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: www.health.gov.il. Nefesh B’Nefesh does not take responsibility for inaccuracies on the site or changes to the law.
Before you can obtain recognition as a midwife, you must first become recognized in Israel as a registered nurse. This involves meeting all of the qualifications for nurses and passing the nursing exam. For details, see Nursing.
After you qualify as a nurse, you can begin the recognition process for midwifery by sending all of your midwifery documents including licenses, diplomas, syllabi, and information about your previous work experience(s) to Limor Yosef at Misrad HaBriut. You can reach Limor Yosef by phone at 03-737-8149 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Misrad Habriut now offers a 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.
If You Are a Nurse and Make Aliyah with a Midwifery License from Abroad, the certification process is as follows:
- Internship: You are required to complete an internship involving approximately 252 hours in the labor room plus approximately 64 hours in other, related floors such as post-partum or the NICU. This internship takes an average of 3-4 months. You can request to do the internship at the hospital that is closest to your home.
- Coursework: In addition to the internship, you will be required to take 70 hours of lectures on midwifery, including certification courses in adult and neonatal CPR. The course is usually offered once a year, and this past year, it took place at Tel Hashomer Hospital. The course is partially subsidized by Misrad Haklita and the cost to Olim is approximately 850 NIS.
- Exam: After completing both the internship and the coursework, you are eligible to take the licensing exam, which is offered once a year.
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.
If You Make Aliyah Without a Midwifery License
If you make Aliyah as a registered nurse but without a midwifery license, you are required to participate in the entire midwifery program at Tel Hashomer Hospital, which takes approximately 10 months. Note that before going to midwifery school in Israel, you must work at least 1 year as a nurse (either in Israel or abroad).
- For more information about the Tel Hashomer midwifery course, contact the director of the program, Debby Gedal-Beer at
- If you would like to speak to an Olah who recently went through the licensing process for midwives, write to email@example.com.
- For more information about midwifery in Israel, contact the Israel Midwives Association or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A special thank you to a certified nurse midwife working at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Israel for this interview.
Please provide us with a brief description of your field
I am a certified nurse midwife, working (for the past 7 years) at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. We deliver about 600+ babies per month (quite busy!) and I also work in the Natural Birth Center (connected to, but separate from, the delivery ward in Hadassah) where we work in a semi-private setting for women who want more natural births and one-on-one midwife care.
What types of backgrounds are relevant for someone looking to become a Midwife?
I am going to start with what I went through in order to get licensed here in Israel. I went to nursing school (BSN program), worked in a hospital labor and delivery unit for 2 years, and then went to a midwifery program at Downstate and have been working as a midwife (CNM) since 1987. I made Aliyah in 2003, having already done all the research on what I would need to do to become licensed and be able to practice in Israel. So, although it was a very long process- it took me about 2 years to finally be able to work, it definitely helped that I knew what to expect and that I had gathered all of the details, papers, transcripts, etc. that I would need in order to begin the process.
Is there any kind of license or certification you need, to work as a Midwife in Israel?
I had to sit for the national Nursing boards exam (which I believe is given twice a year), and at the time, Hebrew was the only option. Luckily I passed, and then had to get “accepted” to the Midwifery program in order to complete a small amount of coursework, and do 350 hours of “internship” with assigned preceptors at a hospital. After that, I was “invited” to sit for the Midwifery national exam, and about 6 weeks later, received my license to practice. All told, it took about 2 years from my Aliyah date to be able to work.
What education and experience should an Oleh looking to go into Midwifery come with?
I have a few comments about that process:
I would encourage a new Oleh to take the exam in Hebrew, because then you will be forced to learn all of the terms in Hebrew; for me it was like a mini-self taught medical Ulpan.
I would HIGHLY encourage regular Ulpan (which I did at the same time as studying for the Nursing Boards in my first 6 months here). It is critical to have a good command of the language in order to work as a nurse or midwife.
With all of the experience and seniority I came with, it was quite a humbling experience to be back in a “student” role in my field, but it was actually very worthwhile as it certainly helped me improve my language skills, and oriented me to the way things are done here.
Does it make a difference if you study in Israel or abroad?
People considering midwifery often ask me if they should get their degree/studies in the States, or here. I think it makes more sense to go through Nursing school and Midwifery here -if one has the choice. First of all, you would not have to repeat everything over again, and secondly, you learn it in the language and the style you will be practicing.
One of the main differences between practicing midwifery here and in the States, is that here, midwives deliver the great majority of babies, but that is their main function. In the States, midwives practice full-scope midwifery. That is to say, midwives are primary care providers and do prenatal care, GYN care, can be in private practice.
Here, most midwives work in hospitals, with the conditions that come with that work: 8-12 hour shifts, usually including all shifts (day/evening/night) and certainly including Shabbat and Chag (everyone in Israel, Shomer Shabbat or not, wants Shabbat and Chagim off!).
What are the requirements to become a Midwife in Israel?
The requirements here are to go to nursing school and work as a nurse for some time before applying for the “course al basisi” (advanced course) in midwifery.
The amount of time depends on the demand for spots in the midwifery programs at the time (there are usually 2 programs most years). If you are working in a hospital, the hospital may “sponsor” you to go to the course. If so, it will happen when it is good for them to send you. The program itself is about 10 months and includes course work and clinical experience. Most people work while attending the program. After completing the course, you will take the national certification exam, and then apply for a job.
Is Midwifery more in demand in certain areas of Israel?
Most hospitals are looking for midwives at any given time. Outside of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, it is probably easier to find jobs more quickly.
There are several midwives, who work in kupot cholim or other outpatient settings, but they don’t really practice midwifery per se – they work as nurses. There are also home birth practices for more experienced midwives.
What is the salary range?
The pay, as most salaries in Israel, is disappointing, especially if you are coming from the States and used to a nursing or midwifery salary from there. The base salary is very low; most of the money you make is from doing “mishmarot” (shifts).
The bottom line is- Midwifery is a very rewarding, exciting and challenging career. The reason we all stay, even with all of the difficult conditions in the job, is because we love what we do – what could be better than helping deliver babies into the world?!
What is your midwifery training background?
I was trained and certified as nurse and then a midwife in England and took licensing exams in Israel when I arrived. Everyone who is a midwife must be a certified nurse beforehand. I took my nursing exam in English and my midwifery exam in Hebrew.
What does the field of midwifery look like in Israel?
In Israel, midwives are employed by the cheder leida (the birthing ward of the hospital). They can work in a post-natal ward or clinic, but their responsibilities are more similar to those of a nurse, if working in that capacity. Some midwives work with home births but must have at least three years of Israeli midwifery experience to work in that area. Shift work in the cheder leida usually includes three shifts a week, every other week, including chaggim, Shabbat, etc. It is rare to do both hospital and private work because you have to be on call at all times for private work, and it’s hard to coordinate.
Do you enjoy this work?
I find it to be really rewarding work, very satisfying and busy since there is a high patient to midwife ratio. It is definitely a lot of responsibility.
What is the salary for midwifery work in Israel?
Home births are paid privately so you can make anywhere from 5,000-20,000 NIS/month, depending on how many births you take. You, of course, have to take into account all the aspects, like equipment, and time traveling to people’s homes. When working in a cheder leida someone can make 6,000- 7,000 NIS a month for part-time and 8,000 for full time. If you work Shabbat and nights you can get paid more.
Do you find this to be a good field in Israel?
Yes, there is a high demand for midwives in Israel!