Photo Credit: Shahar Azran
Nefesh B'Nefesh Co-Founders Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart; Yossi Amrani, Israel's Consul General in New York; and Ofir Sofer, Minister of Aliya and Integration with medical professionals who volunteered in Israel during the war.

After eight successful years of expediting licensing and placements for thousands of North American healthcare professionals interested in making Aliyah, Nefesh B’Nefesh is expanding its medical initiative to Jewish communities around the world. After the annual US MedEx event today, March 10, Nefesh B’Nefesh will hold its first European MedEx in Paris, France on March 31, as part of the organization’s newly founded International Medical Aliyah Program (IMAP).

Nefesh B’Nefesh signed a multi-year agreement with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and the Health Ministry, to create an international program to streamline the immigration process for medical professionals, ensuring their ability to integrate into Israel’s medical workforce upon arrival in Israel. 


The objective of the International Medical Aliyah Program is to facilitate the Aliyah of 2,000 physicians over the next five years. The program offers medical professionals an all-encompassing array of resources, services, and personal consultations and will now be offered around the world in various locations.

This first-of-its-kind program has been made possible thanks in part to the generous sponsorship of The Marcus Foundation, the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA-UIA), and The Jewish Agency for Israel.

“Confronting the growing challenges of healthcare personnel shortages, especially in times of crisis, remains a critical mission for us,” said Tony Gelbart, Co-Founder and Chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “The International Medical Aliyah Program is designed to ensure a seamless transition for these committed medical professionals and passionate Zionists, and we are thrilled to now offer this expedited process to professionals from all over the world. We are honored to have been given this role by the Israeli government and extremely grateful to our philanthropic partners for making this possible.”

This year’s inaugural event, which took place in Teaneck, NJ, was attended by 230 physicians from 30 states and provinces across the US and Canada. In addition, it was attended by nearly 500 medical professionals including nurses, dentists, podiatrists, psychologists, optometrists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, audiologists, dietitians and nutritionists, and dental hygienists.

“Today, I had the privilege of meeting hundreds of physicians at the Nefesh B’Nefesh’s MedEx conference, some already in the advanced immigration stages and others expressing interest in making Aliyah in the future,” said Minister of Aliyah and Integration Ofir Sofer. “Through collaborative efforts involving the Directorate of Doctors, the Ministry of Health, and Nefesh B’Nefesh, we will facilitate their smooth transition through the bureaucratic Aliyah procedures, enabling a swift integration into Israel’s healthcare system. Today, on behalf of the State of Israel, we also express our profound gratitude to these doctors for their invaluable service.”

As part of today’s MedEx program, participants received expedited processing of their medical licenses as well as networking opportunities with Israeli medical professionals and employers. Experts from various Israeli ministries and institutions, as well as Tekuma, the newly formed government branch focused on rebuilding Israel’s south, were on-site to discuss and assist with license conversions, specialty recognitions, and notarization of documentation. Representatives from Israeli HMOs, hospitals, and organizations conducted interviews to ensure that qualified Olim can experience a swift and efficient transition into the workforce.

“Strengthening our health system with skilled professionals and experts in their respective fields is crucial, especially in light of the significant shortage of doctors in Israel,” said Health Minister Uriel Menachem Buso. “The national program we are advancing is imperative, and we are committed to streamlining bureaucratic procedures and expediting the absorption process into our healthcare system. I am confident that this program will enable us to fulfill our responsibilities and deliver a high-quality and timely medical response to all citizens of Israel.”

Since its inception, Nefesh B’Nefesh has aided more than 940 physicians and 3,000 medical professionals in their Aliyah processes. Most are now employed in hospitals, HMOs, and the private sector. 

Following MedEx, the long-standing Nefesh B’Nefesh ‘Aliyah Fair’ will take place on Tuesday, geared for hundreds of potential Olim of all backgrounds and occupations. The fair encompasses various vendors and representatives, offering vital assistance and services to those interested in or planning Aliyah.  

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