Being Jewish occasionally has its privileges, and today Reuters uncovers a lesser-known one: subsidized living in Israel. According to the news service, increasing numbers of unemployed American Jews are traveling to the Jewish state to take advantage of government-backed and private programs designed to assist prospective new immigrants, many of which offer free housing, Hebrew classes, and a few months of respite from the strain of job-seeking at home. (Ironically, perhaps, many of them are funded by American Jewish organizations.) MASA, one of the biggest promoters of aliyah, said it had quadrupled participation in its programs after running a “Better Stimulus Package” campaign, but most of the people Reuters spoke to said they had no plans to actually stay once the freebies run out—except, that is, for one guy from Los Angeles, Adam Hecht, who said he might change his mind, with the right incentives: “I could immigrate,” the 25-year-old said, “if I could find my future wife here.”

U.S. Jews Turn to Israel to Escape Bleak Job Market [Reuters]