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Coming Home Alone

Aliyah

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29 May 2019 (All day)
Coming Home Alone

The ICEJ recently sponsored two special children’s Aliyah seminars in Ukraine. The Naale Seminars are for young people who are preparing to make Aliyah to Israel without their parents. The seminars prepare them and their parents for the logistical and emotional challenges they will face. The youth will finish high school through the Naale program, and 96% of them will make Aliyah. At least 60% of their parents will make Aliyah later on, but initially the child must be prepared to make the journey home to Israel alone. Many of the youth will be in the same schools in Israel, and they will need to depend on each other for support without their parents. The seminars use several types of group cohesion activities to build a support system within their group.

The picture above shows the children in an exercise to increase trust with one another. The word “Naale” is an acronym in Hebrew for “Youth Coming Before Parents.” The official program started in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1992 in the tumultuous days following the fall of the Soviet Union, when public schools were dysfunctional and Jewish parents requested that Israel receive their kids for better schooling. It was inspired by the Youth Aliyah Movement, which developed during WWII when parents who were concerned about the rise of Nazism sent their children to safety, hopeful they might be able to join them later. The program has continued and serves distressed communities such as the Jewish community in Ukraine. The situation is quite bad there, and many families want a better life for their children in Israel but do not feel the whole family can make the move at the moment. So far, more than 17,000 children have made Aliyah to Israel through the Naale program. The majority of them have come from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine where the future today is uncertain and parents hope for a better life for their children in Israel. Israel’s future is bright and many opportunities await them there.

Help the ICEJ sponsor five Naale seminars in 2019: www.icejusa.org/support-aliyah

 

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