Nefesh B’Nefesh on Sunday and Monday held a two-day “MedEx” event, providing an all-encompassing array of resources and personal meetings for medical professionals interested in making Aliyah.
In cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL), and the Jewish National Fund-USA, alongside Israel’s Ministry of Health, Nefesh B’Nefesh has been working tirelessly to arrange and offer informative consultations for future Olim seeking to convert their U.S. medical licenses to work in their relevant fields in Israel. The MedEx event took place from March 27-28 in New Jersey, with over 350 medical professionals, among them 150 physicians, from 15 states and provinces across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico in attendance.
Since its inception, Nefesh B’Nefesh has assisted more than 770 physicians and 2,800 other medical professionals with their Aliyah process. Most are now employed in hospitals, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and the private sector.
MedEx participants had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Israeli Ministry of Health Licensing Division, Israel Medicine Association (IMA), HMOs (kupot cholim), and hospitals to obtain current, reliable, relevant information to assist with their Aliyah process. These experts were on hand to discuss and expedite the medical licensing process and to ensure a rapid transition into the Israeli medical workforce, as well as to provide professional networking opportunities, information regarding specialty recognition within Israel, and notarization of documentation. Most importantly, leading Israeli health and medical institutions at MedEx interviewed qualified candidates for positions in the medical industry so that Olim can secure jobs even before they arrive in Israel.
The event was geared to physicians, nurses, dentists, podiatrists, psychologists, optometrists, pharmacists, occupational, speech, and physiotherapists, audiologists, dietitians and nutritionists, and dental hygienists.
“The pandemic has highlighted in Israel the need for additional qualified medical professionals in all specialties, and we, therefore, remain committed to creating opportunities for these potential Olim to explore their options and minimize the logistical obstacles of the licensing process,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “Our MedEx track has proven to be an indispensable element of their Aliyah process, and it was exciting for us to once again host this in-person event, especially as we continue to see an increase in Aliyah interest from medical professionals from across North America.”
“Nefesh B’Nefesh’s MedEx conference is a wonderful example of the combination of Zionism and professionalism,” Minister for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, Oded Forer said. “We will welcome them with open arms and make every effort to assist these new physicians in Israel. In addition, I plan on continuing to work tirelessly to promote the Aliyah of physicians and engineers, of which there is a great shortage in the periphery, and to implement the new governmental budget allocated for all the professionals who choose to live in the Negev and Galilee.”
“The State of Israel and its healthcare system are offering the MedEx attendees impressive professional opportunities while at the same time helping them fulfill their Zionist dreams,” said Associate Director-General of Israel’s Health Ministry, Dr. Sefi Mendlovic. “As part of the event, the medical professionals were able to begin the process of converting their medical licenses and specialty recognition by Israel. Participants were interviewed by representatives of various hospitals and health funds from Israel’s central region as well as its periphery, all before completing their actual Aliyah. The aim was to expedite the bureaucratic procedures of the licensing process, ensure faster integration into their chosen professions, and guarantee the Israeli healthcare system a quality, skilled and experienced workforce. Special meetings were also held with a group of physician’s assistants in preparation for establishing them as a new “pioneering force” in the medical establishment of Israel.
David and Helen Marcus are both physicians from New York who attended MedEx. David specializes in both Emergency and Internal Medicine, and Helen specializes in Pediatrics: “We chose to come to MedEx because it enables us physicians planning on making Aliyah, to secure our licensing and gain recognition of our specialties in Israel, as well as hearing about employment opportunities in advance of landing in Israel. This process relieves and reduces stress, and it allows us to deal with most of the bureaucracy even before Aliyah when the alternative is waiting weeks or months to complete the whole process from within Israel. The very existence of this event has given a very warm welcome to all of us medical professionals considering Aliyah.”
Dignitaries who attended the MedEx Event included Minister for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, Oded Forer; Director-General of the Ministry for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, Ilan Shochat; Israeli Consul General of New York, Asaf Zamir; Associate Director-General of Israel’s Health Ministry, Dr. Sefi Mendlovic; leader of the Coalition and Chairwoman of the Knesset Health Committee, MK Idit Silman; and Co-Founders of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Tony Gelbart and Rabbi Yehoshua Fass.