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President Rivlin praises Telfed its contribution to aliya

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In celebration of 70 years of service to the olim community, representatives from Telfed, the Israeli branch of the South African Zionist Federation, were honoured to meet President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s residence on 7 August 2018.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Aug 16, 2018

Quipping that as a Jerusalemite he never had the opportunity to make aliya, President Rivlin welcomed Telfed, acknowledging the vital role world Jewry plays, and the shared goals of Israel and the diaspora.

Telfed Chair Batya Shmukler spoke of the significance of Telfed’s origination during Israel’s War of Independence. Established in 1948 to support 804 machalniks who volunteered to fight in the war, Telfed continues to support olim to build a home in Israel, so that, in time, Israel will be strengthened through their unique contributions.

Chief Executive Dorron Kline explained the evolution of Telfed over the past 70 years to meet the changing needs of the olim community. Telfed currently assists about 500 new olim who arrive from Southern Africa and Australia each year.

In addition to absorption (klita) services, and pre and post-aliya support, financial and emotional assistance are provided to more than 400 needy olim each month, 400 scholarships are allocated annually, support is provided for lone soldiers, 105 apartments are rented to olim (at 30% below market value), employment counselling is offered, and a sense of community is instilled via more than 70 events each year around Israel.

Telfed relies on the generosity of its donors to provide such services. Past Telfed Chair Hertzel Katz, and Youth committee member Shiri Berzak spoke of Telfed’s history and future. For new olim, it is invaluable to have a network of people who understand the challenges they face.

President Rivlin noted that the South African community had always been highly regarded, having actively participated in the building of Israel. He praised those in attendance for having made aliya, emphasising that they were the real Zionists.

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