In recent weeks, Telfed Chairman Robby Hilkowitz and CEO Dorron Kline met with government officials and Olim organisations to raise concerns about the bureaucratic challenges facing Olim. As our new Olim are aware, the initial absorption process has been complicated by long waiting times for appointments, while applying for requisite documentation prior to Aliyah has likewise been affected by the pandemic and limited access to government offices.
During their meeting with MK Dr Nachman Shai (Minister of Diaspora Affairs) Robby and Dorron spoke about Telfed’s services for Olim, the connection between South African Olim and the Jewish community in South Africa, and explained the challenges facing future Olim and how to assist those in South Africa wishing to make Aliyah.
Former MK, Michal Cotler-Wunsch, who currently heads the Aliyah Policy Institute within Nefesh B’Nefesh, met with Robby and Dorron at the Telfed office. This meeting focused on policy suggestions from the perspective of South African and Australian Aliyah.
Yad L’Olim Executive members, Dov Lipman (Founder and Director of Government Relations), Asher Altshul (Assistant Director of Government Relations) and Deborah Finkelstein (Director Of Operations) met with Robby, Dorron and Telfed staff to learn more about the services available to the South African and Australian Olim community, and how to work in cooperation to present the Aliyah and Klita challenges facing our Olim to the Israeli government. Yad L’Olim has offered members of our community assistance from their pro-bono lawyers (https://yadlolim.org/)
As a board member of the Olim Association, Dorron Kline participated in meetings with Ofek Yisraeli (responsible for Aliyah promotion and affiliated to the Ministry of Absorption). Discussions centered on the bureaucratic hurdles facing potential Olim and new Olim from all countries.
Together with the Olim Association, Dorron met with Ronen Cohen (Director of Misrad HaKlita), and later with MK Pnina Tamanu-Shata (Minister of Immigration and Absorption). The conversation focused on speeding up ID card allocation and increasing the amount of rental assistance for new Olim. In mid-December, Robby and Dorron will have follow-up meetings with MK Tamanu-Shata and the Director of the Jewish Agency to monitor the implementation of these issues.
We are aware of the bureaucratic hurdles our new Olim are required to overcome, and understand that this is not unique to South African and Australian Olim. Telfed will continue to advocate for our South African and Australian Olim.