The Council’s activities
The Council of Immigrant Associations arranges a wide range of ongoing activities for anything relevant connected with promoting matters involving immigration and absorption whose correct handling, the Council feels, is not only a vital condition for promoting the welfare of so many new immigrants, but primarily a proven investment in the continued development and achievement of all Israeli society.
The Council serves as a lobby representing 22 immigrant associations that are active in Israel before government offices, Knesset committees, the Zionist Federation, the Jewish Agency, local authorities, etc. Over recent years, the Council has expanded its information activities on immigration and absorption topics for additional target populations such as financial institutions, educational establishments and public opinion leaders, fund managers in Israel and abroad, among others.
Protecting immigrants’ rights
The Council protects the rights of immigrants and endeavours to extract the most out of resources available for improving the tools to promote their swift and successful integration into Israeli society.
Coordinating activities and setting priorities
The Council coordinates the activities of the immigrant associations while setting priorities and placing emphases in light of an ever changing reality both in Israel and in the Diaspora. The mass immigration at the time of the break-up of the Soviet Union during the 1990s, the large waves of immigration from South America and France who came to Israel at the beginning of the present decade, or the absorption difficulties experienced by the immigrants from Ethiopia, are real examples for the need for a flexible yet constant preparedness on the part of the country’s authorities and immigrants associations in anything connected with setting priorities, coordinating activities and allocating suitable resources.
Partnership initiatives and maximising resources
The Council of Immigrant Associations initiates and nurtures partnerships between its members and government and public bodies in promoting immigrant welfare projects while making them aware of the need to maximise resources and to exploit synergic benefits that are expressed through such concomitant cooperation. As a result of this policy, the Council has succeeded in promoting excellent initiatives for the benefit of sectors of immigrants who, in the past, have been neglected, such as businessman and artists. The establishment of the Israel Business Connection under the auspices of and in partnership with the Ministry of Absorption and the Jewish Agency constitutes one of the Council’s most outstanding achievements in this context.
Supporting absorption coordinators
The main professional work in everything connected with the providing of advice and orientation for immigrants from the moment of their arrival in Israel, is undertaken by the immigration coordinators of the various immigrant associations. This involves hard and demanding work that necessitates an ability to listen, patience, experience and broad up-to-date knowledge of all aspects connected with immigrant absorption: entitlements to assistance, benefits and rights on various subjects such as employment, education, housing, pension arrangements, health services, etc. Awareness of the crucial importance of the role that the absorption coordinators undertake, the Council of Immigrant Associations provides a wide range of activities intended to assist, support and improve their performance. For this purpose, the Council organises study days and professional seminars for the absorption coordinators, it keeps in constant touch with them to keep them updated, through various means including the Council’s web site, about any changes or innovations that may be connected with their everyday work.