Activating Operation Tzur Israel: Reuniting Ethiopian Olim with their families

June 7, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Last week, 360 Ethiopian olim landed at Ben Gurion airport as part of the second phase of Operation Tzur Israel.

Sam Grundwerg, KH-UIA World Chairman greeting olim from Ethiopia as they land at Ben Gurion Airport

This marked the beginning of a series of flights planned from Ethiopia during the next few months which will bring 3,000 Ethiopian olim to Israel to be reunited with their families after decades apart.

Excitement as 180 Ethiopian olim land in Israel

Accompanying the flights were members of the special delegation who had travelled to Ethiopia to prepare these olim prior to embarking on this journey. Among the delegation was Yaakov Hagoel, Chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Acting Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, and Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israel’s Minister of Immigration and Absorption – a former olah from Ethiopia herself.

Sam Grundwerg, World Chairman of Keren Hayesod-UIA was at the tarmac to greet the olim. He said, “Keren Hayesod works tirelessly all over the world to help those in need. We witnessed the impact of our work this week with the arrival of a plane of new immigrants from Ethiopia who have been waiting years to be reunited with their families and to be able finally to call Israel their home.

Keren Hayesod is proud to support Operation Tzur Israel, together with our strategic partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel, the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, and other Jewish organizations. We will continue to be there for the new immigrants throughout their journey in Israel, their home.”

We will continue our support for them through absorption centres, providing financial assistance and guidance, Ulpan classes and preparation for integration into the employment market and the education system.

Operation Tzur Israel was launched in December 2020 following a government decision led by Minister Tamano-Shata. In November 2021, the Government of Israel renewed this operation, enabling an additional 3,000 immigrants to unite with their first-degree relatives in Israel.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, Keren Hayesod-UIA has assisted over 95,000 Ethiopian Jews in their journey to Israel together with the Israeli government and The Jewish Agency for Israel. To date, more than 2,000 new immigrants have arrived through Operation Tzur Israel, with that total expected to grow to 5,000 following the flights that are planned during the next few months.

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