The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption announced that 22,470 Israelis who were living outside of Israel returned to Israel in the past two and a half years. In May 2010 the Ministry initiated a campaign to bring back Israeli citizens living abroad. The campaign included a package of benefits to encourage their return including tax concessions, incentives for starting new businesses, as well as special benefits for students.
The majority of the returnees are between the ages of 31-39. Included in the group are 4837 academics and researchers, 2720 technical professionals such as engineers, programmers and high-tech workers, and 681 business managers. Most returned from the United States followed by Canada, England, France, Australia, Romania and Hungary.
Elad Sivan, spokesman for the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption explained the rationale behind spending government funds on this effort: “These citizens are very important for the state of Israel. For every shekel we invest in a returning immigrant, we get about 52 shekels back. Basically, no matter how much we invest in bringing them back, we only benefit from what they bring to the country with their professions for example. Especially in the present economic situation, every person returning, every scientist returning, every academic returning, every doctor, engineer or also teacher is contributing to the economy of the country.”
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