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Tips for Olim

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Last Updated on December 12, 2021

My Israel Aliyah Tips

By: Isaac Ben

My name is Isaac Ben and I am a Canadian who made Aliyah in 2004, and love Israel and all it has to offer. I work in hi-tech and live on a kibbutz. Along with the helpful and essential tips and lists of things to do from Nefesh B Nefesh and the UJA and this site, I’ve written these tips for anyone who made Aliyah recently or is thinking of doing so. I wish everyone the best of luck.

Preparation

  1. Most things can only be done once you’re in Israel. Be prepared but there are limits.
  2. You are about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. For better or for worse. Accept the possible anxiety you may feel.
  3. Print out the Hebrew alphabet on cue cards, and learn to pronounce the letters.
  4. Pack light. You probably won’t need half of what you are bringing.
  5. Get in shape. Being overweight in the Israeli heat is difficult, and dangerous to your health.

You’ve made Aliyah!

First few years

  1. Expect nothing from anyone, then everything will seem like a treat.
  2. Don’t sign anything. If you feel you must, double check the contract terms, then check again and again. Don’t rush.
  3.  If you’re a nice polite person, stay that way. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
  4.  Prepare to work a job you may never have back home. If you find good people to work with, you should be happy.
  5.  If you have to quit a job in Israel, and you probably will more than once, try do so on good terms. References are important.
  6.  You will be asked why you made Aliyah an infinite amount of times. Get a quick reply ready.
  7.  You may be told many Israelis that you made a huge mistake for making Aliyah. Smile and carry on.
  8.  Travel around this beautiful country as often as you can.
  9.  Go to an Ulpan. It’s common for Israelis to speak to you in English, try to answer back in Hebrew as best you can.
  10.  Write a blog or keep a journal. Should make a great memory one day.

After five years

  1. Congratulate yourself for staying this long, and buy yourself something nice.
  2.  If you haven’t yet, fly back for a visit to see old friends and family you left behind.
  3.  Your Hebrew has probably improved to a basic level, take private lessons to get even better.
  4.  Politically, take a peek at the opposite views of your own once in awhile.
  5.  If you feel frustrated and want to leave, try to stick it out as best you can. Stay positive.
  6.  If you still feel you are being treated like an immigrant, or feel like an outsider. Try not to feel unhappy about it.
  7.  Many Israelis may assume you are rich and intelligent because your English is perfect. Use it to your advantage.
  8.  Volunteer, help someone who recently made Aliyah.
  9.  Eat healthier, like most Israelis do.
  10.  Try your best to avoid taking a big loan from the banks.

 

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