Penny Falko, 29, left her senior position in a global banking corporation in Hungary to make Aliyah
Thousands of young people from around the world every year leave family, friends, and careers behind to immigrate to Israel. This generation of “new” new immigrants arrive full of motivation and original ideas, but their successful integration into the Israeli economy can be challenging. The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Tech & The City program helps facilitate and ensure their success through Israel’s booming high-tech industry.
“I sent an urgent email to The Jewish Agency to start working on my paperwork. I did not care if I had a wonderful career and family and friends in Hungary — I was determined to make Aliyah,” she recalls. “When I announced my resignation, my employers did not understand why. My parents supported me, but like everyone else, they did not understand why I wanted to leave my wonderful life there.”
Upon immigrating, Penny’s first challenge was to find a job that suited her skills and experience. She initially lived in The Jewish Agency’s Ulpan Etzion, a residential study program which offers new immigrants from around the world intensive education in Hebrew. Eventually, she managed to find what she calls “the perfect job” in Jerusalem.
This year, Penny came full circle. Tasked with recruiting a new employee for her company, she asked The Jewish Agency if there were any suitable candidates from the Tech & The City program.
“I recruited a new immigrant — someone just like me,” she says.
Tech & The City is a five-month program geared for 22-35-year olds, motivated high-tech students and professionals with academic degrees. It includes an entrepreneurship course at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology which prepares participants to join Israel’s high-tech employment market; ulpan (intensive Hebrew language program); housing; adoptive families; and extracurricular activities. The program assists several dozen new immigrants to Israel every year.
The Jewish Agency’s data shows that many of today’s new immigrants to Israel come from careers in business, technology, engineering, and related fields. These are professions that strengthen the Israeli economy, and this generation of “new” new immigrants arrive in Israel full of motivation and original ideas.
“After I made the decision to immigrate to Israel, of course, the subject of employment was one of my main concerns,” says Yaniv Levy, 27, who made Aliyah a year ago from Ohio. “I knew how different it is in Israel than in the United States. Tech & The City connected me to engineers and gave me all the information I needed to succeed.”
by Jewish Agency Staff, The Jewish Agency for Israel