A beginner’s guide to the Aliyah journey

Telfed CEO Dorron Kline delivers a welcome gift from Telfed to new Oleh, Stanley Lederman

Emigration is not a decision to be taken lightly, but once you set the wheels in motion, advance preparation will prove invaluable.

For those considering Aliyah, your journey to Israel can be divided into three stages: Planning, Aliyah and Klita.

The first leg of your journey may well be the most important of all. Should you make Aliyah? Where should you move to? When is the best time to move? Will you be looking for a job in Israel? Should you factor in the start of the school year? Should you wait until retirement? You will have many questions and while the staff at Telfed cannot answer them for you, our team is happy to provide information to help you reach your decision.

Telfed’s Klita advisor, Daniela Shapira, encourages prospective Olim to ‘research and prepare as much as you can, and utilise all resources available to you. From Telfed staff to the team at the Israel Centre, WhatsApp groups or Facebook groups, and a multitude of online resources, you can find answers to most of your questions through research and careful planning.’

Those considering Aliyah are invited to consult with Daniela and other members of our team, including our social worker (who advises seniors making Aliyah, and those with special needs), our employment advisor and our property manager. In addition, Telfed has a network of volunteers – South Africans, like yourselves – who make up our regional committees and can speak to you about the pros and cons of their respective communities in Israel.

The second leg of your journey – getting you to Israel – is expertly handled by the Israel Centre (with offices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg). You will begin by opening your Aliyah file with the Global Centre.

Once you arrive in Israel you will start the third leg of your journey – your integration and absorption in Israel (i.e. klita). Telfed is your guide along this part of your journey. As with any emigration, new Olim will be expected to navigate their way through Israeli bureaucracy. We know that this process can be tedious, and oftentimes frustrating (especially for those who have limited Hebrew), but it’s a necessary step. Telfed staff are available to explain these processes to you, and will provide you with information to make the journey a little simpler.

‘Our team offers webinars and step by step guides detailing when and how to make appointments and what documentation you are required to take with you when you visit government offices,’ says Telfed CEO Dorron Kline. ‘In addition to planning and understanding what to expect next, flexibility is paramount. We currently have cases of Olim waiting for two months for their first appointment at the Ministry of Interior.’

As with any international flight, you can expect some light turbulence along the way, but in typical Israeli style, your landing will be greeted with loud applause (especially from our community of ex-South Africans). Temper your expectations, small bumps are not unusual, and you will develop the requisite knowledge, skills and resilience that will serve you well as you continue your journey as Israeli citizens.

Visit our website for more information (www.telfed.org.il) and remember to follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Telfed) and Instagram (@telfed_israel).

Telfed www.telfed.org.il Email: info@telfed.org.il

• Published in the PDF edition of the October 2021 issue – Click here to get it.

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