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Jerusalem hopes to persuade young professional immigrants to make nation's capital their new home

Government ministries earmarks $26 million over the next three years toward Jerusalem aliyah

People walk on Jaffa street in downtown Jerusalem, Dec. 7, 2022. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality, has launched a new initiative to attract young Jewish immigrants to the nation’s capital in an effort to boost its economy and its “Zionist character.”

The ‘Young Aliyah to Jerusalem’ program “aims to draw young people, students and new families to the city” and “will strengthen the city’s economy, social fabric and Zionist character and I'm happy about the important partnership we facilitated with Jerusalem's mayor in this matter," according to Israel’s Minister of Aliyah Ofir Sofer.

The Israeli government has earmarked about NIS 95 million ($26 million) over the next three years to encourage young professionals to make aliyah, or immigrate, to Jerusalem.

The new funding will go toward several programs, including promoting aliyah to Jerusalem via special events, establishing youth centers for young immigrants in Jerusalem and helping new students acclimate to life in the capital city.

The National-Civic Service Authority will reportedly set up an office to promote volunteer opportunities in Jerusalem, with the intention to help new immigrants become further integrated into Israeli society.

In addition, the Jerusalem Municipality will assist new immigrants with job training, professional licensing and job placement. In addition, educational programs will reportedly be established for the children of young families who make aliyah to Jerusalem. The Ministry of Education will hold training sessions for Jerusalem teachers about how to help the children of immigrants become integrated into their new schools.

Finally, the government funds will go toward hosting cultural events and tours of Jerusalem and its holy sites for new immigrants.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) in Israel shows that since 2018, more than 18,000 Jewish immigrants have chosen to make the city of Jerusalem their new home when making aliyah. Of those, approximately 50% were between the ages 18-35. The statistics also reveal, however, that around 30% of those immigrants decided to leave Jerusalem in the last five years.

While Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and the seat of most of the nation’s ministries, it is also one of the poorest cities in the Jewish state. A lack of sufficient job opportunities has been a major factor behind the exodus from the city.

Jerusalem also stands out demographically compared to other Israeli urban centers. While Jews constitute approximately 75% of Israel’s total population, only around 60% of Jerusalem’s population is Jewish.

Ultra-orthodox Jews make up around 13% of Israel’s total population or approximately half of Jerusalem’s Jewish population. Some 40% of Jerusalem’s population is Arab, mainly Muslim but also small Christian communities.

While Jerusalem is the ancestral capital of the Jewish people and was formally established in 1967, the recent Jerusalem Flag Day march revealed the ongoing political and religious divisions between the city’s Jewish and Arab residents.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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