Putting the focus on aliyah
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Putting the focus on aliyah

(Shahar Azran)
(Shahar Azran)

Record numbers of future olim attended Nefesh B’Nefesh’s weeklong series of events about making aliyah from North America. The week kicked off with the so-called Mega Event in Teaneck on March 10. This was the first time that the Mega Event has held in New Jersey.

 The gatherings are designed to help prospective olim to be as prepared as possible for aliyah. They are co-hosted by Nefesh B’Nefesh, Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and the Jewish National Fund-USA. 

The New Jersey Mega Event provided a wide-ranging list of resources for retirees, young professionals, families, and singles looking to make aliyah, including “MedEx,” a track of seminars and personal meetings for medical professionals.

“It has been an amazing experience for us to have hosted our first Mega Event in New Jersey,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “Nefesh B’Nefesh is constantly striving to create accessible ways for potential olim to explore their options and take those additional small steps toward fulfilling their aliyah dreams. By bringing the Mega Event to New Jersey we were excited to have reached even more local aliyah-minded individuals.”

The topics included financial planning and budgeting, choosing a community, building a strategic job search plan, navigating the Israeli health care system, and deciding whether to buy or rent a home in Israel. The meeting was open to everyone thinking about making aliyah, from the earlies stages to people to people almost ready to go. 

One of the main focuses of this year’s Mega Event was to highlight the various opportunities available to olim as part of the KKL-NBN Go-Beyond initiative. Its goal is to strengthen the southern and northern regions of Israel by growing its population; if olim have access to logistical resources, enhanced aliyah grants, personalized pilot trips, career counseling and resources, personalized education, and community guidance, they are likely to consider making their new homes in one of those regions.

Since its inception, Nefesh B’Nefesh has assisted more than 615 physicians with their aliyah process. In 2018, the organization helped 58 North American doctors, which on average is equivalent to 10 percent of the overall Israeli medical graduates per year.   

Among the Mega Event attendees were Dani Dayan, the consul general of Israel in New York; KKL world chair Danny Atar; KKL director-general Amnon Ben-Ami; Jewish National Fund CEO Russell Robinson; director-general of the Negev and Galilee Development Ministry Ariel Mishal; and Nefesh B’Nefesh’s co-founders, Tony Gelbart and Rabbi Yehoshua Fass.

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