Almost half of the Bnei Menashe community is already living in Israel, but their social, financial & education integration into the country has not been simple. Many require help on their long journey to become full-fledged Israeli citizens.
About 2000 Bnei Menashe members, who have been coming since the early 1990s, live in Israel. All enter Israel as non-Jews and are not entitled to government assistance. They must go through an orthodox conversion which can last more than a year, to qualify for Israeli citizenship.
A vast majority takes up minimum wage jobs and works long and odd hours just to make ends meet. There is very little time or money, if at all, for children or their extracurricular activities and lesser still, to study for educational and professional advancement.
The community faces serious social challenges adjusting to the Israeli society and overcoming the generation gap, which has predictably widened between the children, who are overtly much more Israeli than their parents. At particular risk are the children/youth, who are caught in cultural dissonance: lured by the materialistic, secular, technological worlds of their peers, yet are part of their parents’ deeply committed religious Jewish lifestyle.
Acting to raise awareness of the needs of the community and to raise funds to implement social and educational programs;
Providing the children/youth with stimulation and encouragement to improve their educational and vocational standing;
Increasing the number of Bnei Menashe young adults who complete their matriculation studies;
Increasing the number of Bnei Menashe young adults who obtain vocational or academic degrees;
Increasing the number of Bnei Menashe young adults who enter the work force in middle class positions, earning salaries that enable to decently provide for their families;
Improving a positive sense of self appreciation, and preventing the need for marginal behavior in order to “fit in”;
Preventing the development of a marginal sub-sector in the country; and
Ensuring the full social integration of the Bnei Menashe community into the Israeli society.