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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration > What We Are Saying > Other Releases > 2004
May 5, 2004

September 25, 2003

Implementing Agency
Summary
-- United Israel Appeal, Inc.
Program Purpose
-- To be able to respond effectively to the emergency and ongoing material assistance needs of Jewish humanitarian migrants from the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Near East and other designated countries.
Program Objectives
-- To help provide for the preparation, transportation, care and maintenance of this population en route to Israel (aliyah);
-- To assist in the initial absorption and resettlement of this population in Israel;
-- To assist in the support of this population’s hard-core disadvantaged who require additional services for successful absorption.
Program Beneficiaries
-- 102,000 Jewish humanitarian migrants from countries of distress who will come to, or have already arrived in Israel.
Program Location
-- Israel, the republics and countries in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Near East and other designated countries. (See p. 5.)
Program Duration

-- October 1-September 30, 2004

 

Budget (in US $)


Program
2004 US Grant Proposed Allocation G/Y 2004 JAFI Budget Forecast 2003 US Grant Allocation
A-1: Processing, En Route Care & Maintenance for Persons Immigrating to Israel
$ 4,000,000
$ 72,000,000
$ 4,600,000
A-2: Transportation to Israel

3,000,000
12,000,000
3,600,000
A-3: Relocation Allowance
1,400,000
4,000,000

1,900,000
A-4:Maintenance at Absorption Centers and Ulpanim & Direct Absorption
26,400,000
70,000,000
32,410,000
A-5: Youth Aliyah—Unaccompanied Minors
11,200,000
25,000,000
11,600,000
A-7: Transitional Assistance
4,000,000
7,000,000
5,500,000
TOTAL
$50,000,000
$190,000,000
$59,610,000

BACKGROUND

Victims of hostile environments in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the world, Jews have been migrating back to Israel since their initial expulsions from that land thousands of years ago. This migration acquired new urgency in the 20th century as persecution became more organized and deadly.

Remnants of European Jewry, survivors of concentration camps and other Jewish refugees of World War II, together with hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern and North African Jews, poured into the country, doubling, and then tripling the size of the population. During 55 years of statehood, Israel has given sanctuary to more than 3.2 million humanitarian migrants and refugees from Europe, Africa, the FSU, Eastern European countries, the Near East and other countries of distress.

Of these, approximately one-third has arrived since 1990. As the FSU collapsed, hundreds of thousands of Jews were at last allowed to immigrate to Israel. When their numbers during the period are combined with those of Jews from other countries of distress, the total at C/Y-end 2002 exceeds one million humanitarian migrants.

A combination of local nationalist strivings in the FSU independent republics, along with political uncertainty, economic instability, widespread crime, xenophobia, and sporadic incidents of often establishment-approved anti-Semitism have combined to make these humanitarian migrants feel they have no future in the FSU as Jews. This, and concern for personal safety, has prompted many of them to send their children on ahead to Israel, despite the pain and anxiety of separation, and they hope to follow as soon as they are able.

United Israel Appeal (“UIA”), established in 1927, is one of the founders and a beneficiary of the United Jewish Appeal Federation Campaign of United Jewish Communities (UJC), now the major fund-raising organization for the overseas philanthropic endeavors of the American Jewish community. UIA receives annual funds raised by local community federations throughout the United States. It also received nearly all of the receipts of various special campaigns to meet the extraordinary needs of the vastly increased numbers of humanitarian migrants who have left the Soviet Union and Ethiopia since 1989. The Jewish Agency for Israel (“JAFI” or “The Agency”) is UIA's operating agent for programs in Israel. JAFI has sole responsibility for immigration to Israel and assists in the initial absorption of humanitarian migrants in Israel.

During the period of the grant (1971-2003), Israel absorbed approximately 1.3 million humanitarian migrants from the FSU, other Eastern European countries, and other countries of distress. This includes 66,100 humanitarian migrants from Ethiopia. On the basis of data provided by the Government of Israel ("GOI"), during C/Y 2002, approximately 21,400 Jewish humanitarian migrants arrived in Israel from countries of distress. This includes 18,400 from the FSU and 2,950 from Ethiopia, Syria, Iran, Yemen and other countries of distress.

CURRENT SITUATION

Financial Needs -- JAFI, in conjunction with the GOI, has adopted an approach to absorption and resettlement that is extensive, comprehensive and successfully integrates the humanitarian migrants into their new society. This process extends over several years, encompassing such programs and services as maintenance in absorption centers, language training, occupational training and placement, as well as medical and social services. Due to their increased number, and often-destitute condition upon arrival, humanitarian migrants are also assisted in locating temporary accommodation and given aid in finding and financing permanent housing.

Since 1994, the GOI has expended nearly $31.5 billion on the absorption of humanitarian migrants. This figure includes such diverse expenditures as housing and community infrastructure, health, education, welfare, employment and basic services provided by the GOI. In F/Y 2003, the government budget for the above humanitarian-migrant services is expected to exceed $3 billion and the budget for F/Y 2004 will likely be similar.

The Jewish Agency has estimated that the total cost for grant-related programs will amount to $172 million during the year ending September 30, 2004. The Jewish Agency will expend additional funds for other immigration and absorption, education, social welfare, youth care and training programs for these humanitarian migrants.

Economic Situation in Israel -- The period 1990 - 2003 has been marked by a total population growth of over 44%. Approximately 65% of this growth is due to the influx of humanitarian migrants. Population growth in the 1990s averaged 2.73% per annum, vs. 1.5% per annum in previous years. This growth naturally requires considerable Israeli government and private sector investment, especially in the housing, infrastructure and employment sectors of the economy.

The inflation rate for Israel's economy for the year ending December 2002 was approximately 7%. In C/Y 2003 the inflation rate to date is -1.2%. The current total unemployment rate is approximately 10.8% (up from 10.3% in 2002) overall. The labor force has grown by 3% since last year, while real wages have declined 4.9%. New immigrants, particularly Ethiopians, are particularly vulnerable to the economic consequences of the current security situation, which has caused increases in inflation and unemployment. In late 2001 to early 2002, considerable volatility in the foreign currency-exchange rate occurred. That condition has since stabilized, with the shekel trading just below NIS 4.5/$.

Impact of the Current Security Situation -- The value of the US grant has been underscored by the fact that even during the current security situation, grant funds have been expended to support the continuing arrival of thousands of humanitarian migrants. Mid-2003 proved to be a volatile time in Israel, with alternating periods of violence and relative calm, producing some decline in immigration from the FSU. At present, however, an increasing level of activity in the transit centers indicates that humanitarian migrants are temporarily delaying their immigration to Israel, waiting for the security situation to stabilize. When this occurs, we expect significant increases in immigration.

Jewish Agency Programs -- The primary focus of Jewish Agency activity and resources is bringing Jews from the FSU and other countries of distress to their homeland in Israel. This includes informing all eligible humanitarian migrants of their right to aid. During the period October 1989 to September 2003, the Agency will have been responsible for the immigration to Israel of more than 1 million former Soviet Jews and 49,100 Ethiopian Jews.

The ability of JAFI to operate and fund its programs is directly related to exogenous economic factors, such as the exchange rate of the US dollar and other currencies to the Israeli shekel and Russian ruble, which affect the purchasing power of Jewish Agency income.

It is anticipated that during G/Y 2004, JAFI will bring approximately 17,200 grant-eligible humanitarian migrants to Israel, including 13,350 from the former Soviet Union and 3,500 from Ethiopia. (See p. 11). The balance of humanitarian migrants will come from other countries of distress.

In February 2003 the Israeli government, in response to decreased income from taxes due to the current economic situation, substantially decreased government aid to new Ethiopian humanitarian migrants. This cut has particularly affected mortgage aid. JAFI has appealed the cutbacks but the current situation remains uncertain.

Ethiopian Immigration -- Compared to other immigrant populations, the Ethiopian community faces unique challenges that make it difficult to adapt to Israel's more advanced Western economy, including differences in levels of education and economic sophistication. Today, approximately 85% of Ethiopian humanitarian migrants arrive illiterate in Amheric, their native tongue. In response to their special needs, JAFI allows these new humanitarian migrants to remain in an absorption-center-based program for an extended period, providing them with an important support system and enhancing their chances for successful absorption. This extended period includes a Hebrew-language program that lasts 10 months rather than the five-month program, which is the norm for other immigrant groups.

The extended-period solution, however, imposes financial demands on the overall US grant program by requiring JAFI to reallocate funds between programs in order to place a greater financial emphasis on absorption centers, ulpanim (Hebrew-language classes) and transitional assistance. For example, the previously noted increased learning time required by Ethiopian humanitarian migrants, over that provided to other populations, requires an increased expenditure in residential services, language programs, child care, etc.

Similarly, recent arrivals from the FSU are displaying a greater need for retraining. This population is either less skilled or possesses skills less relevant to Israel's modern economy. This recent development in the FSU community combines with the Ethiopian community's need for occupational training, and requires a greater emphasis on vocational training.

Recently JAFI, in partnership with PRM, brought to Israel several families from Iraq.

Funding Jewish Agency Programs -- The total projected JAFI budget for the year ending December 31, 2003, is approximately $455 million. The approved JAFI budget for the year ending December 31, 2004, is expected to be about the same. UIA historically has contributed approximately 70% of the Agency's total income.

PROGRAM EVALUATION

The 2003 grant agreement stipulated that UIA would develop performance indicators for each of the grant-supported programs. In designing an evaluation program, it must first be understood that UIA operates the grant through a variety of partners. Primary among the partners is the Jewish Agency for Israel. As noted above, JAFI is UIA's operating agent for programs in Israel, including the grant. However, while JAFI has overall responsibility (to UIA) for operating grant-supported programs, some individual programs include other partners, such as the GOI's Ministry of Education. The cooperation of each partner is essential in a successful evaluation program.

The Program Evaluation that follows has been prepared in accordance with OMB's Program Assessment Rating’s Tool (PART), Attachment B, BPM852, Addendum 1 (April 18, 2002): Instructions for the Program Assessment Ratings Tool.

As part of an understanding with PRM, UIA monitors the grant programs.

The overall purpose of the evaluation program is establishing a set of measurable goals or objectives, baseline indicators (against which success or failure will be determined) and a mechanism for program managers to integrate the findings into their decision-making process. These goals are supported by feedback arrangements among the institutions or partners operating various components of the overall grant program and UIA, as well as among the partners themselves.

Grant-Supported Goals -- UIA's mission in Israel is to facilitate the successful absorption of Jewish humanitarian migrants. UIA makes use of a variety of resources and strategic partnerships in realizing that mission. The US grant is an important funding resource in facilitating the absorption of humanitarian migrants from countries of distress, whose immigration is usually the result of pressures from the surrounding populations and ruling authorities in their country of origin. Successful absorption in Israel includes social integration into the new host population as well as absorption into the workforce. (I.1) 1

The programs that the US grant helps to fund address two goals: immigration to, and successful integration into, Israel. (I.2) To achieve the latter goal, the US grant programs recognize that émigrés from different countries have differing needs.

____________________
[1] Section I, Part 1, of the instruction guide.  This paragraph responds to the instruction guide's requirement that the funded programs have a clearly stated purpose.  Throughout the program evaluation sections of this report, references to specific components of the instruction guide are provided in parentheses.

While the US grant is not the sole source of financing, it plays a crucial role in the present and future viability of the six grant-eligible programs. If these grant funds were not available, both the scope and quality of the grant programs would necessarily be reduced, thereby significantly undercutting their impact. (I.3) Each of these programs addresses a critical stage in the immigration to and successful integration of humanitarian migrants into Israel; stages not addressed by other programs of either JAFI or other organizations. (I.4)

Programs' Strategic Plan

The US grant-supported programs are a coordinated effort to address the goals noted above: i. e. immigration to, and successful integration into, Israel. These programs combine to form UIA and JAFI's strategic plan for addressing these two goals. (II) This comprehensive effort recognizes that émigrés from different countries have differing needs.

Underpinning this strategy is the realization that such programs must include performance assessments and planning in order to guide program performance. (II.1) Each program should have outcome goals that will support their collective mission: successful immigration to, and integration into, Israel. Some concrete measure of these goals should be set, followed and reported. (II.3) The goals should also be discrete, quantifiable and measurable. (II.2)

Equally important, they must be well thought out; supporting UIA and JAFI's efforts to achieve their long-term goals of successful immigration to and integration of the program clients into Israeli society. (II.2)

At this time, development of these program goals and measures is a work in progress. A description of the programs, their goals and the measures being developed to assess program success are discussed in detail in the individual program sections of this report.

Each program's short-term goals and performance indicators are tools for achieving its long-term goals. These short-term goals and performance indicators combine to create a strategic plan to achieve the long-term goals. "Upgrades" of goals and performance indicators over time must include those that would further enhance achievement of these long-term goals, without imposing unnecessary costs and administration. Incremental increases in goals of performance indicators must substantially improve UIA and JAFI's efforts to aid humanitarian-migrant immigration to and integration into Israel.

Program Feedback - In establishing a monitoring and evaluation program, UIA, via JAFI, has established feedback mechanisms with its operational partners. JAFI has long supplied UIA with documentation supporting actual expenditures. Reviews of this documentation allow UIA staff to confirm the integrity of fund use.

For example, UIA has established a feedback mechanism with the Ministry of Education regarding the ulpan program. This program provides the means by which humanitarian migrants acquire Hebrew-language skills. Exit exams have been developed to test the level of language proficiency of ulpan graduates. The results of the exams serve as the basis for participation in more advanced levels of the program. They also serve as feedback devices, providing UIA and its program partners with definable measures of the success of the teaching staff in passing on effective language skills to participants.

Coincident with the ulpan programs’ feedback mechanism described above, UIA is also designing an evaluation instrument with JAFI for each of the other programs. Definable measures are being developed by which UIA will be able to evaluate the success of grant-funded programs in their provision of the services that each is designed to provide.

In each case, data will be collected and maintained in a manner to ensure consistency and comparability over time. After the findings are received, UIA will meet with JAFI and the other program partners to discuss the results, with the aim of integrating them into program management. Program contents will be adjusted as necessary.

This material, and the program material that follows, has been prepared with the assistance of the Jewish Agency for Israel. The grant programs, and the amounts allocated to each, reflect the most immediate needs to fund the humanitarian-migrant-assistance programs.

PROGRAM A-1: PROCESSING, EN ROUTE CARE AND MAINTENANCE FOR PERSONS IMMIGRATING TO ISRAEL

Program Goals & Client Base

This program provides for the preparation, care and maintenance of an estimated 16,850 humanitarian migrants en route to Israel from the former Soviet Union, countries in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Near East, and other designated countries during the 2004 grant year.

During the year ending September 30, 2004, it is projected that approximately 13,350 humanitarian migrants will have been processed through transit centers located throughout the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and Helsinki. Some of these locations are Alma-Ata, Baku, Khabarovsk, Kiev, Kishniev, Minsk, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Odessa, Riga, St. Petersburg, Simferopol, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Yekaterinburg and several smaller cities. (See complete list on p. 11.)

Background

From the earliest years of US grant funding for humanitarian migrant resettlement in Israel in 1973 until 1988, the transit point for humanitarian migrants from Eastern Europe was Vienna, Austria. Until it was closed in 1991, a single facility there cared for humanitarian migrants en route to Israel. From the late 1980s until 1992, the major transit center activity shifted to Eastern European locations, primarily Budapest, Hungary; Warsaw, Poland; and Bucharest, Romania. To a lesser extent Helsinki, Finland, and Varna, Bulgaria, were also used.

Since 1992, the Jewish Agency has successfully initiated and continued direct flights to Israel from 34 locations in the former Soviet Union, Eastern European and Ethiopia. As a result, the number of persons who require the use of transit centers in Budapest, Bucharest and Warsaw has been greatly reduced. JAFI currently has transit centers and/or emissaries in 23 cities in the FSU, Eastern Europe, Helsinki and Ethiopia. The operations of the Agency complement the direct flights that leave from the same, or nearby, locations. Humanitarian migrants who live within traveling distance of those locations stay in the transit centers overnight and then board a direct flight with other humanitarian migrants from that city.

The number of humanitarian migrants and their needs often determine the nature of JAFI operations in countries of distress. Management of these operations must be flexible, often requiring changes as needs evolve. JAFI will regularly report any changes as they are made in the field regarding the opening and closing of transit stations. For JAFI, meeting changing needs, which frequently arise unexpectedly, often requires maintaining an infrastructure that can be mobilized on short notice. For example, during the outbreak of hostilities in the Kosovo region in 1999, the minimal infrastructure that had been maintained in the Budapest transit center was temporarily expanded to cope with the influx of humanitarian migrants who crossed the Hungarian border.

Per Capita -- UIA and JAFI, at the request of and in cooperation with PRM, developed a per capita amount of $327, now in use in this program. This amount represents partial participation in actual expenditure.

Program Activities

Ongoing socioeconomic and political uncertainty in countries of distress has compelled JAFI to expand direct flight services, increasing activities at its transit centers. More limited operations are located in Eastern Europe and other locations.

Professional Staff -- A professional staff—including emissaries (short term: up to three months, long term: more than three months), local Israeli employees and local workers—implement this program. The major responsibility of the staff is to assist humanitarian migrants in any way necessary to prepare for their departure from their country of origin. The staff advises humanitarian migrants regarding challenges that may be encountered on arrival in Israel regarding such matters as housing, employment and student compatibility and financial issues. Many people have sensitive family situations that need to be dealt with on an individual basis. The staff helps humanitarian migrants complete the required documentation and guides them through a wide range of bureaucratic paperwork and forms.

The staff also advises the humanitarian migrants on available facilities and programs in Israel, such as Absorption Centers (p. 21), Kibbutz Ulpan (p. 25), Na’aleh and Selah (p. 31), as well as other programs that JAFI and the GOI operate in Israel. When immigration is possible, the staff makes the appropriate arrangements through the logistic centers in Israel.

Emissaries give training sessions for the aliyah coordinators who handle the immense task of advising the local population of satellite cities. These emissaries are an important expression of JAFI’s responsibility to inform humanitarian migrants about their rights and opportunities to receive aid that is available to them. Many potential humanitarian migrants live far from the transit stations in the main cities. Coordinators in satellite cities play an important role by reaching this population in an efficient manner, supplying them with the necessary information and also assisting them with arrangements for emigration. The training involves updating coordinators on local developments, new programs or changes in Israel. Under the aegis of a program called Aliyah 2000, contact is made prior to immigration between humanitarian migrants and localities, so as to allow them to select a place of residence in advance. Another facet of this program is pre-registration for work training programs.

Ulpanim -- The majority of the humanitarian migrants attend ulpanim (Hebrew-language classes) while they wait for their departure date to Israel. Local employees who are trained by Israeli Hebrew-teacher emissaries teach most ulpan programs. Ulpanim also provide the new arrivals with an opportunity for acculturation. Many humanitarian migrants who were estranged by a previous regime from their Jewish heritage, have a desire to reacquaint themselves with their Jewish identity.

Transit Arrangements -- Specialized staff is assigned to coordinate flight arrangements from the various cities of origin to their final destination in Israel. This involves a few preparatory sessions with the humanitarian migrants, logistical arrangements for flights, including ticketing and seat reservations, which are coordinated with the logistic centers in Israel. Staff also arranges for medical needs and any personnel necessary for processing humanitarian migrants prior to flights, as well as arranging landing rights and flight permits throughout the FSU and providing assistance at airports.

Other Activities -- Administrative costs incurred in the transit centers include rent, maintenance, electronic communications, office supplies—including instructional and information sheets, pamphlets and brochures—for the humanitarian migrant. Humanitarian-migrant care includes travel expenses incurred en route to the stations, such as local transportation, food, and emergency medical care. Security costs include payments to private security companies within the FSU, as well as regular police who guard JAFI facilities.

Allocation Request

The Jewish Agency estimates it will spend $72 million during the year for the above programs. UIA requests an allocation of $4 million during the 2004 grant year to assist in this program's funding.

Proposed Grant Participation $4,000,000

Program Evaluation:

This is a service-delivery program. (Cr. 4) Its participants receive information, education and form-processing services via JAFI emissaries at local offices in their countries of origin. The success of this program is evaluated by the subjective assessment of the program participants.

Program Goal -- The immediate program goal is to provide (1) courteous and timely service; and (2) accurate information that addresses participant needs.

Program Assessment -- The degree of program-participant satisfaction with service delivery is the measure of this program’s success. UIA and JAFI, together with an outside survey-consulting firm (II.4), have developed a "client survey" to measure both program-participant satisfaction and the degree to which participants feel this program meets the above-described goal.

Performance Indicators -- As part of the construction of the survey, performance indicators are being established against which to measure success or failure. Depending on the numerical range chosen to measure participant satisfaction (e.g. 1 to 5, 1 to 10, etc.), a level of satisfaction will be chosen to serve as the performance indicator that UIA and JAFI will strive for as a minimum-service standard.

This program, together with Programs A-2 and A-3 will be assessed through this comprehensive client survey. (II.4) Rather than replicate a separate assessment for three programs used by the same participants, with the resultant waste of funds, the survey queries program participants about all three programs.

Status -- JAFI’s research department has contracted with an established survey firm (via a competitive bid process) to conduct a survey of recent immigrants regarding their experience with JAFI offices in the FSU and the quality of service received.

The telephone survey includes questions on the humanitarian migrant’s background and the level of services they received. At this time, the survey consulting firm, together with JAFI and UIA, have developed the survey questions. UIA anticipates being able to report survey results in the 2003 grant final report and will also include a copy of the survey questions.

PROGRAM A-2: TRANSPORTATION TO ISRAEL

Program Goals & Client Base

This program provides for the transportation of an approximate 15,800 humanitarian migrants—including escorts required to assist the elderly and infirm and unaccompanied persons—en route to Israel from the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Ethiopia and other countries of distress during the 2004 grant year. An additional 1,400 humanitarian migrants who are expected during G/Y 2003 will not use JAFI flight arrangements but will find their own way to Israel by other means, such as ships from Odessa, not financed by JAFI.

Background

In the early 1990s, faced with a dramatic increase in the number of humanitarian migrants coming to Israel and new points of embarkation, JAFI made necessary changes to accommodate the increased numbers. These included changes in the method of operation of this program.

The majority of humanitarian migrants now come to Israel by direct flight from 34 locations in the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, and Eastern Europe. The Agency has, therefore, negotiated directly with air carrier companies to arrange for flights from these cities and pays these companies directly for the flights to Israel.

Program Activities

Flights are arranged according to airline availability when transportation is needed, which carrier can provide the services, and scheduled flights. The humanitarian migrants are generally provided seats on regularly scheduled flights except where only charter flights can be arranged or in special circumstances.

Since 1992, El Al Israel Airlines has shared the transportation routes to Israel with the new national carriers of the former Republics of the Soviet Union, such as Aerosvit, Irzina (Georgia), Azal Air (Azerbaijan), Uzbekistan Airways and Transaero. Currently, El Al flights to Tel Aviv from Tashkent cost $360 per person; from Moscow, $296 per person; Khabarovsk, $630 per person; from Irkutzk, $359 per person. Flights from Kiev to Tel Aviv on Aerosvit cost $257 per person. Flights from Alma-Ata to Tel Aviv on Razaleh Airways cost $350 per person. Flights from Addis Ababa via Ethiopian Air cost $563 per person. The price varies according to airline. Fluctuating air transportation costs are conditional primarily on unstable fuel availability, changes in dollar versus local currency relationships and other exogenous factors. Current contractual arrangements valid since 2000 between JAFI and the various flight carriers still contain provisions that have kept average transportation costs at a lower than market level. It should be noted that there has been little change in ticket prices as JAFI continues to broaden its contacts with more airlines. The resulting competition has benefited JAFI.

Air Fare: Average charge of $330 for a estimated 15,800 humanitarian migrants

Allocation Request

The Jewish Agency estimates that it will spend $12 million during the year on transportation. UIA requests an allocation of $3 million during the 2004 grant year to assist in this program's funding.

Proposed Grant Participation $3,000,000

Program Evaluation:

Similar to Program A-1, the UIA and JAFI role is that of service provider. Success or failure in this program is determined by a subjective measure reflecting program-participant satisfaction.

Program Goal -- The immediate program goal is to provide courteous and timely service.

Program Assessment -- The degree of program-participant satisfaction with service delivery is the measure of this program’s success. UIA and JAFI, together with an outside survey-consulting firm (II.4), have developed a "client survey" to measure both program-participant satisfaction and the degree to which participants feel this program meets the above-described goal.

Performance Indicators -- As part of the construction of the survey, performance indicators are being established against which to measure success or failure. Depending on the numerical range chosen to measure participant satisfaction (e.g. 1 to 5, 1 to 10, etc.), a level of satisfaction will be chosen to serve as the performance indicator that UIA and JAFI will strive for as a minimum-service standard.

This program, together with Programs A-2 and A-3 will be assessed through this comprehensive client survey. (II.4) Rather than replicate a separate assessment for three programs used by the same participants, with the resultant waste of funds, the survey queries program participants about all three programs.

Status -- JAFI’s research department has contracted with an established survey firm (via a competitive bid process) to conduct a survey of recent immigrants regarding their experience with JAFI offices in the FSU and the quality of service received.

The telephone survey includes questions on the humanitarian migrant’s background and the level of services they received. At this time, the survey consulting firm, together with JAFI and UIA, have developed the survey questions. UIA anticipates being able to report survey results in the 2003 grant final report and will also include a copy of the survey questions.

PROGRAM A-3: RELOCATION ALLOWANCE

Program Goals & Client Base

This program helps to defray the cost of transporting the essential personal items of a projected 5,000 humanitarian-migrant families en route to Israel from the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Near East, and other designated countries during the 2004 grant year. Each family unit, upon arrival in Israel, will receive a relocation allowance as a function of their family size and age of the children.

Background

The Jewish Agency has historically provided a relocation allowance to assist humanitarian migrants in transporting their personal effects or, in the case of some countries in Eastern Europe and the FSU, has provided direct assistance in transporting limited amounts of freight to Israel, generally from Black Sea ports. Beginning January 1, 1997, JAFI ceased providing humanitarian migrants with the latter option, and in keeping with guidelines used in other refugee programs, provides a relocation allowance.

Program Activities

Upon arrival in Israel, each humanitarian-migrant family receives a relocation allowance, which averages $350.

Allocation Request

The Jewish Agency estimates that it will spend $4 million during the year on this program. UIA requests an allocation of $1.4 million during the 2004 grant year to assist in this program's funding.

Proposed Grant Participation $1,400,000

Program Evaluation:

Similar to Programs A-1 and A-2, the UIA and JAFI role is that of service provider. Success or failure in this program is determined by a subjective measure reflecting program-participant satisfaction.

Program Goal -- The immediate program goal is to provide (1) courteous service and (2) timely delivery of the relocation allowance.

Program Assessment -- The degree of program-participant satisfaction with service delivery is the measure of this program’s success. UIA and JAFI, together with an outside survey-consulting firm (II.4), have developed a "client survey" to measure both program-participant satisfaction and the degree to which participants feel this program meets the above-described goal.

Performance Indicators -- As part of the construction of the survey, performance indicators are being established against which to measure success or failure. Depending on the numerical range chosen to measure participant satisfaction (e.g. 1 to 5, 1 to 10, etc.), a level of satisfaction will be chosen to serve as the performance indicator that UIA and JAFI will strive for as a minimum-service standard.

This program, together with Programs A-2 and A-3 will be assessed through this comprehensive client survey. (II.4) Rather than replicate a separate assessment for three programs used by the same participants, with the resultant waste of funds, the survey queries program participants about all three programs.

Status -- JAFI’s research department has contracted with an established survey firm (via a competitive bid process) to conduct a survey of recent immigrants regarding their experience with JAFI offices in the FSU and the quality of service received.

The telephone survey includes questions on the humanitarian migrant’s background and the level of services they received. At this time, the survey consulting firm, together with JAFI and UIA, have developed the survey questions. UIA anticipates being able to report survey results in the 2003 grant final report and will also include a copy of the survey questions.

PROGRAM A-4: MAINTENANCE AT ABSORPTION CENTERS, ULPANIM & DIRECT ABSORPTION

Program Goals & Client Base

This program plays a critical role in the successful absorption of humanitarian migrants in Israel, acting as the focal center of a variety of programs. New arrivals, depending on their country origin and their own resources, are provided with temporary residence in one of the many absorption centers located throughout the country. While they are residents at the absorption centers, humanitarian migrants are provided with Hebrew-language programs, job retraining, vocational training, and educational studies.

Background

Historically, absorption centers, hostels and residential ulpan programs were the first homes in Israel for most new immigrants. Current policy is to encourage direct absorption by those populations for whom it is an appropriate choice. This allows JAFI to reserve absorption centers and hostels for those immigrants in greater need of assistance and ongoing support.

Absorption of Ethiopian Humanitarian Migrants

This program, Maintenance at Absorption Centers, Ulpanim & Direct Absorption, plays a critical role in the successful absorption of Ethiopian humanitarian migrants into Israeli society and economy. Due to the vast differences between Ethiopian and Israeli societies, Ethiopian humanitarian migrants are generally housed in absorption centers for their first year. This provides them with a "soft landing" in Israel and it allows JAFI to provide them with an extended ulpan program, i.e. 10 months vs. the five months most other immigrant populations are offered. In addition to the extended ulpan, Ethiopian humanitarian migrants also attend courses in such modern basics as banking accounts, mortgages, electricity, gas stoves, modern childcare, etc.

Upon arrival, in addition to housing arrangements in absorption centers, JAFI provides basic furnishings for humanitarian migrants from Ethiopia.

Program Activities

Absorption Centers

These facilities currently serve an essential function in the integration process, particularly for weaker and more needy populations, including Ethiopians, humanitarian migrants from the Near East, and specific communities from the former Soviet Union. All activities offered at these facilities are geared to familiarizing humanitarian migrants with a society vastly different from their country of origin. The absorption center provides residents the opportunity to concentrate on the two essential ingredients for successful absorption, language acquisition and vocational training to acquire employable skills, without having the financial pressures of paying rent, utilities, etc.

Due to the current economic situation and declining tax revenues, the GOI has had to cut back on mortgage assistance and other transitional aid to new immigrants. JAFI has appealed to the government to reconsider these cuts but the cuts remain in effect at this time.

Currently, approximately 8,400 persons reside in the 34 absorption centers operated by JAFI. Of these, approximately 5,900 are humanitarian migrants from Ethiopia, 1,100 are from the FSU and 200 are from other countries of distress. The nature of the Ethiopian population continues to require unique and additional support services resulting in their necessary placement, and longer stay, in absorption centers. Difficulties in relocating families out of absorption facilities often arise due to problems in obtaining suitable housing and employment. The Jewish Agency coordinates with the GOI Ministry of Immigration & Absorption in facilitating the relocation of families to permanent housing.

Today's absorption centers not only provide services for humanitarian migrants who require intensive support but also provide housing for young adults and humanitarian-migrant families from countries of distress who need short-term housing. This service equips them with the means to be independent and to move into the community at large. It is projected that during F/Y 2004, most units in absorption centers, including facilities for the elderly, will continue to be occupied by young adults, humanitarian-migrant families and special populations.

The monthly expense will be reported, based upon the number of humanitarian migrants at each of the various facilities on a per diem basis. During G/Y 2004, UIA will reimburse the Agency on the basis of the calculated average monthly cost of supporting a humanitarian migrant in an absorption center, audited by Kesselman & Kesselman PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), independent auditors, (Exhibit B, p. 24). In light of the fact that the calculated cost has been relatively stable, and in consultation with PwC, it has been decided that the calculations will be recomputed every three years.

For the projected number of beneficiaries and calculated average current monthly cost in each type of facility for G/Y 2004, (see Exhibit B, p.24):

Proposed Grant Participation

Absorption Centers 8,437 Participants @ $395/mo. $25,000,000

Total                                                                                                              $25,000,000

Eligibility: Eligibility in this program will be limited to 36 months.

PROGRAMS A-4 & A-5 EXHIBIT B

CALCULATED AVERAGE CURRENT MONTHLY COST OF SUPPORTING “HUMANITARIAN MIGRANTS” IN AN ABSORPTION CENTER FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2002

Computed
Cost
of Housing
Computed
Cost of
Furniture &
Equipment
Cash
Outlays

TYPE OF FACILITY (a) (b) (c) TOTAL
US$ US$ US$ US$
1) “Humanitarian migrant” in an
Absorption center

169

8

218


395
2) Unaccompanied “humanitarian
migrant” in an absorption center


169

8

725

902

NOTES

  1. The computation is based on 10% per annum of the current appraisal value (in US dollars) of a sample of the facilities erected or acquired in prior years as determined by licensed appraisers. (10% per annum – to cover depreciation, owner’s repairs, renovations, rental and insurance.)

    Cost per immigrant month of residence is calculated on the basis of actual occupancy for the year ended December 31, 2002.

  2. Based on an annual 15% depreciation charge of the cost of replacing furniture, furnishings, and equipment in December 2002.

  3. Based on the actual cash outlays of operating the facilities including cost of staff, heating, food, supplies, electricity, water, municipal taxes, cleaning, laundry, cultural activities and language training. Excluded are owner’s repairs, renovations, rental and insurance and after deducting immigrant participation (if any). Payment and participation are made in new Israeli shekels and have been translated into US dollars at the rate of exchange in effect on the date of transaction.

Information prepared by Kesselman & Kesselman PricewaterhouseCoopers, independent auditors.

Ulpanim

The Jewish Agency is responsible for all initial ulpanim for Israel’s entire humanitarian-migrant population. Classes are offered in mornings or afternoons allowing the humanitarian migrants to begin to work and study Hebrew simultaneously.

Ulpan A, the basic ulpan course, is usually a five-month program. Due to the specific problems of humanitarian migrants who emigrated from Ethiopia, however, the basic ulpan for this population is held in smaller classes and lasts for 10 months.

Ulpan A is often supplemented by an additional advanced ulpan for those humanitarian migrants who need other, more specific, language skills for entry into a particular work or study environment. Advanced ulpan programs of up to 12 months, are held in municipalities, kibbutzim (communal settlements), absorption centers, or in institutions of higher learning (Student Ulpanim).

JAFI also offers the Kibbutz Ulpan program, a unique introduction to rural life for new immigrants, found currently in some 31 kibbutzim around the country. Program participants study Hebrew for 20 hours a week and work, often in agriculture, for another 20 hours. Expenses are, therefore, kept to a minimum since only a small subsidy is required to close the gap between the benefit of additional labor for the kibbutz and the expenditure for language study and maintenance. Historically, most of the participants in the program have been single people or young couples from the former Soviet Union and other countries of distress. More recently, an increasing number of Ethiopian humanitarian migrants have begun to participate in these rural ulpanim.

Currently, approximately 10,500 humanitarian migrants participate in ulpanim.

Ulpanim $1,000,000

Basic Furnishings for Ethiopians

Due to the special needs of this population, and instead of receiving a relocation allowance through Program A-3, JAFI provides basic furnishings for Ethiopians. The furnishings include a refrigerator, beds, bedding and linen, kitchen table, chairs, closet, bureau, tabletop stove, mattresses, pots, pans, dishes, and other household amenities. The Government of Israel provides a limited supplement to these basic furnishings, under exceptional circumstances, based on family size and need, such as an additional bureau and storage closet. It should be noted that there is no duplication between JAFI and the GOI.

Basic Furnishings for Ethiopians                                                     $400,000

Allocation Request

The Jewish Agency estimates that it will spend $70 million during the year for this program. UIA requests an allocation of $26.4 million during the 2004 grant year to assist in the program's funding.

Proposed Grant Participation

Absorption Centers                       $25,000,000
Ulpanim                                           1,000,000
Basic Furnishings for Ethiopians           400,000

Total                                            $26,400,000

Program Evaluation:

Program A-4 has two main components: absorption centers and ulpanim (Hebrew-language acquisition courses). Each of these subprograms will be evaluated separately.

1. Absorption Centers -- The Absorption Center program is intended to provide temporary housing to humanitarian migrants immediately upon their arrival, as well as to facilitate the provision of a variety of absorption services to the humanitarian migrants. Such housing, however, is temporary, with the goal of moving humanitarian migrants into permanent accommodations as soon as possible. (I.1)

UIA reimburses JAFI for the cost of housing humanitarian migrants at absorption centers based on an agreed upon average monthly dollar amount. An outside auditor periodically recalculates this amount on behalf of UIA. (II.4)

A critical issue in housing is that of varying characteristics and needs of different humanitarian-migrant populations. (I.2) Different populations and their subgroups reflect varying abilities to integrate smoothly into Israeli society. For example, Ethiopian humanitarian migrants come from a pre-industrial, Third-World environment and are usually illiterate even in their own language. They are, therefore, lacking the skills necessary for successful absorption into Israel's post-industrial economy. Among the FSU communities, some elderly are unable to work—and, therefore, to finance private housing. Many single parents are also in need of affordable day-care solutions when they leave the protected environment that absorption centers provide.

Program Goal -- The immediate program goal is to maintain or reduce humanitarian migrants’ average stay in absorption centers.

Program Assessment -- For evaluation purposes, client populations will be delineated by country of origin and subgroups. Entry into and exit from absorption centers by members of each of the populations below will be followed and tabulated:

  • Ethiopia
  • Former Soviet Union - general population
  • Former Soviet Union - weaker populations (i.e. single parents, physically and mentally disabled, and persons with medical limitations)
  • Other Countries of Distress

Performance Indicator -- Data will be collected on historical-average stays at absorption centers according to group, as noted above. UIA and JAFI will then follow future residence trends, measuring deviations from each group's historical average. These deviations from the historical average will serve as the performance indicator, subject to the goal described above. (III.1)

Status -- JAFI is developing a computer program to track length of stay in the absorption centers. This program will detail residents by:

  • Country of origin
  • Family size
  • Length of stay
2. Hebrew-Language Acquisition -- Given that the long-term goal of the overall UIA/JAFI program is successful integration into Israeli society by humanitarian migrants, successful language acquisition is essential. (II.1, II.2)

UIA's partners in the Hebrew-Language Acquisition program are JAFI and the Government of Israel’s Ministry of Education, via its Adult Education Division. UIA receives periodic progress reports on the language program from these partners. (II.3)

The two major grant-eligible populations that participate in the ulpan courses are FSU and Ethiopian humanitarian migrants. The educational backgrounds of these two groups markedly differ, with FSU humanitarian migrants arriving in Israel both literate in Russian, and having a Western-style education. Ethiopians typically arrive illiterate in their own language and with little, if any, understanding of Western culture or technology.

Program Goal -- The immediate program goal is to enable ulpan participants to advance a full-learning level.

Program Assessment -- UIA and JAFI will monitor the percentage of course participants that successfully advance in their language studies from their entry level to the next level.

Performance Indicators -- Given the heterogeneous backgrounds of the two major humanitarian-migrant groups, UIA and JAFI will maintain two performance indicators, which will allow a tailored approach to servicing their special needs. (III.1, Cap 1)

FSU Participation in Hebrew-Language Acquisition Courses -- UIA and JAFI will set performance indicators as follows:

2003 85% of participants advance one level
2004 85% of participants advance one level
2005 90% of participants advance one level
2006 onward Maintain 90%

Ethiopian Participation in Hebrew-Language Acquisition Courses -- UIA and JAFI will set performance indicators as follows:

2003 65% of participants advance one level
2004 70% of participants advance one level
2005 75% of participants advance one level
2006 onward Maintain 75%

The Ministry of Education Adult Education Division administers an end-of-course exit exam to participants, conducted in two parts: oral and written. Results of the oral exam make up 40% of the final grade; written-exam results make up 60% of the final grade. Examinees must have attended at least 80% of the course sessions. Successful participants are awarded a certificate of completion, which can be presented to potential employers to confirm a humanitarian migrant's level of language command.

Status -- UIA and JAFI are working with the Ministry of Education to structure the questionnaire that accompanies the exit exam so as to provide sufficient data to both measure language-acquisition-success rates, and demographic data on participants.

PROGRAM A-5: YOUTH ALIYAH – UNACCOMPANIED MINORS

Program Goals & Client Base

This program provides maintenance and care for the social and cultural integration of humanitarian migrant youth that arrive in Israel as unaccompanied minors, in advance of their families.

Every year, a sizable number of children and teenagers arrive in Israel without their parents. Typically, their parents send them due to the difficult political and social climate in their home countries. This trend has continued despite the security situation in Israel.

Background

Beginning in 1932, JAFI founded the Youth Aliyah program to rescue and bring to safe haven in Israel some 300,000 children and youth, many of whom originally came from the former Soviet Union, Eastern European countries, Iran and Ethiopia. Today, JAFI currently operates four residential schools that deal with the most severely disadvantaged immigrant youth populations. Approximately 1,000 youth will be cared for in these facilities, but are not covered by the US grant.

The grant currently supports a program operated by JAFI that provides the first three years of maintenance costs in Youth Aliyah facilities for 1,400 unaccompanied high-school youth arriving from the FSU in the Na’aleh program.

The grant also supports the Selah program, through which JAFI provides additional services for unaccompanied youth from the FSU. These youth have completed their high school studies in the FSU at approximately 17 years of age. The youth are divided into different tracks based on their abilities and background. The program includes necessary care and maintenance at absorption center facilities, ulpan studies and supplemental programs. Approximately 600 youth are expected to participate in this program during G/Y 2004.

Program Activities

Unaccompanied Minors

Background -- Included in the current wave of aliyah, which began in 1989, is an increasingly large population of unaccompanied minors who are leaving for Israel due to a variety of issues that are profoundly influencing young people in the FSU. The Jewish Agency has responded to this increasing need with several programs for both high school and post-high school students. When asked about the motivation for participation in this program, recent surveys have shown that the decision by most parents to send the unaccompanied minors ahead to Israel is in preparation for families to follow shortly thereafter.
PROGRAM A-5 (cont'd)

Na’aleh -- This is a joint JAFI and GOI program for high-school age unaccompanied minors. The pupils in this program arrive without their parents and are placed in dormitory schools throughout the country, which are operated by a local NGO (non-governmental organization) The maintenance cost, funded by JAFI, is based on a tariff determined in consultation with the GOI Department of Treasury. This tariff covers such expenses as dormitory services, board, medical and psychosocial expenses, clothing, books, pocket money and health insurance. JAFI participates in the maintenance costs for the three years of the program, which include approximately 1,400 pupils at an annual cost of approximately $6,000 per capita (subject to changes in the $/NIS exchange rate and the Israeli CPI). All teaching-related expenses, such as teachers’ salaries, are the responsibility of the Ministry of Education.

Na’aleh                        $7,700,000

Selah -- This program is designed for unaccompanied minors who are high-school graduates. Selah (a Hebrew acronym for “Students before Parents”) includes an intensive ulpan, following which are courses that prepare students for entrance into institutions of higher learning. As unaccompanied minors, they reside in absorption centers. During the first year of the program, participants receive meals, after which they care for themselves.

The monthly expense will be reported, based upon the number of humanitarian migrants at each of the various facilities on a per diem basis. During G/Y 2004, UIA will reimburse the Agency on the basis of the calculated average monthly cost of supporting a humanitarian migrant in an absorption center, audited by Kesselman & Kesselman PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), independent auditors, (Exhibit B, p. 24). In light of the fact that the calculated cost has been relatively stable, and in consultation with PwC, it has been decided that the calculations will be recomputed every three years.

For the projected number of beneficiaries and calculated average current monthly cost for the Selah program for G/Y 2004, (see Exhibit B, p. 24):

Selah -- Unaccompanied Minors in Absorption Centers 600 Participants @ $814/mo $3,500,000

Total                                                                                                                                        $3,500,000

Allocation Request

The Jewish Agency estimates that it will spend $25 million during the year for Program A-5. To assist its funding during the 2004 grant year, UIA requests an allocation of $11.2 million.

Proposed Grant Participation

Na’aleh                         $ 7,700,000
Selah                              3,500,000

Total                           $11,200,000

Program Evaluation:

Na’aleh, the unaccompanied-minors program, provides maintenance and care for unaccompanied minors arriving in Israel in advance of their families. While in Israel, these youth study in a JAFI-sponsored program intended to provide them with an education that will successfully integrate them into Israeli society.

Program Goal -- Na’aleh program participants receive a high-school matriculation certificate upon completion of the program, preparing them for the Israeli job market and/or continued studies.

Program Assessment -- An appropriate measure of the program's success is the percentage of participating students who receive a matriculation certificate upon completion of the program.

Performance Indicator -- UIA and JAFI will monitor and report on the progress of unaccompanied minors participating in the Na’aleh program. UIA and JAFI, in consultation with their program partners (the GOI Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption) will establish performance indicators that will properly reflect the purpose of the program. (II.1, III.1) These indicators will be based on matriculation rates of students in the program.

Status -- The data is currently under review to determine the proper structure of the indicators to meaningfully measure achievement of the program’s goals.

PROGRAM A-7: TRANSITIONAL ASSISTANCE

Program Goals & Client Base

This joint JAFI and GOI program prepares participants with the skills necessary to obtain employment in Israel. This includes training humanitarian migrants who have no previous training, or retraining humanitarian migrants in their area of specialization to familiarize them with regulations in Israel. In addition, because many humanitarian migrants arrive in Israel with skills that are not a match for the available employment opportunities in the Israeli job market, some must be trained in a completely new field of expertise. The program will provide training in vocational skills, beginning no later than 36 months from the time of initial arrival in Israel and extending for a period of time not to exceed a total of 36 months of enrollment.

Due to the special needs of the Ethiopian humanitarian migrant population, these new arrivals will be able to enroll in an A-7 eligible program at any time within the 72-month period, on condition that:

-- The total period of studies will not exceed 36 months,
-- Participants complete their training/studies within the 72-month period,
--The total period from which they arrive in Israel and complete A-7 eligibility will not exceed the 72-month period.

For all other humanitarian-migrant populations, however, the existing limitation will be maintained.

The program uses the curricula of various educational institutions around the country and includes, for example, nursing schools, engineering schools and other vocational training centers. Previously, participation in A-7 programs was limited to humanitarian migrants between the ages of 18 to 30, due to limitations imposed by participating institutions. With the expansion of A-7, as discussed above, and in accordance with an understanding with PRM, age limitations will no longer be in effect. (This is of special relevance to humanitarian migrants over 30 years of age who have not been successful in securing employment.) Instead, participation in specific programs should be determined by participants' personal suitability, to be determined by a combination of entrance exams and interviews.

Background

These humanitarian migrants arrive in Israel from a variety of backgrounds. Successful integration into Israeli society is dependent on appropriate vocational and professional skills that can be attained by the humanitarian migrants attending a variety of educational programs, including vocational schools.

Successful integration into Israeli society is an issue for both the individual involved and society as a whole. For the individual, integration affects standards of living, self-esteem and parents' ability to be effective role models for their children. For society, integration is, in the long term, a less expensive alternative than Israel's social safety-net programs, which provide income support for the unemployed or semi-employed and an assortment of other benefits. A conservative estimate of the cost of such programs is $1,200 per participant per month. This includes, among other benefits, direct income supplements, and discounts on local taxes and fees.

Most vocational programs cost from $2,000 to as much as $20,000 per participant. In the case of the programs selected for grant support, two or more parties, including the GOI, share the costs. In all cases, assuming this education translates into higher levels of employment among the populations served, the costs are justified, and easily recouped in a relatively short period of time, especially when compared to the cost of continuing unemployment.

Program Activities

This program provides adults with up to three years of vocational training. The students graduate with a diploma, degree or a certificate showing proficiency in an occupational skill. The program provides tuition, dormitory and a monthly subsistence allowance to the humanitarian migrant as well as the services of a translator and counselor. Preference will be given, where possible, to participants of Ethiopian origin.

Five vocational training/retraining programs and a high-school equivalency training program (Kedma) have been identified as offering marketable skills currently in demand in the Israeli job market and/or providing participants with necessary job-search skills. In each case, participants will first participate in the Ulpan Language program either in Israel or prior to immigration.

UIA and JAFI may wish to add or subtract from the list as the year progresses, but at this juncture propose to emphasize the following:

1. Kedma Program: Offered in cooperation the GOI Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Immigration & Absorption this program is designed for 18 to 28 year-old Ethiopian humanitarian migrants who lack a high-school education, but display academic potential and high levels of motivation. A 10-month program, Kedma will provide participants with high-school equivalency, making them eligible for Ministry of Labor training programs. Participants will reside at an absorption center for the duration of the program. While the grant may not participate in their subsequent training, this program will make participation in subsequent programs possible.

2. Mechanics Project: Offered to humanitarian migrants living in absorption centers as well as those participating in direct absorption, this program is being supported by JAFI, the Ministries of Immigration & Absorption and Labor, and the Israel Association of Garage Owners. Participants will be interviewed prior to immigration and will come from a variety of educational backgrounds. For many, it will mean a second career because their occupational backgrounds may not be relevant in Israel. The program entails an extended language program, including professional Hebrew, classroom lectures and on the job training. Via the Association of Garage Owners, on the job training will take place at a trainee's future place of employment, facilitating a smooth transition from training to employment.

3. Retraining as Nurses: Offered by JAFI in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, academic degree holders in the FSU will be offered the opportunity for a career change into nursing. Many FSU degree holders face limited job opportunities in Israel either because their degrees have limited relevance in Israel, or the academic standards in their country of origin are not to Western standards. This course will offer them the option of retraining in a field where employees are in great demand, offering both long-term employment prospects and good income potential.

4. Nurse-Licensing Course: Offered by JAFI in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. Immigrant nurses must pass a local exam in order to work in Israel. At a minimum, this entails professional-language training and a knowledge of local rules and regulation governing the medical profession. For many from the FSU, it also entails some reeducation due to the higher, Western standards in force in Israel. In many cases, participants may have been doctors in the FSU but will work as nurses in Israel.

5. Kibbutz Absorption: Offered by JAFI in cooperation with the Ministry of Immigration & Absorption and The United Kibbutz Movement. The target population is humanitarian migrants from Ethiopia. Participants will be housed at kibbutzim, which are rural, predominately agrarian communities. They will receive occupational training as well as a short-term income supplement because, while agrarian, most kibbutzim today require community members with both non-agrarian and traditional agrarian skills. Participants will be enrolled in occupational training courses preparing them to work in factories, tourist sites, restaurants, etc. The long-term goal is for participants to be absorbed into the kibbutzim where they are placed.

6. Single-Parents Retraining: Offered by JAFI in cooperation with the Ministries of Immigration & Absorption and Labor, humanitarian migrants will be interviewed prior to immigration. A large number of migrants from both the FSU and Ethiopia are single parents with either limited employment skills, or skills with little local demand. In the past, most such migrants have become dependent on income supplements from the state. The goal is to provide them with job training, so they can be self-sufficient.

The above list is not exhaustive and enrollment is uncertain since registration is voluntary and in part dependent on commitments by employers who integrate prospective course graduates. UIA has chosen these programs to illustrate the kind of vocational education that is available in Israel and is suitable to meeting the needs of the humanitarian migrants served by the US grant.

Vocational Training 2,800 Participants @ an average charge of $2,500 $4,000,000

Each of the programs above, as well as others being considered, serves different populations under different conditions. As UIA acquires experience with these programs, it will be better able to estimate average charges and report them in subsequent proposals.

Allocation Request

The Jewish Agency estimates that it will spend $7 million on this program during the 2004 grant year. UIA requests an allocation of $4 million to assist in the program's funding.

Proposed Grant Participation                                    $4,000,000


Program Evaluation:

One of the two long-term goals noted above for the overall grant-supported programs is successful integration into Israeli society. A key ingredient to successful integration into any society is successful employment. The A-7 program is intended to provide participants with the necessary skills to secure employment in Israel, where the labor market may differ substantially from that of the participant's country of origin.

Program Goal -- The immediate goal of this program is to provide participants with vocational skills that will aid them to secure employment in Israel.

Program Assessment -- An appropriate measure of the program's success is the percentage of participating humanitarian migrants that successfully complete the course in which they are enrolled.

Performance Indicators -- (II.1, Cap 1)

2003 75% of participants complete training
2004 80% of participants complete training
2005 onward Maintain 85%

Status -- Designing a program to assess each A-7 subprogram would be prohibitively expensive. UIA, therefore, has selected only the Mechanics Program for evaluation. A public tender has been issued for a firm to follow up on the success of participants in two current mechanics courses: one in Jerusalem, which is near completion, and a second course in Hadera with approximately six months remaining. Each course averages approximately 25 participants. Another six courses are slated to start in the near future in various parts of the country and will also be reviewed by the firm selected for this task. In addition to the above goals, the selected firm will examine the courses themselves to see where improvements can be made.


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