When preparing to make aliyah, it can seem like an overwhelming journey. But you are certainly not alone on your journey to becoming an oleh. There are a number of organizations that exist to help make the transition to life in Israel as seamless and financially unburdensome as possible:
(1) The Jewish Agency
The Jewish Agency for Israel has existed since 1992 with the primary goal of bringing Jews home and building the state of Israel. Their mission is to bring a substantial number of Jews to live in Israel and to help insure their successful integration. You can visit the website here for more information about the agency’s programs: http://www.jewishagency.org/JewishAgency/English/Aliyah
(2) Nefesh B’Nefesh
This organization has existed since 2002, and over the last eight years has helped to bring 25,000 olim to Israel from North America. Over the last two years, the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh have been working together in order to strengthen their resources and to process more olim.
The incentives that this organization offer are many, including a free one-way flight to Israel. To read more about the assistance provided by Nefesh B’Nefesh, you can visit the website at http://www.nbn.org.il/index.php The entire application process can be conveniently completed online.
(3) Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption
In 2007, the Israeli government reversed a 55-year-old pledge to not support aliyah from the west. Now, through the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, there are many incentives that are available to olim. Adult immigrants receive a monetary payout from the government of $4,000, and children receive $2,000 each. Part of this is given to you in an initial cash payment, and a second payment is then later made to your Israeli bank account.
Major reductions on property taxes are available as well. All cities and towns in Israel charge a property tax called Arnona. Olim are customarily granted a 70-90% reduction of this tax.
(4) The university/higher education system of Israel
The university system in Israel is very accommodating to olim. The higher education system in Israel is reputable and certainly equivalent to the well-established universities in America. As an olim chadashim (new immigrant), you are entitled to a free higher education provided that you meet certain requirements for age and prior education.
Candidates up to age 23 can receive assistance for a bachelor’s degree, and candidates up to age 30 can receive assistance for a master’s degree. You can click here for more information about universities in Israel: http://www.nbn.org.il/aliyahpedia/education-a-ulpan/higher-education/997-higher-education-in-israel.html
(5) The Ministry of Housing in Israel
The Ministry of Housing offers rental assistance for olim chadashim from the 13th month after making aliyah. The eligibility period lasts for five years after becoming an oleh. For a chart of the amount of financial assistance available depending on your status, please click here: http://www.nbn.org.il/aliyahpedia/aliyah-benefits/government-benefits/941-rental-assistance.html
Low interest rates may also be granted to new immigrants for up to 10 years after becoming an oleh.
Olim are permitted to bring their own household goods and appliances from any country into Israel. In addition, olim are able to purchase Israeli-made appliances tax free in Israel.