The process of moving across the world and starting a new life can be overwhelming. The good news is that people have been making Aliyah for a long time and you can rely on their collective wisdom to make the process smoother for yourself.
Items from the old country help us transition to feeling at home in Israel. One of the most commonly asked questions on our Facebook groups is, “what should I bring with me to Israel?” Old-timers who have come before you (even those who only have only arrived a few months ago) love to share their advice.
So, we’ve rounded up the 10 most suggested items you should bring or buy before moving to Israel on Aliyah. Yes, you can buy most of these things when you get here, but sometimes it’s just nice to have those familiar items so you’re not scrambling for them (and the words for them in Hebrew) in addition to getting all the other absorption stuff done.
Please note, prescription meds are not mentioned in the list below. These are must-haves, rather than small luxuries, and it is recommended you research your American prescription and its Israeli counterpart before you arrive. Bring at least a 3-month supply to ensure you are covered until you’ve found yourself a new doctor and new prescriptions.
10. Linens/sheets – especially if you are bringing your beds/mattresses as sizes may differ. Familiar sheets will also help your kids settle down to sleep more comfortably.
9. Shoes – until you familiarize yourselves with the styles here and figure out where the good sales are.
8. Toys and pacifiers for kids – these things are good to have on hand as you slowly stock up your home.
7. Electronics (smartphones & laptops) – just be sure you bring cables and chargers that work with the electricity in Israel.
6. Batteries – because remembering what they’re called in Hebrew might take a bit of time!
5. Band-Aids – in the first few weeks after landing it’s just easier to have your own stash as opposed to scrambling when junior gets the inevitable boo boo.
4. Trash bags – it will takes a bit of time to find a brand you’re used to. You can get Kirkland brand bags in certain stores here, so don’t bring too many extra boxes.
3. Cosmetics/Makeup/Skincare– you know what you like so bring what you’re used to until you figure out how it’s done here.
2. Over the counter meds (Advil, Children’s Tylenol, Tums, Neosporin, contact lens solution, Benadryl, etc.) – it’s important to know that anti-bacterial ointment is not sold here over the counter. Bring lots, and may you never need to use them. Labriyut.
1. Ziploc bags – Who would have thought that these would be the most popular items on the list? And why didn’t anyone mention chocolate? We’re gonna trust the collective wisdom of our Olim on this one.
So, there you have it. While moving anywhere can be tough, having a few necessities with you, before you learn the word for “batteries” (solelot – but you can get away with batariot), can be a life-saver.