill. She is advancing in her language capabilities and has grown in confidence, so much so that Revital has now moved on to help others.

Having a mentor aided in two crucial elements of the integration process: one of a practical dimension and the other personal. She helped the young mother navigate her rights as a new citizen and unlock government assistance in the form of food security and a social pension programmes, a complicated two-year long process usually not granted to teenagers. 

The personal aspect focused on drawing out the true personality hidden inside this shy girl who didn’t believe in herself. Having a mentor to encourage and show her that she had skills to develop and competencies to nurture was crucial to her growth. ICEJ Aid provided a helping hand during the messy uprooting that took place when this Ethiopian girl left Africa, and now she is successfully replanted in her ancient homeland.

Each new immigrant faces their own unique challenges on the path to integration into Israeli society. God’s people are returning home and the ICEJ is helping to give them a soft landing by easing the stresses of adjustment. Without this additional support, there is no successful Aliyah. Join with us! Your investment in new immigrant integration strengthens Israel and her newest citizens. 

Partner with us today!


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