Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

U.S. Jews turn to Israel to escape bleak job market

Last update - 00:13 01/01/2009       
U.S. Jews turn to Israel to escape bleak job market
By Reuters
Jewish American math teacher Goldie Burdetsky never expected to find herself working the front desk of a hotel in southern Israel alongside management interns young enough to be her children.
"I mean, for God's sakes, I have a master's degree in education," said the 55-year-old New Yorker. "I expected to be able to find a teaching job in the U.S. without any problems. But I couldn't."
Burdetsky decided to escape the dire economic situation back home, by coming to Israel on a program that offers Jews free housing, Hebrew classes, training, and work experience - all of which translate into temporary financial respite.
As the unemployment rate in the U.S. climbed to a 26-year high of 10.2 percent last month, growing numbers of young and adult American Jews were arriving in Israel to inexpensively "wait out" the economic lull.
In an attempt to lure Diaspora Jews to make Israel their permanent home, the Israeli government and Jewish organizations offer a multitude of scholarships and travel grants, allowing many to spend up to six months in Israel almost for free.
The key aim is to safeguard a Jewish majority in a country where Arab citizens make up 20 percent of the population. In 2008, some 15,400 Jews immigrated to Israel, of whom 3,200 came from North America.
MASA, which means journey in Hebrew, oversees 160 such programs. It has seen the number of participants double and even quadruple this year, especially among those aged 21 to 30.
Participation in Burdetsky's hotel management internship scheme jumped from 10 last year to 55 this year.
The World Union of Jewish Students Israel Hadassah, a post-university experience program, recorded a 100 percent increase in registrations, with 100 participants scheduled for the second half of 2009, compared with 50 all of last year.
"With the economy the way it is in North America, more and more Jewish college graduates who can't find a job are deciding to delay their careers and come to Israel for a while," said WUJS Israel director Mike Mitchell.
Yahel Segev, marketing director of MASA, said the increase reflects the success of the organization's marketing strategy.
Its 'Better Stimulus Plan' campaign, inspired by the U.S. government's post-crash economic stimulus package, offers grants to North American Jews for career development in Israel.
"With the Israel stimulus grant we are trying to convince them that while the situation is bad in America, they can spend time in Israel," Segev said.
For decades Jewish organizations have sent Jews from around the world to Israel for free, or at a very low cost, with hopes of boosting immigration or at least building ties to Israel.
Matt Bennett, a 25-year-old from Vineland, New Jersey, is currently attending the same program as Burdetsky. He says he is unsure whether he will stay on after it ends.
"They're funding these programs to attract more Jews to come," Bennett said. "Will I immigrate? For now I'm just going to say that if it's going to help me and advance my career, I'll take it while I can. That's what I'm doing."
Segev of MASA said the programs aim to reconnect Jews to their Jewish roots, but that's not all.
"We're very happy about every single person who immigrates after completing a MASA program," she acknowledges.
Adam Hecht, 25, from Los Angeles, said he probably would not be immigrating to Israel after his five months here.
"I'm American. I doubt I will come to identify with Israelis over the next couple of months," he said. "Except maybe, that is, I could immigrate ... if I find my future wife here."

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory