Reform in Immigrant Integration: The Move from Institutional Absorption to Direct Integration into the Community
Author: Elazar Leshem
August 16, 2007
The first of July 1990 represented a watershed date in the way in which immigrant absorption was dealt with in Israel. On that date, immigrants were no longer sent directly to “absorption centers” which were replete with immigrant services (except for Ethiopian immigrants).
New immigrants began what was called a “direct integration track” into the community. More than one million immigrants were dealt with in this way. This new track represented a privatization of the business of immigrant absorption and a major change in the policies relating to immigrant rights. The implications went beyond the organization or even ideology; the impact on culture and on the cultural integration of immigrants was significant. Reasons for the change – power struggles and windows of opportunity – are all discussed in this paper.
This paper appears as a chapter in the book Formulating Social Policy in Israel, Uri Aviram, Johnny Gal and Yosef Katan (editors).
This paper is in Hebrew only.