by Rocio Fordham, Open Gates Coordinator
Our Gates Are Always Open
Recently the Open Gates Project at the Lighthouse Distribution Center welcomed new immigrants to Israel (making Aliyah) from a variety of countries from around the world including Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Mexico, Columbia, France and Belarus. Most were from the Former Soviet Union and a few from Europe and Central and South America.
Project Open Gates serves new Israeli immigrants in their first three years in the Land by providing them with:
High quality garments from the nations
A gift bag with new basic household items
Food vouchers which are given to large families
Open Gates Project: primarily assisting new immigrants, the elderly (pensioners, survivors and war veterans) as well as the needy from many walks of life.
Those who have been in the Land over three years may apply for one time financial assistance if they are having extreme financial hardship.
Students who are new in the land can receive a gift voucher for textbooks if they are enrolled and studying.
Two different English language classes operate each week for small groups of 10-12 people who are keen to learn English.
A wonderful team of staff members assists new immigrants when they visit the Open Gates Project at the Lighthouse Distribution Center. The Bridal Salon Project also operates from the Lighthouse Distribution Center.
Most immigrants are Russian speaking, although an increasing number are coming from Spanish-speaking countries and elsewhere.
In 2011, 17,500 new immigrants arrived in Israel. Since the Open Gates Project reopened in August 2011 there have been close to 4,000 visitors at the Lighthouse Distribution Center.
Your support with prayer and finances certainly makes a difference in the lives of many people in the land.
Thank you and God bless you all.
“I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 43:5, 6).