• - The arrival of French Jews who made aliyah, at Ben Gurion International Airport on July 10, 2017. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90
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Aliyah From France

editor - 6 July 2018

By Rachel Poot.. We are in Yakir, a small village in the northwest of Israel, on one of the hilltops in the Biblical region of Samaria.

As the yellow gate at the entrance of the village slowly opens we drive into a thriving community. I notice that the people who live here do their best to care for the land. Purple and fuchsia coloured bushes grow along the road here, and the lawns are green.

Recently a few families who left France to build a life in Israel have come to live in this small community numbering less than 2,000 inhabitants. Yakir is a small but close community.

People do everything they can to help the newcomers feel at home. Recent immigrants find that they need to adapt to a completely new country.

This is more difficult in a large city than in a small village.

Everyone in the village is a volunteer in the make-yourself-at-home process for the olim, the new immigrants. They help the newcomers unpack their things, clean the house and build closets and cupboards. Besides this, each family receives two mentor families who support them in the village. They help with grocery shopping (which is difficult when you don’t speak the language) and invite them over, for example on the Sabbath, so that the olim feel like part of the community.

The way the residents welcome the immigrants feels like a warm blanket. And that certainly can’t hurt in the first twelve months of their new life.

A Running Start
Life is often difficult for new immigrants to Israel. Learning the language and finding a job is a real challenge. That’s why Christians for Israel supports projects like First Home in the Homeland, which helps new immigrants get a running start in their new homeland and provides a good integration programme.

Aliyah from France
For many Jews in France the decision to go to Israel is very difficult. The Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) pays for the airline tickets. However, if they want to go to Israel they have to pay for their luggage. On top of that their belongings have to be shipped to Israel by container. But how can you afford that if you do not have any savings? And how do you sell any of these belongings for a fair price if people know that you are about to move? In cooperation Ebenezer Operation ExodusChristians for Israel assists the French Jews. We visit the people, listen to their needs and help them to move. The costs to help one person are € 400 euros or US$ 430. 

Please support the aliyah work in France. Any amount is welcome! 

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