Former Mossad Chief Meets with Russian-Speaking Doctors Planning to Repatriate

Former Mossad Chief Meets with Russian-Speaking Doctors Planning to Repatriate

As part of the Masa Doctors program, a remarkable initiative that assists doctors in their transition into the Israeli health care system, a group of 85 medical professionals, originally from the former Soviet Union, paid a visit to the Intelligence Heritage Center (MALAM) located in Haifa. During this visit, they had the extraordinary opportunity to meet with Ephraim Ha-Levi, the former chief of Mossad. Ha-Levi is also the Chairman of the Board at the Trigubov Institute, an institution that provides support to Russian-speaking participants of Masa.

The Masa organization’s press service reported that this group of doctors had arrived in Israel approximately a month prior to the Iron Swords War. Despite the ongoing conflict, all but four of the participants chose to stay in the country, thereby associating their destinies with that of the State of Israel. However, in the midst of their intensive educational experiences, they carry within them a sense of worry about the situation unfolding in their adopted country.

It’s important to highlight that the ongoing war has led to an increased number of Masa Doctors participants wanting to join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) after finishing their program. This is contingent upon them obtaining citizenship and passing the qualifying exam. This desire showcases their commitment to contributing not just to Israel’s health care system, but to its security sector as well.

As part of the Masa ID project, which is supported by the Trigubov Institute, the young doctors visited MALAM and interacted with Ha-Levi. The former Mossad chief educated them about the crucial role and activities of Israeli intelligence. He underscored the fact that Israeli intelligence was not only concerned about national security but also about the safety of Jews in the Diaspora and within Israel itself.

Shalom Norman, the CEO of the Trigub Institute, spoke about the need to remember that while security is fundamental to the existence of the state, the essence of Israel lies in its capacity to welcome repatriated citizens.

Ofer Gutman, CEO of the Masa organization, emphasized the importance of programs like Masa Doctors. Gutman highlighted that the program offered more than just intense professional training to the young doctors. It also opened a window to Israeli society, its heritage, and its culture, thereby facilitating a more comprehensive integration process.

The Masa organization, founded by the Jewish Agency Sokhnut and the Israeli government, enables around 12,000 young Jews from 60 countries to come to Israel each year for long-term educational and volunteer programs. Participants in these programs receive training in various fields such as education, high-tech, and medicine. Furthermore, they enhance their Jewish self-identification and deepen their connection with Israel.

The Masa ID initiative provides young Jews from the former Soviet Union an opportunity to understand Israel through the perspective of their own role in Jewish history. More than 1,500 participants go through this program each year, and 95% of them eventually decide to immigrate to Israel and build their lives there. Participants undertake several seminars and visit historical sites pertinent to Zionist history, Judaism, and the Jewish people’s connection to their country as part of this program.