Getting Started and Planning Aliyah

Nefesh B’Nefesh provides you with support, guidance and resources whenever you decide to make Aliyah. Click on a link below to find the resources most relevant to you.

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    4 Important Investment Tips and Money Resources for U.S. Olim

    By Douglas Goldstein, CFP® Having helped Olim for almost 25 years with handling their U.S. investment and IRA accounts, I’ve assembled a list of some of the most common problems that they face. Along with that, I’ve made or found some great free money resources that have helped lots of them. The investment tips here […]

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    FREE E-BOOK: Aliyah Over 50 – A Guide for Empty Nesters & Retirees

    FREE E-BOOK: A growing number of North Americans and UK citizens over the age of 50 are choosing to spend longer spans of time in Israel. Some individuals seek to join their children who have already made Aliyah, while others come on their own to fulfill their dream of living in Israel. Download this is a short guide covering valuable resources as you begin to map out your move. #makeithome

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    General Tax Issues When Making Aliyah from Canada

    Becoming a non-resident of Canada will generally not affect your citizenship status in Canada. Canada does not typically ask people who become non-residents to give up their citizenship. However, your change in residency status will significantly change the manner in which you are taxed by Canada. How? For starters, Canadian residents are taxed on their worldwide income while non-residents are taxed only on their Canadian-source income.

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    Aliyah and Your Precious Metals

    The History of Gold and Silver in Israel Since Israel’s founding on May 14, 1948, there have never been any ownership or import restrictions placed on precious metals. More importantly, Israel has never once instituted any form of wealth confiscation of private assets such as precious metals; even during the hyper inflationary periods in the […]

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    Shipping Guide

    This guide provides an overview of importing household goods and personal belongings to Israel. While it is primarily designed to assist individuals who are Olim Chadashim, Katinim Chozrim and Ezrachim Olim, most of the guide will be helpful to anyone who is thinking of shipping goods to Israel.

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    Tel Aviv Community and Religious Life

    Tel Aviv is known to be a secular city, but it also includes a mixed religious population with synagogues, communities and social organizations of every denomination. The following synagogues may appeal to you. Remember, there are many options! The Tel Aviv Community Kabbalat Shabbat Internationals, Israelis, and many Jewish organizations coming together to create welcoming […]

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    Making Aliyah and Juggling Debt, Loans or a Mortgage

    Living in Israel is awesome – and for many people it is a true dream come true. To make the dream of living in Israel a reality, there are many practical steps that one must take to ensure successful absorption into Israeli society. From my experience, having proper expectations is one of the key ingredients to a successful Aliyah.

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    FAQ

    The Application Process | Applying Online | Aliyah Rights & Benefits | Israeli Documentation | Health Coverage | Communities & Schools | Finding a Home | Financial Planning | Studying Hebrew |Employment The Application Process I recently decided that I want to make Aliyah. What is the next step? Congratulations on your decision! If you are interested in […]

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    Building Community – A Guide for Singles

    Building your community and developing a new social network is an inherent part of the Aliyah process. You can stay connected to other Olim by joining the Nefesh B’Nefesh group on Facebook. The group is open to NBN applicants and Olim, allowing you to network and connect while sharing your experiences and getting valuable updates on NBN news and events.

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    Students

    Considering getting a degree in Israel? The following articles will help you find the best degree programs and schools available in Israel, fill you in on the application process, tuition and scholarship benefits as well as other important information related to higher education in Israel.  

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    Preparing Your Children (and Yourself) for Their Aliyah

    My seven year old was thrilled when we told him we were making Aliyah- the date of our move couldn’t come soon enough. He said goodbye to friends and family without a hitch, he kept telling them we were the lucky ones. Now that we’re here, it’s like a nightmare. He cries every morning, refuses […]

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    Families

    Considering moving to Israel with your family? We have broken down the experience into digestible categories to help make the transition as smooth as possible. The following articles offer helpful advice regarding the application process, preparation and packing tips, navigating the Israeli school system, and choosing the most appropriate community for your family.  

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    Retirees

    A growing number of North Americans are choosing to spend their retirement years in Israel. The articles below offer a detailed description of the Aliyah process and important resources regarding tax and financial planning, health care benefits, and how to build a comfortable social circle.  

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    Young Professionals

    Israel is an incredible and dynamic platform for young people to grow personally and professionally. This section includes helpful resources regarding setting up your own business, finding employment and volunteer opportunities. You can also find information about dating and social activities as well guidance on finding the best community for you.  

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    Neighborhoods & Communities: Guide for Singles

    Most popular destinations for singles are Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa, with interest in Be’er Sheva growing as transportation, employment and educational opportunities are expanding. Apartment rentals in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv tend to range from $300 (shared) to $900 (single). Thank you to Nechama Abramoff, Eyal Raviv and Leora Sonnenblick for their contributions to […]

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    Realistic Expectations

    Real World Aliyah 101 or Realistic Expectations Everyone warned me that the first six months after making Aliyah would be terrible- I’d be miserable missing my old community, family and friends and dealing with “rude” Israelis. Now that I’m here though, I feel completely at peace- like I’ve finally come home. Is there something wrong […]

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    Planning Your Retirement

    A large and growing number of senior citizens are choosing to spend their retirement years in Israel. Some individuals want to join their children who have already made Aliyah, while others come on their own to fulfill a dream of living in Israel. Today, retirement to Israel is a viable option. Nefesh B’Nefesh offers you […]

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    Helping You Settle In – NBN Post-Aliyah Department

    For most Olim, Post-Aliyah challenges center on one area: integration. Integration into new Israeli communities, integration into the Israeli work culture, integration for children into the Israeli school system – in short, integration into the fabric of Israeli society.   Related Articles Realistic Expectations | Aliyah and Your Marriage | Preparing Your Children Olim discuss security […]

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    Teens and the IDF

    An email was received by Nefesh B’Nefesh from a potential Oleh who wants to make Aliyah in the summer with all of his family, except for his 15 year old son (who is planning on coming on tourist status). The following is an update about the implications of such, in terms of future Aliyah and Army service.

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    Aliyah and Your Marriage

    Relocating. Changing jobs. Packing and moving. What do they all have in common? Beside for being major life changes, they are also among the three top stresses a marriage can experience. Making Aliyah involves all three- and that’s only the beginning. It’s no wonder then that many marriages suffer under the strain of changes brought […]

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    Talking to Kids about Terror

      Talking to Kids about Terror Benji Gabler, BSW MSc One of the most uncomfortable feelings as a parent is one in which we feel and/or we are practically limited in our ability to provide safety and security for our children. Most people protect their children especially the younger ones from revealing how or what […]

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    Job Searching as a Senior

    Olim of retirement age often face special challenges when arriving in Israel and beginning their job search. Although the job market is open to everyone, many employers are reluctant to hire older candidates, even those who arrive with the relevant qualifications. As a result, a working senior can find it challenging to integrate into the […]

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    Shipping Guide KEF

    Online Resources For information about choosing a good moving company, see www.movingscam.com. For the Israel Tax Authority’s Guide to Customs, click here. Planning Your Shipment Guest Contributor: Neil Kummer  Shipping Less Than Full Container Loads: Consolitation in Creates and Palletes There are two ways to ship household goods on boats: in full container loads and […]

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    Social Resources for Singles

    The resources listed below reflect the experiences of thousands of individuals who have networked, “schmoozed” and experimented with Aliyah, and found that they could integrate successfully and happily into Israeli life. At the crossroads of continents and connected by technology and travel, Israel offers a vibrant and diverse place to build a social and professional […]

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    The Challenges Faced By Mature Olim

    Under the best of circumstances, making Aliyah is a complicated and emotional matter, fraught with the challenges of uprooting from one’s home, integrating into a new society, finding work and making new friends. The Aliyah of “mature Olim”, those roughly between the ages of 50-65, carries with it unique concerns and pressures that are important […]

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    Dating Resources

    The following sites provide information about online dating services and matchmakers (shadchanim) in Israel. Online Dating Sites: www.sawyouatsinai.com – This is a free dating site. Here’s how it works: You select a matchmaker who searches for suitable matches on your behalf. The site respects your privacy by ensuring that you are not able to see other members’ profiles on the site. The […]

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    Top Ten Considerations Before Making Aliyah With A Teen

    If you’re planning Aliyah with a teenager, here are some ideas and suggestions to keep in mind: Your child may or may not want to make Aliyah. Some parents make the decision to make Aliyah without speaking to their teens. Research proves that teens integrate into Israeli teen culture better when they know well in […]

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    Resources: Assistance for the Elderly

    The following organizations provide assistance for the elderly in Israel: Eshel: JDC-ESHEL strives to improve the status of the elderly population in Israel, developing conditions and services to guarantee better quality of life for the elderly, and to improve the image of older people to society as a whole. Programs include homes, daycare centers, employment […]

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    The Family Challenge of Aliyah

    By Caroline HaCohen, educational psychologist Moving home is a major “life-event”, and the challenge of moving far away, when making aliyah, adds extra stress. It is often especially difficult for the younger members of the family. Together with all the excitement, it may be a challenge to keep the family stable during the long period […]

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    Social Security Information

    As a US citizen, you may be concerned about working in Israel if you have taken early retirement or wondering how to have your social security check deposited into your Israeli bank account. Please refer to the following websites for comprehensive information: US Consulate FAQs Social Security – Retirement (see living outside the US) The office […]

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    Retirement Centers

    The AACI (Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel) has a thorough listing of retirement centers throughout Israel which can be accessed here:  AACI – Retirement and Nursing Homes and Services in Israel.  As well, you can email info@aaci.org.il for more information. For an additional listing, see www.retirementhomes.com.  

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    Retirement Consultants

    Retirement consultants offer assistance in identifying living solutions for the elderly, whether in a Beit Avot (old age home), independent senior living center, Diur Mugan (assisted living facility) or Teshushai Nefesh (mentally frail facility). As part of their services, they offer the following kinds of assistance: Provide information on benefits that may be available to […]

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    Fun with Kids in Israel

    If you’re looking for fun activities to do with kids, these sites can get you started. NBN’s Activities for Children NBN offers family-oriented activities for Olim of all ages during the summer and throughout the year. Please see our Online Calendar for details. In Jerusalem Check out Joanna Shebson’s excellent blog on fun events for kids […]

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    Juggling Work and Family

    Israeli society expects and, to a certain extent, supports the concept of a 2-income family. Tax laws specifically encourage mothers to be in the work force, since mothers (and not fathers) receive significant tax breaks in the form of tax credits per child.  Employment laws such as government-mandated and government-subsidized Chufshat Leidah (maternity leave) and […]

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    Importing Goods by Postal Packages

    As an Oleh who is entitled to customs benefits, you may consider a postal package containing household items only as one of the 3 shipments exempted from taxes.  A mail package containing only clothing and footwear items that was sent to Israel prior to Aliyah entry date – will be exempt of taxes and will […]

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    Real Estate Investing in Israel

    Depending on your stage in life and financial situation, you may well have already looked at, or become involved in the real estate market in Israel prior to making Aliyah. However, even if it is something you never considered, it will become very relevant to you upon arrival as you consider purchasing a home here.

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    Resources for LGBT English-speakers

    Awaiting LGBTQ Olim is a rich and diverse lifestyle. Israel offers a wellspring of resources, groups, organizations and events throughout the year across the country. Below are some of the nationwide resources available to English-speaking Olim:   NATIONWIDE Resources: LGBT Olim An Israel-wide online community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who have moved […]

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    UK Inheritance Tax and QNUPS

    UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) is usually paid on an estate when somebody dies. It’s also sometimes payable on trusts or gifts made during someone’s lifetime. The Inheritance Tax threshold (or ‘nil rate band’) is the amount up to which an estate will have no Inheritance Tax to pay.  

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    Israeli Trust Law

    What is a Trust? Someone (Grantor/Settlor) can create a trust by signing a trust deed in which he transfers legal title of his assets to a trustee, whom he designates in the trust deed. The trustee, while having legal title to the assets, has no beneficial entitlement from the assets. The trust deed names beneficiaries, who do not have legal title to the assets, but are able to enjoy the income and the assets in accordance with the terms and conditions under the trust deed.

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    US Tax Compliance

    Thank you to Avraham Deutsch’s office for authoring this article. US Tax Compliance-General Guidelines US citizens and residents living in Israel or another country abroad are still liable to file US tax returns and report worldwide income. In addition, all US citizens and residents are liable to report their foreign bank accounts balances  on an […]

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    When to Convert Your Foreign Currency in Shekels

    If you are about to realize your dream of Aliyah – Mazal Tov!  It is an amazing and huge step that hopefully will add much happiness and meaning to your life. But with all the practical, immediate details that you are finalizing now, you also need to consider the longer-term financial ramifications of switching countries – and currencies – to ensure your continued financial stability.

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    A Guide to Navigating the Israeli Banking System – Some Practical Tips

    Guest Contributor: Gershon Kayman, Esq. Adapting to a new country includes adjusting to that country’s banking system. Since banking is a necessary and regular part of life, it is important to have an understanding of the Israeli banking system prior to Aliyah. Banking in Israel is different to banking in other western countries. Although Israel is a […]

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    Money Changers in Israel: Are They Safe?

    It is not unheard of for people to lose their money to money changers. Some may wonder how that is possible if a customer just walks into a money changer with cash of one currency in exchange for the cash of another currency. Truth be told, there is really no risk to the customer if a customer merely changes cash for cash, absent counterfeit money and/or unfair rates.

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    How I Saved 3600 NIS in 40 Minutes

    Thank you to Talia Klein Perez for this article. Talia can be found on Twitter or at her blog, Daughter of Cancer. This post appeared originally on Facebook, along with a Hebrew translation. Over the last year, our government passed laws that favor consumers, mainly canceling the high fines we have had to pay to leave one service provider for […]

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    Money Changers in Israel: Are They Safe?

    Guest Contributor: Gershon Kayman, Esq. It is not unheard of for people to lose their money to money changers. Some may wonder how that is possible if a customer just walks into a money changer with cash of one currency in exchange for the cash of another currency. Truth be told, there is really no […]

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    Commercial Imports

    Olim and Toshavim Chozrim are entitled to import equipment for opening a business, for a period of three years after their Aliyah. Machinery, appliances, and tools intended for the Oleh to establish a business in an approved industry are exempt from taxes. The exemption is subject to the following terms: The total value of all […]

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    Planning a Pilot Trip

    Your successful Aliyah requires a tremendous amount of planning and research, and the more you know in advance, the more likely you are to plan effectively and create a positive experience for yourself and your family. A pilot trip is an essential step in learning what your options are and making the best possible Aliyah decisions. […]

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    Saving Money by Buying in Israel – Online

    If you’re new to the Israeli retail scene, it is worth becoming acquainted with the Israeli online shopping sites which offer significant discounts on a wide range of new (and discounted) and used products. These sites have become increasingly popular in Israel: One of the most frequently visited sites, www.homeless.co.il, had about 100,000 hits a […]

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    Shipping Musical Instruments

    Here are some recommendations for shipping musical instruments to Israel: Ship your favorite, truly necessary gear to Israel, and sell the rest before you come. If you can afford to upgrade your gear, physically small items are preferable, as space may be at a premium in your new Israeli home. There is some risk involved […]

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    Importing Computers, Phones, TVs and Other Electronic Devices

    Thank you very much to Jonah Wolf, Digital Consultant, for preparing this article. You can contact Jonah at jonah@voolf.com. The following advice can help you assess which appliances you should (and should not) bring with you to Israel. Please note: Nefesh B’Nefesh does not take responsibility or endorse the information presented here. Please consult with a professional […]

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    Shipping Books from the U.S. and Canada

    If you’re making Aliyah from North America, here are two ways to ship books. From the US: United Parcel Service For international shipping fees, please click this link for more information. From Canada: International Parcel with Canada Post Aliyah Tip Pack your boxes very tightly and seal them well! Boxes go through some wear and tear during the […]

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    Money Transfer and Currency Conversion

    A Word of Caution: Money changers are subject to regulations set forth by the Israeli government for currency conversion and accepting money deposits. Please be sure to thoroughly check the credentials of any financial service provider before changing money or arranging bank transfers, and be aware of any risks involved.  Transferring money to Israel and […]