CBN Israel Helps Immigrants Not Just Come to Israel, But Stay and Thrive

By Nicole Jansezian

Even when the number of immigrants to Israel is on an upswing, many times retaining new citizens is a larger challenge than bringing them to the Holy Land in the first place.

That’s why ulpans, otherwise known as absorption centers, are critical to assimilating new immigrants into Israel. This is especially true during times of war.

“Part of the solution to recover from the atrocities of October 7 is Aliyah (immigration to Israel)—having more young adults with energy, with passion, with education to come and help build a better future in the land,” said Danielle Mor, director of Christian Friends of The Jewish Agency.

One such absorption center is in the coastal city of Haifa in northern Israel. Young Russians and Ukrainians mill in and out of classrooms where they have intensive Hebrew lessons and begin making new connections through the social programs.

The program focuses on helping young adults who came to Israel alone leaving behind family and friends.

“We don’t just teach our students but offer psychological support at least twice a month during their program,” said Nastia, the director of the program who was once a new immigrant herself. “Toward the end of their stay with us we also plug them into a social support program.”

The students live in a dorm setting and the intensive language lessons are designed to propel them to a level of Hebrew that is sufficient to get them either into the job market or into higher education.

“We have here a staff that works 24/7 to mentor them to support them and every need they have,” Nastia said. “Whether its emotional or practical, we want to help guide them in their next steps in Israel so they can make a solid network of friends. They come alone; they leave as a community.”

Danielle noted that every immigrant has a challenging time not to mention coming from one war—such as in the Ukraine—to another in Israel.

“Now, when they’re coming from a situation of war, integration is that much more difficult,” she said. “We’re dealing here with about 250 lone young adults that have come to Israel to start a new life.”

CBN Israel has been supporting the Jewish Agency in this effort.

“CBN was doing this work before the war started, and now they are helping these immigrants who need a chance and who need an opportunity to get a good start in their new country and to go into a life of meaning and purpose,” Danielle said. “This is so important for the future, not just of the individuals that CBN touches through the Jewish Agency, but overall, for Israel.”

Nastia said the recent immigrants had to navigate a terrible war and then face the uncertainty of starting over in a new country and in a new culture.

“When the war broke out here, immigrants heading to Israel didn’t know how to react but now we see they still want to come. We also expect more immigrants after the war ends. There will be a new wave of immigration,” she said. “If it wasn’t for CBN’s support we wouldn’t have been able to continue helping and hosting our immigrants so thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Nicole Jansezian is the media coordinator for CBN Israel. A long-time journalist, Nicole was previously the news editor of All Israel News and All Arab News and a journalist at The Associated Press. On her YouTube channel, Nicole gives a platform to the minority communities in Jerusalem and highlights stories of fascinating people in this intense city. Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., she lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Tony, and their three children.

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