Making Aliyah is difficult to say the least. Yet, people do manage despite the system. Some of those who managed wish to offer those in the process or not yet in the process some advice as to what needs to be done before making The Move. You will note that we did not write in when to do each item. This is because people work in different ways and at different paces. When we felt the timing factor was necessary we did include it.
Note: If there is anyone out there who is reading this document and has anything to add or change based on personal experiences, please write to us and let us know!
Every day. Everybody. In any way. At any cost.
Some options of how to go about this:
- Ulpan (in Israel or abroad - check your local Jewish Federation or Aliyah Center).
- Buy Hebrew newspapers and read them (don't just let them collect dust...)
- Hebrew learning software or audio tapes
- Short Wave radio - listen to the authentic Israel news - you know, Kol Yisrael. (There are also some web sites which broadcast it - Radio Tel Aviv, Radius, Emtza Haderech (Middle Road), Radio Chazak)
- Find an Israel friend or acquaintance who will put up with speaking with you only in Hebrew for a specified amount of time.
Prep for Aliyah Process
Make passport size pictures - preferably 10-12 per member of family. Always have them on hand when visiting any official office.
Copies should be made of all important documents. It is advised to put each category into a separate clear nylon envelope and all of them into a folder. Do not keep the copies and the originals together. Remember that some of your documents such professional docs must be showed in the original. Do not put them in your lift. Below is a list of some of the documents you will need:
- Marriage license
- Your ketubah or your Parents' ketubah
- Conversion certificate (teuda gerut) [if applicable]
- All birth certificates
- Driver's license - make sure it's up-to-date
- All major financial dealings i.e. stocks etc.
- Professional licenses - make sure they are up-to-date
- Diplomas and advanced training certificates
- Letters of recommendation and records of professional employment (to be used for seniority - vetek requests)
- Proof of lack of insurance claims (sometimes you can get a discount)
- Medical/ dental documentation - for the army and doctors. (This should include tests and
- eva luations such as given for a child who may have learning difficulties.)
- High school transcripts - if one of your parents is Israeli
- College transcripts - if you are in the medical fields or if you wish to do an additional degree in the future
Abroad (through a Jewish Agency Shaliach)
- Open file minimum 6 months ahead of time, especially if you decide to go to an Absorption center.
- Join Aliyah movement or "chug" such as Tehilla, AACI, or British/Australian/South African Olim Society if one exists by you.
- Confirm Merkaz Klita (Absorption Center) arrangement.
- Begin to look into private rental if you are on a "direct absorption" track.
- Take pilot trip if this is an option for you.
- Try to confirm rental agreement.
- Take copy of "proof of being Jewish" from the shaliach make sure it is stamped "true to the original." You sometimes need this for the Ministry of Interior.
- Finish Sochnut (Jewish Agency) paperwork.
- Arrange plane fare and date at least two months in advance.
- Arrange visas (through the local Israeli Consulate). Make sure you are getting the visa you asked for.
- Shop and then some more.
- Pack up your household items (see the rest of this document).
Aliyah from within Israel
- Go to Misrad Hapnim with pictures, passport, and proof of being Jewish
- Return after a month and have your passport stamped. Apply for teudat Zehut and Teudat Maavar (temporary travel document) if you plan to travel.
- Go to Misrad Klitah to get your teudat oleh.
- Arrange Kupat Cholim.
- Sign up for Ulpan and/or at Lishkat Avodah for retraining or employment counselling.
- Convert your driver's license.
- Sign up at Bituach Leumi (National Insurance).
Remember: Most Israeli companies are wary of hiring anyone who is not already here
- Redo your Resume. If you are looking for slightly different fields have at least two or three resumes available. If you will be looking in the public sector, have your resume also in Hebrew.
- Arrange letters of recommendation from previous employers (only if they are positive!).
- Search (Newspapers, email lists, aliyah movements or organizations, job search web sites).
- Write to companies. Include cover letter and appropriate resume. If you are abroad, include your date of expected arrival.
- If possible, arrange a pilot trip if you are abroad.
Movers - Lift - Appliances - Furniture, Etc...
- Begin research for a shipping company (Shaliach, email lists, aliyah movements, local Jewish news)
- Negotiate/choose shipper: Include price, delivery (door or port options, what floor, etc.) and free storage prior to shipping.
- Begin to list the appliances, furniture, and assorted items you may need.
- Decide where you are buying the items (comparison shopping).
- Start shopping - the big items should be sent directly to the shipping company. Remember that because the merchandise is leaving the country, you are exempt from local sales tax in the US.)
- Decide on approximate date of delivery.
- Begin packing - not too early or you will go nuts with all the boxes. Consider option of having the movers do the packing for you.
- Keep your itemized inventory in a note book. Photocopy records.
- Organize and record boxes: Color coding works well.
- Keep copy of the bill of lading and insurance in a safe place.
- Reservations and tickets either directly or through shaliach if it's an aliyah flight.
- Get good luggage or boxes.
- Separate flying stuff from stuff being shipped.
- Sell / Give leave notice.
- Insurance and bills refunds.
- Mail forwarded to new address if you know it.
- Close bills (gas, phone, cellular, electricity, water).
Accounts Old Country
- Social Security
- Insurance (car/home/life/medical)
- Sales tax / VAT for exported appliances.
- Work (salary/options/expenses/etc...)
From all those who owe you some in the old country. Once you leave, it will be very difficult to collect.
Sell Old Stuff
- Appliances, furniture, household goods. Options include: "Garage sale," newspaper ads, word-of-mouth, especially through friends or work colleagues.
- Give away the rest.
- Say goodbye to everybody (meet, call, or at least write).
- Arrange yourself (or have someone arrange for you) a going-on-aliyah-party. That way, you can say goodbye to a bunch of people at once.
- Get phone numbers / addresses / email.