According to the decision of an "Israel ba-Aliya" parliament faction its chairman Marina Solodkina addressed Ariel Sharon and Minister of Finance Silvan Shalom with an official letter.
In the letter to Prime Minister she expresses a hope that, despite military actions, Prime Minister will find some time to discuss in conference a number of rather urgent questions, many citizens of the country - especially emigrants from the USSR-CIS - are worried about. First, it is necessary to discuss the question about granting an official status to close relatives of servicemen of the Israel Defense Army, who are not subject to homecoming according to the Law on Return. The draft law on this issue by the Knesset deputy Amnon Rubinstein had been thrice rejected by the legislation committee due to the opposition by Minister of Internal Affairs. Now there is a real danger that a further delay in solving this question may lead to decreasing of motivation and competitive spirit of soldiers-new repatriates.
The presidium of the chamber of statesmen of the Congress of Russian-speaking communities and organizations held its regular meeting. Knesset deputies, city mayors and deputies, representatives of six parties as well as non-party men took part in it. Alongside with organizational issues, they discussed an increase of a dollar rate and its negative influence on the life standard of socially non-protected layers of the population. They are now in a very difficult situation, particularly those pensioners who receive housing allowances from the Ministry of Construction. The matter is that the rate after which the allowances are calculated hasn't change since 1998 despite the fact that the dollar rate has increased by 25%. A decision to address the Head of the Government Ariel Sharon was caused by the stagnation of a social housing problem, and the demand to increase rent allowances.
If your school-leaving certificate is issued in a CIS country, you can't use it to enter an Israeli university. Repatriates should take a special course ("mekhina") to meet the demands of higher educational establishments in Israel. "Mekhina" is a university preparation department, where repatriates improve their knowledge of English, maths, history and study Hebrew. The course is 1-year long and is part of those three free of charge educational years students-repatriates are liable for. Some time ago the period was prolonged (from 1,5 to 3 years since the moment of arrival into the country), so that a repatriate could receive free education during this time. This led to the substantial increase in number of repatriates who study at the Israeli universities.
This was the subject to discuss during the meeting at the preparatory department of the Jewish University in Jerusalem. Nowadays, repatriates from 27 countries study here and a dominant majority of them are students from the CIS.