Help for Australian Olim

July 16, 2013 by Lana Lachyani
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The official launch of the agreement between the Zionist Federation of Australia and Telfed has been held in Ra’anana, Israel.

Dov Lipmann and Philip Chester

Dov Lipmann and Philip Chester

elfed Chairman Dave Bloom, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Absorption Batsheva Reuveni, Telfed Director Sidney Shapiro, New Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma, ZFA President Philip Chester

elfed Chairman Dave Bloom, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Absorption Batsheva Reuveni, Telfed Director Sidney Shapiro, New Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma, ZFA President Philip Chester

Telfed has been assisting new olim from Southern Africa in Israel and now will offer its services to Australians settling in Israel. Their vision is ‘Telfed is the premier organization which enables ex-Southern Africans to contribute to Israeli society’. They assist with aliyah and klitah, community service (provide study bursaries, employment counseling, financial support and social welfare services) and encourage social entrepreneurship and volunteerism.

The initiative will provide enhanced welcome and klita (absorption) services for Australian olim including employment counselling, social work services where necessary and involvement in volunteer support networks.

“We are delighted with this new agreement and very excited to be working with Telfed to provide improved reception and support for Australian olim,” said Ginette Searle, the Executive Director of the Zionist Federation of Australia.

ZFA President Philip Chester discussed the importance of aliyah, “It’s a momentous occasion. Aliyah is a key priority of our Australian Zionist movement. It is front and centre of what we stand for, it’s in our DNA.”

“Telfed was the obvious partner for us, such a well established, successful and highly regarded aliyah operation, serving South African olim since the establishment of the state. We share a lot of common values and interests.” Chester said.

The launch event was addressed by the new Ambassador of Australia to Israel Dave Sharma, MK Rabbi Dr Dov Lipman, Ministry of Absorption Deputy Director General Batsheva Reuveni, ZFA President Philip Chester and Telfed Chairman Dave Bloom. Recent young olim from Australia and South Africa also shared their experiences.

“Telfed is honoured and delighted to be able to extend its long standing experience and highly respected reputation of klita services in Israel to the Zionist Federation of Australia. We look forward to welcoming their olim and to a mutually beneficial partnership,” Dave Bloom said.

Bloom added: “Telfed was created in 1948 to support aliyah from Southern Africa and has remained the bedrock of klita and community service to that community for 65 years. We believe the common synergies with the Zionistic Australian Jewish Community will be expressed in this relationship.”

MK Rabbi Dr Dov Lipman recalled his own aliyah experience nine years ago and the moving words of the pilot, “I’m here to take you home”. Lipman stated, “It is our responsibility to make sure that everyone who comes here really feels that it is home.”

Lipman commended the partnership, “Certainly bringing together the two organisations and building on each other’s strengths is something which can only bring success.”

In his first official engagement as Ambassador of Australia to Israel, Dave Sharma said, “I see myself not only as the ambassador to the state and government of Israel but also to the Australian community in Israel. I take an interest in the welfare of all Australians in Israel and I want to be of service to you.”

Sharma congratulated all Australian olim on their extensive contribution to Israel. “The Australian community in Israel is successful and high profile. There’s a lot of influential and successful Australians in all walks of life in Israel”, he said.

The partnership will help ensure an easy and positive transition for Australian olim as they make a new life in Israel. All olim will be supported by Telfed from the moment they step off the plane and for their first year in Israel. This will involve welcoming them at the airport, advising them in their first weeks and months in the country and help with integration into local communities.

During 2013, 140 Australians have made aliyah.

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