Immigrants from North America arrive in Israel. (Yehuda Haim/Flash90) (Yehuda Haim/Flash90)
New immigrants to Israel.

Steps you can take to make your aliyah successful.

By Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel

The week’s Torah portion is “Lech-Lecha” (Genesis 12:1-17:27), where Israel and Zionism all begins.

God tells Abraham that it’s time to go to a better place: The Land of Israel. This is the place where the Jewish people belong. Although making Aliyah is both a vital Jewish and Zionist matter, it does not come easy.

Moving from one side of the world to another and from one culture to another is never smooth and flawless. A successful immigration takes continual work and effort (like a marriage!). There are going to be good days and bad days.

And when the bad days come, remember to focus on why you moved. Accept the inevitable challenges with a smile. Pretend a bad day at a bureaucratic office cleanses your sins and just accept the madhouse that usually unravels at such offices. Take it in stride.

If you are making Aliyah with kids, you MUST make sure that THEIR needs are met and taken care of. The younger your kids are when you make Aliyah, the easier your Aliyah will be.

Talk to your kids about your intended Aliyah and get their input. Make sure that the neighborhood you intend to move to is a good fit and that there are good schooling options nearby.

Take your kids on family trips once you arrive. Let them get to know their new country. You can go anywhere in the country in under six hours. Keep a good attitude and you’ll be fine.

Most olim (“those who make Aliyah”) get homesick. This is natural. So keep a connection with those you left behind. (Encourage them to make Aliyah too). With Zoom and WhatsApp you can call in live at any time for free.

When you feel you need help to plugging forward, don’t be shy to ask for accept help from others. There are no egos in Israel when it comes to such things. Israelis have a sincere altruistic person-to-person desire to help others — especially immigrants.

Speaking of help, there are charitable organizations in every city that help with everything from transportation to medicines, to baby goods, babysitting and much much more. These organization are called “Gemachs” and are found in so many different neighborhoods.

Finances and personal economic issues are real in Israel. Don’t come on Aliyah until you have a game plan on how you are going to make a living.

Getting a job in the mainstream Israeli workforce is a challenge largely due to the language barrier, not to mention getting the necessary degree/certification recognition based on the documents you come with. It takes years for one’s spoken Hebrew to be at conversational and especially business levels.

Many people nowadays are able to work remotely and can keep their jobs that they had back [in their old] home. This is certainly the preferred route to examine because a foreign salary in Israel goes farther than an Israeli salary in Israel. That’s just the way it is. And at the same time: budget, budget, budget.

Be sure to do lots of research before making Aliyah. I mean lots. Months and months of research. Make sure you know a bit about everything. Make sure your hand is on the pulse of what your life is likely to be. There are tons of resources online. You should do so much research before making Aliyah that you yourself could work as an Aliyah counsellor upon landing!

If you don’t yet live in Israel, please consider joining us! Remember what Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz: “There’s no place like home!”



Farmers near the Gaza border lost family, friends and workers. Spring is here, and they desperately need help to replant the farms. Join us in blessing the People and Land of Israel.

“I will ordain My blessing for you…” (Leviticus 25:4)