How Will I Support My Family?

June 21, 2021
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This is the number one question people ask when considering moving to Israel. Over the years we have helped over 80,000 Jewish people come home to Israel. We have welcomed them with blankets, pots and pans, school kits and Hebrew Scriptures. We have given them appliances. We have provided food. We have sponsored thousands on the Adoption Program by supplying food, bus passes and encouragement for a year. We have tutored some university students in English. But, rarely have we been able to answer their most pressing concern: Where will I work? 

One of the limiting factors is the need for Israeli licenses for many jobs (such as drivers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, dentists and even high-tech workers). Since most immigrants arrive without necessary Hebrew language skills, it can be years before they are able to pass the various licensing requirements. 

Years ago, we met Svetlana* who was working as a janitor cleaning stairs and common areas for apartment buildings. We started a conversation with her and found out she was a nuclear physicist specializing in percolation theory. She wasn’t bitter; just happy she could do something to help support her family. About five years later, we happened to run into her again, and she was finally working in her own scientific field. 

The government of Israel recognizes that it needs to help immigrants support their families. Many programs exist to help people obtain the necessary licenses, re-train or go back to school. One such program is helping nurses. During a recent meeting with Israeli officials, I learned about 17 new immigrant nurses who are coming to Israel and will join an intensive four-month program starting in September. During that time, they and their families will stay in an absorption center. The program is offered in cooperation with Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, the Ministry of Health, the Nursing Administration and the Ministry for Immigrant Absorption. 

When I was asked if we could sponsor these 17 nurses, my heart leaped within me. I have always wanted to help immigrants thrive after they arrive. We need to raise US $70,000. One great benefit is that each of these nurses is guaranteed employment upon successful graduation! They will be assigned personal trainers to help them navigate through job interviews. Bridges for Peace and our friends around the world will be part of their success story. 

In Jewish thought, it is said that it is good to give a fish to someone who is hungry, but it is even better to provide them with fishing poles and teach them how to fish. 

Anna and her family

Anna from Ukraine went through the nursing program a couple of years ago. She and her husband came to Israel with their two children. She says she took a leap of faith. It is not easy to leave your home country, but the knowledge that they would receive help through this program and assistance in obtaining a job made all the difference. Today she works at Barzilai Hospital in the geriatric ward. Her family has succeeded in making Israel their homeland. Without this program, that process would have been much more difficult and probably have taken longer. Today 17 others like Anna are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to join the nursing program and to be able to support their families.

Your gift to our New Immigrant Fund will give 17 nurses a way to support their families. What a joy to be able to give them this opportunity. We are living in the days when God is fulfilling His promises to bring the Jewish people home to Israel. “‘I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.” (Amos 9:15). Today we are partnering with God to plant 17 more Jewish families in the Land He promised them.

Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO

*A very real person but not her real name