Tuesday, December 2, 2014

French Jews Receive Israeli Self-Defense Certifications Upon Aliyah

 Magen program participant, Simon Abouka.

When Jews makes Aliyah, Federation and our partners ensure they learn more than just Hebrew. Magen, a joint initiative of Federation’s partners at the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Beitar World Movement, and the World Zionist Organization, provides certifications in Israeli self-defense, as part of a comprehensive Israel immersion program for new immigrants.

Upon arrival in Israel, program participants at the Raanana Absorption Center undergo immersive Hebrew study, athletics, and self-defense courses at the Wingate Institute. The mission of the program is to instill self-confidence and self-defense in young Jews, which is exactly what it did for its most recent graduates – a group of thirty young Jews from France.

“The course is especially necessary at a time where there is a rise in anti-Semitic incidents and attacks on Jews worldwide,” remarked Yaakov Hagouel of the World Zionist Organization.

Recently, our on the ground partners at the Jewish Agency are seeing an influx of olim (people making Aliyah). The rise in Aliyah from the Jews of France is at the highest rate since the establishment of the state of Israel.

Ilana Medar, a program participant and new resident of Israel
One program participant, eighteen-year-old, Ilana Medar, described the Parisian atmosphere as filled with “palpable intolerance and a sense of fear.”

The program has been a great success, and its emphasis on self-defense continues help olim in a variety of ways. “Let there be no doubt,” say Jacques Kupfer, Director of Beitar France. “Jews must be able to protect themselves, wherever they are.”

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To learn more about our partners at the Jewish Agency visit their website.

To read the full article click here.


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