web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘nefesh b’nefesh’

Aliyah from the United Kingdom, a Unique Perspective

Friday, December 21st, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai broadcasts from the headquarters of Nefesh B’Nefesh in Jerusalem. He is joined by Dov Newmark who is the director of UK Aliyah at NBN to discuss Aliyah to Israel from the United Kingdom and the specific cultural advantages and challenges for new immigrants from the UK. Don’t miss this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

South Koreans Visit Israel to Help Their Own

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai broadcasts from the offices of Nefesh B’Nefesh to talk about the visit of representatives from South Korea in order to gain knowledge regarding absorbing and matriculating large amounts of immigrants. Thousands of North Korean refugees have snuck across the border into South Korea and in order to assist, the South Koreans have looked towards Israel for guidance.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Young New York Jews Gear Up for Aliyah Conference

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

In an effort to nudge New York Jewish students and young professionals considering aliyah to take the plunge, Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Jewish Agency for Israel will be hosting a special conference at the UJA-Federation of new York in Manhattan on October 21.

The event will feature workshops on getting jobs and higher education in Israel, serving in the army, and other topics, and will include an Israel Fair where job hunters and potential job employers from Israel can meet.  A special workshop will also be included for medical doctors.

A special webinar emphasizing Nefesh B’Nefesh’s Go North program will also highlight the benefits of living in Israel’s Galil and Golan regions.

Two free tickts to Israel will be raffled off, and a Tweetup on Twitter can be followed at #thinkIsrael.

Jobs in Israel

Friday, August 17th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai presents a series of interviews that are related to finding a job in Israel.  To begin, Yishai speaks to Kim Ephrat, the associate director of employment for Nefesh B’Nefesh, the organization dedicated to Aliyah in North America.  Yishai and Ephrat talk about finding employment in Israel and how networking, learning Hebrew, and being flexible are key to success in finding a job in Israel.  Following his interview with Ephrat, Yishai moves on to talk to being able to search for employment in Israel by searching janglo.net, which is a leading English-language website for all things that can be found in Israel.  To discuss the job section, Zev Stub, the founder of janglo.net, joins Yishai.  They discuss the wide variety of jobs found on the site and how employment for almost everybody can be found on janglo.net.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Holy Land of Opportunity: North American Jews Finding Jobs in Israel

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Jews across America, in the privacy of their own computer screens, are scanning the internet for job opportunities which will enable them to make the leap toward life in Israel.

A recent advertisement for Nefesh b’Nefesh sent to Jewish Press readers garnered a whopping 5 times the average number of clicks in the first hour.  The message was clear: finding employment in Israel is a source of great interest for North American Jews.

Though many are stirred by the passions of either ancient or modern Zionism, often bolstered by deep-seated religious understandings about the centrality of Israel in the practice of a full and lustrous Judaism, the noble quest for a more meaningful life is no longer the only reason to make aliyah.

Tough Times in America, Good Going in Israel

The last few years have been hard for the American working man and woman.  Between 2009 and 2010, the US unemployment rate hovered around 10% of the population.  Appeals to Jewish charities and sympathetic money lending groups increased significantly, with rabbis in major American Jewish communities appealing to members to reduce spending on costs such as mishloach manot on Purim, and on weddings.

In late 2011 and early 2012, the unemployment rate in the US dropped to 8.2%.  Despite the signs of economic recovery, many American Jews could not help but notice that job opportunities in Israel were far greater – fluctuating between 5.8% and 7%, where it stands today, down from 10.4% in 2004.

In 2011, Israel was listed with the 57th lowest unemployment rate by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook – the US was at 103.  A 2011 report by the Federation of the Israeli Economic Organizations showed that as the world economy sank along with world trade and global credit, the Israeli economy grew by 0.8% in 2009, and leapt up to 4.5% growth in 2010.

But American Jews were not the only ones to take notice of the depressed state of US economics and the contrasting growth and progress in Israel.  Immigration statistics published in April by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, showed that the number of Israelis seeking to gain permanent residency in the US was at a record low in 2011 – just 3,826, down from nearly 6,000 in 2006, already in decline since the recession set in in 2008.  Moreover, Ella Saban, director of the department for returning Israelis at the Absorption Ministry, told the Jewish Daily Forward that since 2006 the number of expatriate Israelis returning to Israel has doubled and now stands at around 9,000 a year.

Over 100 foreign companies are invested in the little country via research and development facilities, including Google, Microsoft,  Applied Materials, Intel, British Telecom, Philips Medical, Sony, Fuji, Honda,  IBM, Cisco Systems, GE Healthcare, 3Com, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, Nestle, L’Oreal, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Kodak.  Together, as of 2009, they employ an estimated 35,000 Israelis.

With all that success on the part of foreign companies in Israel, Israelis still forge their own path in business.  As of 2011, the less-than 8 million citizens of Israel had 60 companies trading on the NASDAQ, the highest ranking nation on that listing except for China, population 1.3 billion, including Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, Cimatron Limited, Elbit Medical Imaging, Comverse Technology, NICE Systems, OrganiTECH USA, Retalix, and Silicom (famed Israeli pharmaceutical company, Teva, transferred this year from the NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange).

The Three-Step Formula

Yet with such a load of opportunities available, the numbers of olim have not yet skyrocketed.   “People really want to come, but there’s this fear that they want to be certain or reasonably certain that they will be able to put food on the table for themselves and for their families,” Kim Ephrat, Associate Director of Employment at Nefesh B’Nefesh told The Jewish Press. “I think the fact that Israel has weathered the storm really well, and it’s sort of a snowball effect, the more people come, the more people are writing back home how well they’re doing,”

Nefesh B’Nefesh, which has spent the last 10 years helping North American and British olim with the technicalities of making aliyah, has developed what Ephrat calls a “three-step formula” for scoring in the Israeli job market.

First is networking.  “It’s what we all do naturally, it’s what we all do intuitively,” Ephrat said.  Ephrat emphasized the importance of using the internet, and especially recommended networking via LinkedIn (Nefesh B’Nefesh also has a LinkedIn aliyah board where it posts about 200 job listings a day gathered from over 2,000 employers).

Ze’ev Stub, founder of the popular Janglo community website for English-speakers in Israel, agreed that networking is key. His site features a powerful jobs “classifieds” section where employers and interested employees post daily about a wide range of positions across the country.  “The first rule in everything I’ve read or written about job searching is to network. Tell your friends what kind of job you are looking for, and keep your ears open,” Stub told the Jewish Press.

According to Ephrat, the second step is learning Hebrew.  She says, however, that while strong Hebrew skills are important for many jobs, conversational Hebrew is often sufficient.

Much of the work done in science and technology jobs is conducted in English, and “you don’t need especially strong Hebrew skills for it.  You need conversational Hebrew, to get the interview or sit in a staff meeting or converse with colleagues.”

Moreover, jobs in science, medicine, and technology are especially acclaimed in Israel, and expected to continue to increase.   “Israel is known as a high-tech capital of the world, high tech, biotech, clean tech, these are all fields that are cutting-edge in Israel and we are known for many, many cutting edge innovations, and there are many jobs for olim in this field, and it’s practical,” Ephrat said.

Indeed, the percentage of Israelis working in science and technology, and the amount spent on research and development in relation to gross domestic product (GDP), is among the highest in the world, with contributions in the fields of agriculture, genetics, electronics, computer science, optics, solar energy, and engineering.

Science and technology magazine Wired has called Tel Aviv the world’s second largest center for technology start-ups outside Silicon Valley, earning the metropolis the moniker “Silicon Wadi”.

Ephrat also said that the need for doctors and other medical professionals is high, and that anyone interested in converting their degrees for recognition in Israel would likely have an easy time finding a job.

She also noted that low-tech jobs, such as PR and marketing, are also in high demand, and that people who have no interest or skills in the high-tech sector should understand that they have a lot to offer – and gain.

Lastly, says Ephrat, it is important for job seekers to maintain flexibility.  “Flexibility as to realistic expectations what your first job is going to be, flexiblily as to how you’re going to adapt to the market, meaning using your skills in a way which is going to be most suitable to the Israeli market.  And possibility using hobbies and making them into money making ventures.  Using your creativity and using your chutzpah,” she said.

She noted with pride that many immigrants who made aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh have become entrepreneurs and returned to the organization to fill job openings.

“That’s exciting on so many different levels,” Ephrat said.   “It shows their integration into Israel, it shows their success – they’re looking to hire, and they’re coming back to us with a sense of loyalty with a sense of comradeship that we’re in this together, and they’re doing the sort of pay it forward – they have succeeded, and they want to help others succeed also.”

Successful Entrepreneurial Olim

Meyer Reich, who made aliyah in 2003, is just such a success story.  When he started a business in 2007 based on a platform to help businesses get their content noticed by search engines – RankAbove – he did not know that his aliyah from New York would earn Israel additional recognition in the field in which it is now becoming famous.

Wired magazine’s September issue features a list of 10 European cities that constitute important centers for high-tech activity, with each city on the list featuring 10 “hot” startups.  At the top of Tel Aviv’s list for 2012 – RankAbove.

“With regards to business/work life I was fortunate to come at a time that was not easy economically in Israel and was forced to improvise and make it work,” Reich told The Jewish Press.  “One thing led to another in terms of professional opportunities and I got to where I am today.”

“The advantage for entrepreneurs in Israel is tremendous since it’s a small country with fantastic welcoming people. Local entrepreneurs support each other and my contribution has been mainly through knowledge of the space that RankAbove has in our industry as well as my contacts in the US as an Oleh.”

In the end, the person who will succeed in Israel “is willing to take on challenges and willing to take on change, [a person] that’s driven by something that’s greater than knowing exactly what’s going to happen to them the next day,” Ephrat said.  “Really willing to take a risk to some extent and changing not only their environment but really changing most aspects of their lives.”

Yet, according to Janglo’s Stub, being an Anglo immigrant comes with advantages.  “Anglos come to the table with the attributes that Israelis are thirsty for – a natural sense for customer service, fairness, hard work, and politeness. In general, Israeli society wants itself to embrace those values more and more, even if it doesn’t always know how to,” Stub said.   “Israeli executives are secretly jealous of our politeness and willingness to work for the team, and respect that a lot.”

“The flipside of that is that nice Anglos can come off as vulnerable and naive to aggressive Israeli executives, and signs of weakness can open you up to abuse,” Stub said. “Like everything in life, you need a proper balance to succeed.”

While Stub touted his site as an excellent place to begin looking for the perfect job in Israel, he recommended taking it slow.  “Don’t go too crazy with your job hunt. Spend a few hours working on your job search every day, pray for divine assistance, and then let go,” Stub said.  “Now is your time to enjoy the treasures of Israel, while you aren’t cooped up behind a desk. If you can do that, not only will you enjoy your time more, but you’ll have a more “Israeli” mentality that will help you for the rest of your life in Israel.”

Despite his success, Reich’s praise of Israel extended far beyond his professional accomplishments.  “Truthfully, aliyah is one of the wisest moves my wife and I ever made,” Reich said.  “We feel that our children are being raised with a fantastic education and being given an opportunity for their future.”

US Queen of Kosher: “I’m a Jewish Person and it’s the Jewish Homeland, and I Want to Go Home!”

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

With great emotion and to the joy of Jewish foodies throughout the world, the Queen of Kosher cooking is coming home to rule the roast/roost. Jamie Geller is making aliyah and though she used to think that life in Israel was “so not me”, she is now encouraging others to take the plunge, too.

The kosher cooking magnate, mom, and returnee to Jewish tradition made the announcement that she is moving to Israel at the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah organization’s June 25 ‘Tweetup’. Since then, Geller has begun to share her experiences with her loyal followers on her ‘Joy of Kosher’ website and in reality-tv-style ‘Joy of Aliyah’ videos.

In an interview with the Jewish Press’s Yishai and Malkah Fleisher, Geller spoke frankly about her opinion of life in the “galus” (Diaspora) and what is driving her to make the move.

“My grandparents survived the Holocaust, and I just don’t feel like they did that so I can live in Spring Valley,” Geller told Jewish Press. “The end is not to achieve it here in America or wherever you may be, and I just feel like I’m a Jewish person and it’s the Jewish homeland, and I want to go home!”

From Highschool to HBO

Geller shared her earliest memory of wanting to live in the Jewish state, remembering a call she placed to her mother during a high school semester in Israel. “I’m not leaving, and if you’re going to make me leave then I’m going to come back after high school, and I’m going to join the army, and I want to live here forever,” Jamie told her mother.

Yet she neither stayed nor donned IDF fatigues after high school as she had planned. “I had that feeling, and it was so strong… [but] by the time I graduated high school, it wasn’t even on my radar anymore. My whole life was just taken up, and I was going to NYU, and I was going to become famous…”

And taken up she became. In just a few years, Jamie had soared to the top of her industry, writing and producing for CNN, Entertainment News, the Food Network, and HBO.

But Israel wasn’t done with Jamie Geller. It wasn’t long before she had a date with a nice young man who told her he wanted to live in Israel. “I was like ‘no way, absolutely not,’ it was almost a deal breaker. I laughed at him – and I was someone who had had those feelings!”

The Persistent Husband

It wasn’t a deal breaker. The couple married, and her husband’s dream of making aliyah did not fade. “My husband has always said – you’re not building a house in galus” and even when they bought their own house, Israel was a frequent topic of conversation.

“I think it was like water on a rock,” Geller said. “We would be Chol HaMoed (interim days of Passover and Sukkot) at Six Flags Great Adventure, an amusement park, and then [my husband] would show pictures of his brother in Hashmonaim… doing a tiyul [hike] in the land… [and it was as if he was saying] ‘it’s Chol HaMoed – what are we doing at Six Flags?’”

But while her husband talked aliyah to Israel, Geller’s career was taking off in America. In 2007, she authored her first cookbook, Quick & Kosher Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing, with her second, Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes soon to follow. Now, Jamie publishes the largest online kosher cooking website, JoyofKosher.com, and a top-of-the-line accompanying magazine, Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller.

Saying Goodbye to the Serving Dishes

Yet with all that American success, Geller told the Jewish Press that she is ready to take on the challenges of life in Israel. “I’m not going out of a position of weakness, I’m leaving a 3400 square foot home behind to go live in something double the price that’s half the size, but I’m doing it because I believe it is the right thing and the best thing for our family… I know that I’ll be working extra and double, but it’s a small price to pay to be there.”

Along with the smaller space, Geller does not much lament the little things she will leave behind, including her oversized American furniture and special serving dishes (“ain’t no room for once-a-year serving platters in Israel”, she said in one of her Joy of Aliyah videos). “I don’t think that’s a reason, just because I love blueberries, not to live in Israel. Those are silly to me… that’s not on my top list of worries. I’ve got other ones.”

Young Olim from U.S. Celebrate Their First Shavuot in Israel

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Jerusalem, May 22, 2012 — As the Jewish holiday of Shavuot approaches this weekend, Nefesh B’Nefesh, which works in close cooperation with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and the Jewish Agency for Israel, organized a special celebration yesterday in Ein Yael, Jerusalem for new Olim to better prepare them for their first Shavuot in Israel.

At the event, the children, accompanied by their parents and Nefesh B’Nefesh staff, prepared for Shavuot by assembling delicious baskets of fruit, which is a customary tradition in Israel during this period.

“I’m so excited to be celebrating my first Shavuot in Israel,” said seven year old Nachi Jerozolim, who made Aliyah with his parents from Woodmere, NY last August. “It is so much fun to be living in a Jewish country where everyone around me is getting ready to celebrate the same holiday.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/young-olim-from-u-s-celebrate-their-first-shavuot-in-israel/2012/05/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: