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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘aliyah’

211 New Immigrants Flee to Israel From War-Torn Ukraine

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

With the increase of hostilities on the Russian-Ukrainian border in recent weeks, 211 new immigrants from Ukraine landed Tuesday at Ben Gurion Airport.

Most came from the embattled regions in the eastern part of Ukraine, arriving on the 19th flight sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) since hostilities broke out between the two countries.

“There has been a significant increase in calls from potential Olim to the IFCJ representatives in Ukraine and we are doing everything to give them the best possible service so that they can begin new and secure lives in Israel, which was and still is the home for any person who is part of the Jewish people,” noted Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ president.

Approximately 4,000 immigrants have fled to Israel from Ukraine on flights sponsored by the organization since December 2014. Among those who arrived Tuesday were 37 children who are to begin their studies in Israeli schools in two days, including nine in the first grade.

Natalia S. arrived in Israel with her mother and son, and said that she was forced to leave the city of Marinka in the Donetsk region in Eastern Ukraine after the extensive bombing in the city that began in April 2014. The building where her family lived was bombed and some of their neighbors were killed.

Natalia explained that her family’s Jewishness was kept secret by her grandmother who had survived the Holocaust, while her husband, Natalia’s grandfather, was in a concentration camp. As a result, she says, “we knew we had Jewish roots but did not have the documents to prove it.”

According to Natalia, during one of the family’s visits to the Holocaust Museum an employee at the site advised her about which archive to search in order to find documents that would prove their Jewish roots.

“Because of the advice we were given, we went later to the archive and found my grandmother’s documents. In the documents, we read that she had changed her name and her father’s name, from “Alia” and “Avraham” to “Lisa” and “Peter,” she said. Natalia, her mother, and her son are planning to settle in Akko. Among Tuesday’s group of new olim there were seven babies, including two who were only six months old. The oldest person on the flight was age 82, and the average age of the group was 34. The preferred destination for the immigrants was Haifa, where 42 of the new arrivals elected to settle.

Most of the olim came from the Dniepropetrovsk region, which has become one of the preferred destinations for refugees escaping the embattled areas in Eastern Ukraine because of its proximity and the fact that it is still in Ukrainian hands.

The IFCJ assists the Olim to Israel with special grants of $1,000 for each adult oleh and $500 for each child, in addition to financing the flight to Israel. This support is provided by the organization in addition to the standard basket of benefits each immigrant receives from the Israel Ministry of Aliyah and Absorption. The organization also arranges the absorption of the new immigrant families with the various local authorities prior to their arrival in Israel, recruiting locals to accompany the new olim as they seek housing and employment and settle in to their new surroundings.

Hana Levi Julian

Welcome Home [photo]

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

233 North American new Olim arrived home to Israel this morning, Wedensday, August 17, 2106, on a Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah flight.

Approximately 50,000 people have made Aliya with NBN since it was established.

The honor of being number 50,000 was given to Rivka Geltzer, 22.

Geltzer has a degree in economics from Columbia University in New York, and will joining the IDF. She received her new Teudat Zehut (ID card) directly from President Ruby Rivlin.

From the photos you can see that around 75 of the new Olim will be joining the IDF.

What more can we say beyond, “Welcome Home!”

NBN Aliyah August 2016 1

NBN Aliyah August 2016 3

NBN Aliyah August 2016 2

NBN Aliyah August 2016 5

NBN Aliyah August 2016 6

NBN Aliyah August 2016 7

Photos by Ehud Amitun / TPS

Photo of the Day

Knesset Committee Approves $80 Million to Support New Immigrants

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Knesset Finance Committee, headed by MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), on Monday approved the transfer of an additional $80 million to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, mainly for the purpose of finding housing solutions for elderly immigrants.

Some of the funds are designated for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants from France, Belgium, and Ukraine.

Of the amount allotted, about $68 million are designated for housing solutions for elderly immigrants; $4 million for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants, including employment fairs and seminars for new immigrants, coupons for Hebrew lessons, absorption-related activities in local authorities, encouraging Aliyah abroad by strengthening the professional capabilities of potential olim, and adding more operators to the information call center for those interested in making Aliyah; $2 million for the implementation of the government’s decision to allow members of the Bnei Menashe community entry into Israel, and $1.3 million are designated for increasing the assistance provided to immigrant soldiers who are recognized by the IDF as lone soldiers or as soldiers who are eligible for family stipends.


He Says She Says; When Couples Disagree about Aliyah

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

In two previous posts, I addressed responses to reasons to not make Aliyah and how to handle Aliyah when it comes to dating. In this post, I address a very common issue that comes up in marriage regarding Aliyah. One spouse wants to make Aliyah and the other does not. If you are experiencing this struggle, then this post is for you! If someone you know is also going through this, please share this post with them.

It is critical first to determine why your spouse does not want to make Aliyah. As noted in my first post in this series, there are some cases where it may not be feasible. One common case is when there are aging parents and you (or your spouse) are the one who needs to be there for them.

Barring any similar issues, an open dialogue is needed. Fighting, yelling, screaming are never good options for a discussion/disagreement and especially in a life-changing-event discussion. There need be thought out ideas for this discussion with each spouse voicing their own concerns and ideas. Choose a location where you can legitimately speak without being interrupted. TURN OFF YOUR PHONES! Do not give yourselves a time limit for the discussion, but allow for as much time as possible. (Up to this point, these ideas apply to MANY areas in which a couple wishes to discuss important issues. These points do not relate just to an Aliyah discussion.)

If you are the one who wants to make Aliyah and your spouse does not, it is important to listen to your spouse’s concerns. Do not sit there with answers in your head, waiting to pounce with all of your reasons. Remember, that if you rearrange the letters of the word L-I-S-T-E-N, you get S-I-L-E-N-T…to truly listen, you need to remain silent, both in your mind and in your speech!

Once you have listened to your spouse’s comments, it is your turn. At this point, simply look into her/his eyes and say: “I will miss you after I make Aliyah!”

OK, seriously…..

It is necessary to acknowledge the fears/hesitations/issues that are holding your spouse back. Aliyah truly requires the commitment of BOTH spouses for it to work. After listening to your spouse, rank, on a piece of paper, the severity/importance of each reason. Do not attempt a global answer but rather a pinpointed series of answers that address each item. Areas such as security, finances, culture, family, comfort-level, social status, etc., are all common items on such a list.

After that, it is important that you present your reasons why you want to live in Israel. Be prepared. Think. Ask your spouse to listen with an open mind. List on paper what are your reasons to make Aliyah. Include in your reasons the trials and tribulations that you expect to face and want to face TOGETHER. Love of Israel and love of your spouse are critical in this discussion. As much as it is important for you to hear your spouse, it is just as important for him/her to hear you. I cannot tell you why YOU want to make Aliyah. I can only tell you that it is crucial to sit and think about your reasons, before you sit with your spouse.

At the end of the Haftara this past week, we read the following from the Navi, Yirmiyahu:

זָכַרְתִּי לָךְ חֶסֶד נְעוּרַיִךְ, אַהֲבַת כְּלוּלֹתָיִךְ–לֶכְתֵּךְ אַחֲרַי בַּמִּדְבָּר, בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא זְרוּעָה

(” I remember for thee the affection of your youth, the love of thine espousals; how you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown”)

Without a doubt, making Aliyah requires a leap of faith. It requires a leap of faith on TWO levels. The obvious one is Hashem Himself. You need to put your faith in Hashem (as is the case in every single decision and action) that He will help you along your path. In the Torah, we are told over eighty times that Hashem wants us in His land. He Himself says that He will help you.

The other leap of faith, which may not be so obvious is that your spouse, who does not want to make Aliyah as much as you do, also has to be able to have faith in you to guide you and your family on this journey. You need to be prepared mentally and physically for this challenge.

Yes, as we know, ארץ ישראל נקנית ביסירין, that the Land of Israel is acquired through difficulties. But, in truth, nearly everything in our lives that truly matters is also filled with anxiety and difficulties as we take that first step.

One thing that I highly recommend is taking a trip to Israel as an integral part of this process and discussion. Sitting in Starbucks in your neighborhood is no substitute to travelling the Land; meeting the people; asking questions face-to-face with people in the professions you are in; and the list is endless! Countless people are able to pinpoint in their mind the moment they realized that they fell in love with the one who would one day become their spouse. The same thing happens with visits to Israel. Visit…travel…talk…discuss…and fall in love! There is no substitute to infusing yourself and your spouse with the love of Israel than to actually BE in the Land. Many of the issues that are raised by your spouse can/should be addressed on your trip. Speak to Olim! Speak to new Olim and “Vatikim” (“long-time” Olim—I don’t like to use the word “old.”) Speak to your friends who have made Aliyah. Speak to people in your profession. Speak to residents of various communities. Most people are eager to share with you what their thoughts are about Israel.

In short, do your due diligence and homework as a part of this discussion! You and your spouse may be on different pages…but you are in the same book. It is time to bridge that gap, get on the same page and do your best to bring the dream to fruition. But, never let your dream become your family’s nightmare. Be aware; be careful and be mindful of all of the ideas/thoughts/opinions in the family. In the end, G-d willing, your family will come HOME and join the rest of your family here. You will be helping to change the future direction of your family for generations to come.

If after some discussion, it is clear that it is not happening NOW, understand that Israel isn’t going anywhere. She will be here forever, G-d willing, when the two of you are indeed ready. Don’t give up. The reasons (even the very legitimate reasons) to not go now may dissipate and disappear over time.

I wish you and you entire family the peace and sense of purpose in making this life-changing decision. It is not an easy decision. But your mutual love and that of wanting to keep the Word of Hashem should be your guide and your Rock.

Rav Zev Shandalov

More Jews Flee to Israel, Escaping Terror in France

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

More Jews are fleeing the rising terror and anti-Semitism in France. On Tuesday 145 new French immigrants landed at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

The 38 families range from infancy to age 88 and include 78 children. They arrived with the assistance of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

The organization is helping new Israeli immigrants in addition to the regular benefits received by olim from the Jewish Agency for the State of Israel.

Most of the new olim — 111 of the immigrants — came from Paris. Many left behind not just their homes, but successful businesses as well, which they had to sell prior to their aliyah.

Those who arrived Tuesday cited the drastic rise in anti-Semitism in France as the main reason for leaving their homes.

Hana Levi Julian

Responses to Reasons to Not Make Aliyah

Monday, August 1st, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s eponymous website}

Once again, this summer, hundreds of new Olim have arrived (and will beH arrive) on group flights, charter flights and individual flights. The excitement with each arrival is palpable and, as someone who experienced this thrill seven years ago, I can say it is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Many people watch streaming live video by Nefesh B’Nefesh as planeloads of new Olim arrive. Some are watching to see their friends come off the plane. Some watch because their family member is making Aliyah. Others watch for the feeling that they get watching all of these lives change before their very eyes.

And there is another category of people who sit opposite their computer screen watching: Those who wish to make Aliyah but feel they can not do it for various reasons. Before we made Aliyah, I firmly believed that Aliyah was for everyone. I no longer feel that way. I do believe it is for the vast majority of world Jewry, though. Below, I address various reasons given by people as to why they believe Aliyah won’t work for them, and my comments about each reason commonly given. (For marriages in which one spouse wants to make Aliyah and the other does not–an EXTREMELY common occurrence–I will address that in a future post beH)

Before addressing all of the various issues below, it is important to understand a fundamental issue: Is Aliyah a Mitzvah and assuming it is, what “form” of Mitzvah is it? While it is an entire “shiur” in itself, this post will work with the perspective that there is no doubt that there is a Mitzvah to make Aliyah. The only issue to “discuss” is whether this is a Mitzvah “Chiyuvit” or “Kiyumit.” The difference between these two types of Mitzvot is fairly simple to explain. A Mitzvah “Chiyuvit” is one that MUST be done. For example, a man must put on Tefillin. A Mitzvah “Kiyumit” is one that, upon meeting certain conditions, the Mitzvah kicks in. For example, one is not required to build a doorway in order to put up a mezuzah. However, once such a doorway does exist in the home, then a mezuzah must be placed there.

The question, therefore, that has been discussed is the status of Aliyah: Is one required to make Aliyah (Chiyuvit) or one is not required to, but if the individual moves to Israel then a Mitzvah (Kiyumit) is accomplished. For the record, a number of months ago, one of the greatest decisors of Halacha alive, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky שליט”א said it is a Mitzvah to make Aliyah. (The article I wrote can be seen here and the video can be seen here.) Again, in my humble opinion, after years of research and learning the subject, I see it is indeed a Mitzvah Chiyuvit, no different than Tefillin, Shabbat, eating Matza on the night of the Seder, etc.

With this background, we can now take a look at some of the reasons that are given for not making Aliyah and comments on those reasons.


In a very un-scientific poll conducted by me over the years, I believe that this is probably the Number One reason given for not wanting to make Aliyah. The statement usually goes:” Of course I would like to make Aliyah, but I need to make a living! How can I make a Parnassah in Israel?!”

There is no doubt that the salaries in Israel are FAR lower than those of chu”l. Having said that, two of the biggest costs that one incurs outside Israel that are supremely less in Israel are health insurance and education (especially Higher Education). In addition, there are some costs that are cheaper and, certainly, some that are greater. Once you realize that you are not in need of Parnassah that will be up to the needs of chu”l but to the needs of your life in Israel, the perspective begins to shift. Material items, that may seem critically important, tarnish when put into perspective of a life in Israel. Do people have trouble finding jobs? Certainly! Do people, in general find themselves employed after X amount of time? Definitely. In some cases, this is accomplished by reinventing one’s self. What you do now and the way you earn a living can either be adapted for Israel or you can seek out a new area altogether in which to grow and earn a living.

Parnassah is one of the most common items one davens for. Parnassah is an issue of Emunah in Hashem. As is crystal clear from Tefillat Chana , Parnassah is 100% in the hands of Hashem. Have you made inquiries? Have you looked into job opportunities in Israel? Have you thought of other ways to make a living? If you are willing to have Emunah in Chu”l that you can make a living, why can’t that Emunah be expressed in Israel, as well. Incidentally, statistically speaking, the majority of Olim arrive in Israel without a job. But, some do and some are fortunate enough to transfer their job to Israel. If you do not check; if you do not investigate, the answer will always be “no.” Just saying you won’t make Aliyah due to Parnassah issues is not a proper expression of Emunah.

Lack of Hebrew

Of all possible reasons given, this is perhaps the weakest one of all. First of all, NOT that I advocate this, but it is quite easy to navigate most days with only English. Besides, there are always friends, family, neighbors willing to help out in translation. Once you make Aliyah, you are entitled to five months of intense Ulpan. There are Youtube videos, books, etc to work on your language skills. If there is the slightest chance you will be making Aliyah, begin TODAY on Hebrew. It is the Number One most important skill you can bring with you. Think of your chosen profession: In that profession, you needed to learn the language of that job. The “job” here is the Mitzvah of Aliyah, and the language of Hebrew is the language of that Mitzvah. Resources are endless on this subject.

I Can’t Leave My Family

There is no doubt that Skype, Facetime and other modes of communication are no substitute for the real thing; nevertheless, the various means of connecting to someone outside of Israel are vast and modern. Today is much different than just ten years ago. Yes, you are potentially giving up many things; family smachot, as just one example. But do know that while it is cliche to say this, your neighbors, your community become your family. Besides, perhaps it is YOUR move that will spur others in your family to decide to make that move. You will be affecting the course of the future generations of your family. There are not many Mitzvot or decisions that can make that claim!


Really? Do you see what is happening around the world? Whether it is France, Germany, the USA, or many other countries, the world has become a much less safe place to be. And while security personnel always have the citizens best interest in mind, no where else on Earth is there a security network whose main purpose is to protect the Jewish people. Besides, that, we also see that counties all over the world, while vilifying Israel, acknowledge that Israel’s security systems are the tops in the world. Do you feel safe walking around your neighborhood at night? Do you feel a sense of personal security? I can just tell you from my own personal experiences, I have never felt safer as a Jew anywhere else, like I do in Israel.

Cultural Differences

“There is no customer service.” “People don’t say excuse me, when they bump into you.” “People drive too fast.” The list of Lashon Hara against the Land of Israel and against the People of Israel is worthy of a footnote to the Parasha of the Spies who spied out the Land. To choose to not keep a Mitzva because culturally it is not up to your needs is a very slippery slope down which to slide. Yes, indeed, the Middle East has different rules by which it plays. Yes, people can be more brusque than you may be used to. Yet, at the same time, we look at ourselves as one big family. Whether in the park, on the bus, in the Bet Knesset–anywhere–people are your FAMILY and you feel a part of something bigger. Part of living in Israel is getting used to a different culture, true. But that would be true if you moved to Ireland or Spain or Timbuktu. But only in Israel do you get a Mitzvah to live!

There are other very common reasons given for not making Aliyah, and this is not an exhaustive list, by any means. As I mentioned at the beginning, one of the other very common situations is when one spouse wants to move and the other does not. I hope to address that issue in an upcoming post.

In the meantime, here is a link you will find most helpful in your (potential) quest to fulfill the Mitzva of Aliyah.

Rav Zev Shandalov

The Tamar Yonah Show – U.S. Elections & Moving to Israel [audio]

Monday, August 1st, 2016

It’s an in-depth show on the elections in the United States, how the candidates relate to Israel and the ‘elections joke’ of the day.

Tamar speaks with Shifra Hoffman of VictimsOfArabTerror.org and Shuva.net and Jeff Miller (at Twitter: @jeff_ _miller) about the U.S. elections and if not who to vote for, then at least who NOT to vote for.

Plus, Uri Kelman moved his family from Los Angeles to Ashkelon. How is he faring and how has his absorption into the country been so far?

Tamar Yonah Show 31Jul – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/multimedia/israel-news-talk-radio/tamar-yonah-show/the-tamar-yonah-show-u-s-elections-moving-to-israel-audio/2016/08/01/

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