August 11, 2008 / 10 Av 5768
Surge in Aliyah applications, 8 immigrate to Israel Sunday
The Jewish Agency for Israel, through its office in Tbilisi, Georgia, coordinated the evacuation Saturday (Aug. 9) of 200 Jews from the city of Gori, adjacent to the war-torn region of South Ossetia, to safety in the Georgian capital.
A Georgian Jewish family arrives August 10 at Ben Gurion Airport. The Jewish Agency brought 8 new immigrants on the flight. Photo Credit: Abe Selig
Over the weekend, the Jewish Agency has received 60 new applications for immigration at its office in Tbilisi; the applications have already been forwarded to Jerusalem for expedited approval. On Sunday (Aug. 10), eight new immigrants from Georgia arrived at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.
A building burns in the Georgian city of Gori after a Russian attack. Photo: Hans Poldoja
The Jewish Agency director for the former Soviet Union has been dispatched to Georgia to provide assistance to the Jewish community. The director, Alex Katz, is currently in Gori, in an attempt to convince the three remaining Jewish families who did not evacuate with the group of 200 Saturday, to leave the city. The government of Israel, through Nativ, is also sending two consular representatives to Tbilisi. The Jewish Agency’s efforts in Georgia are conducted in coordination with Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office.
There are an estimated 10,000 Jews living today in Georgia, the most of them in the capital city of Tbilisi and its environs. The Jewish Agency is providing transportation for families interested in meeting with Jewish Agency representatives in Tbilisi regarding their eligibility to move to Israel and is offering special absorption opportunities to entire households (three generations).
The Jewish Agency is also making available opportunities for Jewish youth from Georgia interested in Jewish Agency programs in Israel. Specifically, the Jewish Agency is offering children and young adults to come to Israel immediately for 10 days of summer camp and has opened places in its Sela program where high school students from the former Soviet Union study in Israel.
“The Jewish Agency, as a bridge between the State of Israel and the Jewish people in the Diaspora, will continue to do what it takes to assist Jewish communities in times of crisis,” said Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski. “This is a moment of pride for the Jewish Agency family and a moment that reinforces the sense of mutual responsibility between us, as Jews living in Israel, and Jewish people wherever they live in the world.”
For further information contact:
Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Jewish Agency for Israel – North America
633 Third Ave., 21st floor, New York, NY 10017
Phone: 1-212-339-6064 Mobile: 1-646-644-1205 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org