Israel beefing up immigrant payouts by NIS 170 million to boost wartime immigration

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

The government is allocating a package of NIS 170 million ($46 million) toward facilitating the absorption of immigrants who move to Israel under the Law of Return for Jews and their relatives.

The package, unveiled at a press conference in Jerusalem by Immigration and Absorption Minister Ofir Sofer and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, is earmarked to help new immigrants living in the Negev, the north and the West Bank access the approximately NIS 50,000 they are entitled to in rent aid over two years instead of five years.

Instead of receiving about NIS 800 in rent aid for five years, families that settle in a national priority area will be able to collect more than NIS 2,000 monthly for two years, Sofer says. For singles in national priority areas the sums jump from about NIS 400 per month for five years to over NIS 1,300 per month for two years, constituting a net increase of NIS 12,000 in rent aid.

Young immigrants who pursue a higher education in Israel are entitled to an extra NIS 1,500 a month to mitigate tuition and housing costs.

The package, Sofer and Smotrich say, is an attempt to leverage an increase in interest in several Western countries in moving to Israel since October 7. Hamas’s terrorist attack, which triggered a war, is leading to an explosion in antisemitic incidents throughout the West and widespread solidarity with Israel in Jewish communities globally.

Jewish Agency chairman Doron Almog, who is also at the press conference, says that the number of households that initiated the process to immigrate was up sharply in 2023. In France the number is 331% higher than in 2022, with a total of 1,533 files opened. In the United States, the 2,431 files opened represents an increase of 92%, while in the United Kingdom, there were 211 files opened last year, an increase of 42% year over year.

Most Popular