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Step-by-Step Overview the Aliyah Process & Planning

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Overview of the Aliyah Process

Step 1: Joint NBN and JA Application

Six to eight months before your estimated Aliyah date, begin your Aliyah paperwork by completing the appropriate application. 

Nefesh B’Nefesh offers an Aliyah application with two possibilities: Aliyah Services or Aliyah Services & Financial Aid. Financial aid is awarded on the basis of need, adequacy of Aliyah preparation, and likelihood of success.  As part of the application process, The Jewish Agency for Israel will request the following documents where relevant: birth certificate, passport, proof of Judaism letter, marriage/divorce certificates and name change certificates.  The application will be reviewed by all necessary government agencies, who may request additional documents based on your Aliyah status.

Once Nefesh B’Nefesh receives your application, you will receive a confirmation letter with a user name and password to allow you access to your personal web page. This page will allow you to track the status of your Aliyah file, including which documents have been received and those that are outstanding. The web page also offers the ability to upload documents and update information in your file.

Step 2: Interview with an Aliyah Shaliach

As part of the Aliyah process, an interview with your local Aliyah Shaliach (The Jewish Agency for Israel representative) will be required.  You will be asked to present all the aforementioned original documents (see above, step 1) which will be returned to you during your meeting.

If you are making Aliyah from the United Kingdom, the Shaliach will open a Tik Aliyah (Aliyah file) on your behalf.

For a listing of local Shlichim, click here.

Step 3: Approval for Aliyah

There is a separate acceptance process for Nefesh B’Nefesh and The Jewish Agency for Israel.  Your application will be reviewed by both organizations, and you will receive separate notification letters.

The Jewish Agency is the body responsible for authorizing Aliyah according to the Law of Return.  Nefesh B’Nefesh approval is necessary in order to obtain financial aid and Nefesh B’Nefesh services, including participation in group and charter Aliyah flights.

See here for a detailed outline of the process.  

Step 4: The Aliyah Flight

After all the preparations, don’t forget to enjoy your own Aliyah! Join a Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah flight, which is in and of itself, an unforgettable experience! Nefesh B’Nefesh is thrilled to welcome you as part of our growing family of Olim!

If a group or charter flight are not an option for you, you can arrange an individual Aliyah flight through Nefesh B'Nefesh. Please see Arranging Your Aliyah Flight: Flight Options & Upcoming NBN Flight Dates for more information on all flight options.

Nefesh B'Nefesh Services

Nefesh B’Nefesh services continue well beyond your actual Aliyah date, and we look forward to hearing from you. Once you arrive, we encourage you to take advantage of our Post Aliyah Guide to learn about the step-by-step process involved in the initial days and weeks after your arrival.  Please don’t hesitate to contact our Post-Aliyah coordinators who can assist you with the initial acclimation to your new home.

Nefesh B’Nefesh has a wide range of social events, activities, workshops and seminars for new Olim which are advertised on our online calendar as well as the Nefesh B'Nefesh Facebook group and email list. To subscribe to the Nefesh B'Nefesh email list, email nefeshbnefesh-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Questions about education, employment and bureaucratic issues can be addressed by our in-house experts who are available for personal consultations. They are ready to assist you with any challenges that may arise as you learn to navigate Israel. We look forward to working with you post Aliyah and again-Mazal Tov!

Overview of Aliyah Planning

Step 1: Research Your Aliyah

Researching your Aliyah is a crucial and imperative part of the Aliyah process. It is the point at which all your thoughts, ideas and possibilities become more grounded. One of the key steps involved in successful research is networking. Connecting with people via phone, email, facebook, linkedin, listservs etc, helps you to learn about, and gain contacts in, all areas of the Aliyah process that may be relevant to you such as employment, communities, healthcare and education. In addition, Nefesh B’Nefesh has developed a number of tools to assist you with your research:

  • Our online Aliyahpedia is a comprehensive resource providing information about all areas relating to a successful Aliyah. For example professional licensing, starting a business, finding the right schooling, Aliyah benefits, housing resources and healthcare options.
  • For a listing of communities in Israel, please see our Community Database.
  • For a listing of schools throughout Israel, please see our School Database.
  • For assistance and guidance regarding employment in Israel, please contact our Employment Department.
  • You may also address any Aliyah related questions and concerns to our professional staff of Pre-Aliyah advisors at the Nefesh B’Nefesh call center at 1-866-4-ALIYAH (toll free).
  • Nefesh B’Nefesh staff regularly travel to North America and the UK to run seminars and conduct personal Aliyah meetings. If you would like to register, please see our online calendar.
  • If you are in Israel, we invite you to schedule meetings with our Pre-Aliyah and Employment Departments by calling 02-659-5800.
Step 2: Focus on Family

It is important to remember that Aliyah for children can be a daunting and overwhelming process.  While it can be hard to focus on their feelings and emotions whilst so much is going on, we encourage families to dedicate time to making sure your children are aware that you are worrying first and foremost about their needs and welfare.  Be sure  to stress the positive aspects of your impending Aliyah along with the possible strains and pressures.  Our website includes many articles about preparing parents, children, and teens for Aliyah, including helpful tips and information about what to expect throughout the process.  For more information, click here.

Step 3: Take a Pilot Trip

Three to six months before your scheduled Aliyah date, we recommend taking a short pilot trip to Israel in order to network and see for yourself which communities, schools, housing and employment options are available, and which would be most suitable to your needs. During your pilot trip, you can expect to gain critical information that will help you make the decisions that are most conducive to your successful Aliyah.

If you are making Aliyah with children, keep in mind that school registration usually takes place during the winter months, so it may be wise to schedule your trip for then, if possible.

For more information on pilot trips, please see:

Whilst you are in Israel for your pilot trip, we encourage you to touch base with Nefesh B’Nefesh staff for additional guidance.

For easy access in English to businesses and services in Israel, please view www.huduyou.com.

Step 4: Finalizing a Practical Plan

After the bulk of the research, networking, pre-Aliyah meetings and pilot trip have been achieved, you will then need to move forward with making concrete plans. These final decisions regarding a community, a home, schools for your children (if relevant) and employment can be somewhat daunting.

Be in touch with Nefesh B’Nefesh for any advice or assistance you may need at this point. In addition, once you have decided, let us know which part of the country you will be headed to, so as to receive practical tips and important information about your new community.

Step 5: Shipping

We recommend that you send your lift approximately one month prior to your Aliyah, so that your shipment is scheduled to arrive soon after you do.  Shop around for the shipper offering you the best service at the best price.

Please see our online Shipping Guide for detailed information regarding planning your shipment.  Keep in mind that shipments are sometimes delayed; therefore, anything crucial–including original copies of your professional certification and licensing–should be taken as hand luggage on the plane.