Disclaimer: Misrad Habriut regulations are subject to change without advance notice and are constantly changing. For the most current information regarding licensing procedures, please see theMisrad Habriut site. Nefesh B’Nefesh does not take responsibility for inaccuracies on the site or changes to the law.
For direct links to the physical therapy licensing pages on the Misrad Habriut site, please see: Misrad Habriut Licensing for Health Professions (Links)
There is a demand for Physical Therapists in Israel. Physical therapists are employed in Health Funds (Kupot Cholim), hospitals, clinics, old age homes, child development centers, special-ed schools, etc.
Anyone applying to Misrad Habriut for licensing as a physical therapist is required to take an exam in order to be licensed in Israel. The exam can be taken in English as well.
(This site provides practice questions (for a fee) that help dietitians prepare for the licensing exams. )
Misrad Haklita offers a reimbursement (up to 500 NIS) for Olim who took the governmental licensing exam for medical professionals. Your eligibility lasts for 10 years from your date of Aliyah. The reimbursement is ONLY given retroactively and will be paid back ONLY after submitting the receipt for your exam to your local Misrad Haklita office. Please contact your local Misrad Haklita office for more information.
Please note: It is now possible to apply to the Ministry of Health Pre Aliyah. It is also possible to take the licensing exam as a tourist. For more information, please see the following article: Start your Licensing Before Aliyah.
In order to take this licensing exam you must read through and sign this document: Declaration to Sign Before Taking Exam in PT on a Tourist Visa
The cost of the exam is 354 NIS.
Misrad Haklita offers a reimbursement (up to 500 NIS) for Olim who took the governmental licensing exam for physicians. Your eligibility lasts for 10 years from your date of Aliyah. The reimbursement is ONLY given retroactively and will be paid back ONLY after submitting the receipt for your exam to your local Misrad Haklita office. Please contact your local Misrad Haklita office for more information.
Please note: if you didn’t participate in a Misrad Haklita preparation course for the governmental licensing exam, you may be entitled to a reimbursement for 2 exams (if needed).
Misrad Habriut now offers a new customer call center to answer questions about licensing for health care professionals. Call *5400 from Israel or 972-8-6241010 from abroad. The center operates Sunday through Thursday, 8am-6pm, and Fridays from 8am-1pm, Israel time.
Local Misrad habriut offices are no longer open. All applicants should submit all of your licensing documentation to Misrad Habriut via registered mail to: Licensing department, Ministry of Health, Yermiyahu 39, Jerusalem, 9446724.
Graduates who completed recognized academic degree programs in physical therapy, in an institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education in Israel or in an institution abroad that is recognized by the Council, can submit a request for a professional license from the Ministry of Health.
The following documents must be included with the request:
- 2 passport pictures.
- A copy of your Teudat Zehut, including the Sefach, the appendix with your address. If you are applying pre-Aliyah, please submit a copy of your current passport with your application toMisrad Habriut.
- Final diploma or a certificate from the university indicating completion of studies, fulfillment of all of the university’s requirements and eligibility for a diploma in the relevant field, which will be granted at a specified date – *Required verification (see below).
- Official certification indicating the start and end date of studies – *Required verification (see below).
- Official certification of an internship (“stage”) indicating the number of hours that you completed.PTs must have completed at least 960 hours of internship.The greater the number of hours considered as part of your internship, the more likely it is that your licensing process will proceed smoothly. (If you did not complete an internship, please provide official certification aboutsupervised work done in the field abroad, with a valid license, for at least one year.) – *Required verification (see below).
- Official certifications of work experience, from the relevant medical institutions, indicating the start and end date of work in each institution.
- Valid license – *Required verification (see below).
- Professional letter of good standing from the board of the state in which one is licensed. The letter confirms that there are no, and have not been any, disciplinary, negligence or professional ethics complaints against the physician. (This letter is issued from the board of the state in which one is licensed. If it is sent directly to Misrad Habriut from the board it does not have to be translated and notarized. Please ensure in this case, that the letter is sent only once the rest of the documents have been received by the Misrad Habriut.) Alternatively, You may have the letter of good standing sent to you. If you leave it in the sealed envelope- you can add it to the rest of the documents that you send in to the MOH- and you do not need to notarize and translate it. It may be a good idea to ask the board for a copy of the letter- just to have. Physicians from the UK should ask for a letter of good standing to be sent by registered mail from the GMC directly to Misrad Habriut (the GMC will only mail it directly, and this is the only way to guarantee its arrival). Physicians from Montreal should obtain the letter from the College des Medicines du Quebec.
- An application form – Medical Licensing – Questionnaire.
- An application requesting to be tested in PT.
- Documentation indicating a name change, where relevant.
*For the documents which require verification, you have 3 verification options:
- Verified with an apostille after having the original document notarized (recommended).
- Bring it to an ISRAELI notary and have them notarize it.
- A verified copy (אימות העתק, Imut He’etek) at the Israeli consulate.
All documents must be submitted in two copies. You must submit the verified copy plus an additional photocopy of the original document. Always keep the originals for yourself, as well as a photocopy of the verified document.
Please Note: As of now, the Israeli Ministry of Health does not recognize online degrees.
It should also be noted that some of the documents listed above are only valid for one year from their issuing date. If you have not submitted your Teudat Zehut (ID) within a year from opening your file with the Misrad Habriut, you may be required to present valid, re-issued documents in order to request your temporary license.
To receive the permanent license, you must submit all of your translated and notarized documents toMisrad Habriut. Misrad Habriut will then send you a permission form allowing you to take the licensing exam. Once you pass the exam you should receive your license in the mail. You may pay for your license online: Misrad Habriut Online Payment.
Misrad Habriut does not send a reminder indicating that your licensing is going to expire soon. As soon as you receive your license, please mark your calendar 12 weeks before the expiration date so that you can receive your renewed license before the old one expires.
One way to begin looking for work is to directly contact your local health funds or local hospitals and speak to the department head of Physical Therapy.
It is also possible to turn to the government employment bureau for academics, known as the Bureau for the Placement of Professionals (Lishka Le Ta’asukat Acadama’im). In Jerusalem, go to:
21 Rechov Yaffo (opposite Safra Square), Jerusalem
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, 8:30 – 11:30 AM and 12:30 – 2:30 PM
Monday, Wednesday, 8:30 AM – 13:30 PM
Phone: 02 501 3100
Etti and Bilha speak English.
For a full listing of Lishkat Taasuka locations throughout Israel, see http://www.taasuka.gov.il/Taasuka/Employee+Services/General+Info/SearchBureau.htm.
In addition, the Ministry of Education might be contacted regarding positions for physical therapists both in regular and special education schools.
If you are opening your own practice, word of mouth is one of the best resources. In addition, community email lists and local bulletins are helpful in publicizing your services. Writing a column for a local newspaper is a good way to establish your name in the community. As with most private practices, it is helpful to have a niche market, such as sports medicine or pediatrics.
Finally, you can click here to access the Online Job Board that is found on the Israeli Physiotherapy Society’s website.
A good working knowledge of Hebrew is essential. It is strongly advised to study Hebrew before you arrive and then to take Ulpan upon arrival. Even where an immigrant physical therapist works entirely with speakers of his/her mother tongue, it is still necessary to deal with the various agencies that make up the Israeli medical network. For a full listing of Ulpan options, see the Ulpan Guide.
In addition to regular ulpan, Misrad HaKlita offers an ulpan for medical professionals – shlav bet. The class opens provided there are enough people who are interested. Be in touch with your local branch of Misrad HaKlita to find out when the next class will begin. For more information, see Medical Ulpan.
If you intend to work in any public institution including schools or hospitals, you must have all of your academic diplomas recognized by Misrad Hachinuch (Ministry of Education) for salary assessment purposes. When you work in a public institution, your salary is partially based on your level of education. See Recognition of Academic Degrees.
To receive updates about the profession and current postings you can join the Association of Physical Therapists. Contact:
The Association of Physical Therapists
NOTE: The Israeli department of education does not recognize doctorates that are not PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degrees.
This includes all professional doctorate degrees (DPT, DNP, OTD, OD,DC, AuD, DPM, DO). They will be recognized only as Master degrees.
Special thanks to Tehilla for allowing us to reprint the following interview:
Interview with Ronit Sandowsky, a physical therapist at Neve Zvi.
Neve Zvi is a special education school catering to all levels of disabilities in the ultra orthodox community. The school has a staff of seven physical therapists.
Q: What did you study? What advice do you have for students who would like to go into your field?
A: I studied physical therapy at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. Downstate has an excellent physical therapy department. In Israel there isn’t a big difference between an MA and a BA unless you have a government job (in which case you make a slightly higher salary). I think a student who wants to be a PT and make Aliya can come to Israel without experience in the States. There is such a demand for therapists that anyone who comes with a degree will be able to find a job. If you decide to work in the States to make some money, you should do the continuing education courses there. There are many more courses available in the States and each course is another notch in your salary here.
Q: What are the professional options for a physical therapist in Israel?
A: A PT can work in a hospital, school, institution, Health Fund (Kupat Cholim), medical center, or a child development center. These centers evaluate a child. If the child is found to have development problems the center offers the following services: psychological, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, social work counseling. In addition there are doctors and nurses on staff. Besides being a staff PT if you have experience in Pediatrics NDT or the Bobath course and you have your certification, you have the opportunity to become a department head and your salary goes up. (Of course sometimes you are the head of your department because you are the department, i.e. you are the only PT working in the institution.)
Q: How is your career different in Israel vs. chutz laaretz?
A: In Israel there is more supervision. Also private patients are totally private. You’re hired based on your reputation so you have to be really good. In the States, a person can work privately through an agency and the agency is responsible to the patient.
Q: How do you feel about living in Israel and being a physical therapist here?
A: When I was in Bar Ilan for my year in Israel I volunteered at Tel Hashomer. I saw the therapists doing chest therapy, where they hit the children on the chest. I saw this and said forget it, I am never going back to Tel Hashomer. I thought the therapists were abusing the children. When I was at NYU rehabilitation I spoke with the patients and they told me how even though the doctors were great, the therapists were the ones who saved their lives. I really like being a part of that. I work in the chareidisector where I know my contribution counts. I definitely feel more connected to my patients here. I mean it can be a neighbor, a friend of a friend or just someone your age and religious. And here it is I live in Israel and have the knowledge and opportunity to help them.
Ronit made Aliya with her husband, Moshe and two children in 1994 . Today they live in Beit Shemesh.
This article was last updated on March 31, 2020.