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Telfed in Demand!

Yael Strausz, Telfed's Employment Counsellor, in Cape Town (May 2018)

Firsthand information from those living in Israel was in high demand at the recent Aliyah Expos held in Johannesburg and Cape Town. With a team of Telfed experts, led by CEO Dorron Kline, future olim had a unique opportunity to gain insights into Aliyah, enabling them to make better-informed decisions. Dorron was accompanied by Ariela Siegel (Social Worker and Head of Aliyah and Klita), Daniela Shapira (Aliyah and Klita Advisor), Dafna Rosenfeld (Telfed's Property Manager) and Yael Strausz (Employment Counsellor). Telfed representatives noticed a spike in interest in Aliyah from Johannesburg, requiring them to keep their stand open for an extra two hours in order to meet the demand. Daniela Shapira from the Aliyah and Klita Department commented on the 'enthusiasm to obtain information'.

Ariela Siegel, the Head of Telfed's Aliyah and Klita Department, remarked on the 'impressive turnout', adding that she 'was excited to meet all and to have personal conversations. It felt as though people had a thirst for information and were very appreciative to have a Telfed presence at the Expo'. Ariela and Daniela both commented on the demographics of future olim, i.e. young singles, families, and people in their 60s, 'with everyone looking for a better future and hopeful that they will find it in Israel'.

Dorron Kline, Telfed CEO, remarked on the growing interest in people wishing to pursue their studies in Israel. Dorron said that in the SASI (South Africans Studying in Israel) programme, 'a new trend is the interest shown in attending the Mechina (pre-academic preparatory programme) at either Hebrew University or Bar Ilan University and then continuing with their studies in Hebrew. The special MASA grant ($9100) for South African students on a gap year in Israel ensures that the Mechina tuition fees are fully covered'. Dorron added that by choosing to study in Hebrew the number courses available to students is significantly larger, and that 'those who choose to study as a tourist (i.e. without making Aliyah) pay similar tuition fees to Israeli students (approximately R45 000 per year) for a 3-year Bachelor Degree'.

One of the attendees wrote to Telfed to express her gratitude for the helpful and practical information. She wrote that she 'really gained so much from it' and 'looks forward to seeing [the Telfed team] in Eretz Yisrael'. Telfed was excited to be in South Africa and to meet with our future olim.

The visit to South Africa was funded by a designated donation. Time spent with the members of the communities in Johannesburg and Cape Town ensured that Telfed staff gained insight into the South African Jewish community. This allows Telfed employees to better understand the needs of South African olim, what services are required and how to support them before, during and after Aliyah.



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