Inauguration of newly-refurbished apartments for Olim
With much joy and celebration, Telfed inaugurated its newly-refurbished building in Raanana.
The centrally located building houses 28 apartments specifically reserved for Southern African immigrants. The provision of affordable housing for Olim has long been a priority for Telfed and something which makes Telfed stand out from all other Olim organisations. Telfed Aliyah and Klita Advisor, Susan Sharon, said that “new Olim often report finding affordable housing in an appropriate location as one the primary stressors when embarking on Aliyah”. Telfed’s purpose-built buildings in Tel Aviv and Raanana, offer Olim a “softer landing” with competitive rental rates, encouraging a more successful Aliyah. “My family and I love living in the Telfed Building” stated a resident “with so many South Africans in the building, it feels like home away from home.”
Thirty five percent of rental income is used to cover building maintenance and running costs. The remaining 65% of income is allocated to Keren Telfed, a self-help fund “of the community, by the community, for the community”. Keren Telfed supports Telfed’s numerous charitable projects focused on enhancing the welfare of members of the Southern African community in Israel. Telfed’s services include, amongst others, providing immigration, absorption and employment guidance, study bursaries for Southern African youth, social welfare assistance to vulnerable families and encouragement of social projects.
The extensive renovation included the addition of eight new apartments as well as reinforcing the building against potential earthquake damage. Following the recent disaster in Nepal, Israeli experts have warned that a significant earthquake in Israel is “just a matter of time”. Israel has experienced a serious quake every 100 years or so, the last major one having occurred in July 1927. “The only way for us to prevent a disaster is to build properly” advises Seismologist, Dr. Avi Shapira. Telfed’s history of providing housing to Olim goes back to 1952 when the first Telfed hostel was built in Tel Aviv. The Raanana building went up in the 1970’s followed shortly by the second Givataim project. “Olim are primarily concerned with housing and employment” said Telfed CEO Dorron Kline.
At the inauguration ceremony, Raanana Mayor, Zeev Bielski, praised Telfed for its forethought, saying that he is frequently asked by other Olim organisations “how can we be more like Telfed?” to which he usually replies “to be more like Telfed, you need to have the kind of people and vision Telfed has”. Telfed planned ahead and saved funds for this renovation for over a decade, finally being able to provide a safer and more durable building for all its residents.