Shalom Life | October 31, 2014

Physicians from the Former Soviet Union to Ply Their Trade in Israel

Immigrant Doctors Part of Program to Counter Local Doctor Shortage

By: Joshua Berkman

Published: September 5th, 2012 in News » World

Physicians from the Former Soviet Union to Ply Their Trade in Israel

The Jewish Agency for Israel has facilitated the Aliyah of 40 young immigrant doctors from the former Soviet Union. These doctors will participate in a program, run jointly by the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Absorption, to fast track their integration into Israel’s medical system.

Currently, there are roughly 200 fewer doctors graduating from Israeli medical schools, per year, compared to the country’s needs. This program provides intensive Hebrew language instruction and licensing exam preparation. It is one of numerous Jewish Agency initiatives that allow highly-educated and professionally-trained immigrants to continue their careers in Israel with minimal delays. It also illustrates that, through a strong connection with Jews of the Diaspora, Israel can tap the vast pool of talent that exists in the global Jewish family.

At a welcome ceremony earlier this week, Natan Sharansky, The Jewish Agency’s Chairman of the Executive, said that the program - which currently assists 100 doctors, each year, from the former Soviet Union - will soon begin catering to doctors emigrating from Europe and North American immigrant doctors in addition to those from the former Soviet Union.

“When we expand the program to France and the United States, we will bridge the gap,” Sharansky said.

During their training period, these doctors and their families will live at Beit Canada in Ashdod, one of 22 Jewish Agency absorption centers that provide subsidized housing, Hebrew language instruction, educational services as well as cultural and social events to nearly 10,000 immigrants a year.
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