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Make yourself at home…in Israel

Olim share reflections of how the Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Mega event helped them get started on their Aliyah journey

Illustrative: Participants at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Mega event in Times Square, March 9, 2014 (Courtesy)
Illustrative: Participants at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Mega event in Times Square, March 9, 2014 (Courtesy)

Nefesh B’Nefesh is excited to be running another series of Aliyah fairs in New YorkLos AngelesFt. LauderdaleMontreal and Toronto. These events feature Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah advisors and representatives from government offices, allowing attendees to learn more about the Aliyah process. This includes information and advice for landing a job and planning your finances, finding a house and the right community, as well as healthcare and retirement questions.

The fair is a turning point for many people, providing them with the inspiration and knowledge they need to finalize their plans and make the move to Israel. “It was great being around like-minded people and having all the resources in one space,” says Yehuda Block, who made Aliyah from Teaneck to Modi’in in 2012. “It made me think about Aliyah in a realistic way and it grounded my expectations.”

Aviva Douglen-Goldberg was also inspired after attending. “My confidence was bolstered and I felt so proud just being at the mega event. Being there with so many people who have put Israel first – I felt empowered.”

Marc Rosenberg, Director of the Pre-Aliyah Department at Nefesh B’Nefesh, explains that this is precisely the purpose behind the event. “For many, the Aliyah Fair is a way to float some of the big questions they have been thinking about, to begin to confront the myths and obstacles that might be holding them back from making this exciting move,” he explains. “This event is an opportunity to take a pause from your routine, engage with your bigger life goals, and make the dream of living in Israel that much closer.”

Yael Warman, who attended a Mega Event in Miami before making Aliyah, says she got a lot of practical advice from the event. “It really allowed us to get an idea of what we needed to research and focus on during our pilot trip. At the event we got information about shippers, accountants, and other vendors that were really important for our move.” She says the information about housing was particularly helpful. “We also attended a workshop on real estate in Israel, which we soon discovered had a whole different set of rules than in the US, so having met a real estate attorney proved to be incredibly useful.”

Andrea Aronofsky-Pernikoff felt that being able to meet with so many vendors and service providers in one place took a lot of the hassle out of getting the best price quotes and choosing the right vendors. “It helped my husband narrow down which movers he wanted to contact and what questions he should ask,” she explains, adding that she “learned about college in Israel and how to choose a community to live in.”

Block also found the career and community advice particularly valuable. “It solidified that Modi’in was the best community for us. And that I needed to switch careers,” he laughs. He recommends following up with one-on-one meetings to get individualized answers for your specific circumstances, but says he recommends the Aliyah fair as “the first stop for anyone considering Aliyah.”

Warman agrees that the overall inspiration was even more helpful than the knowledge she gained at the event. “The event helped us realize that Aliyah was truly happening. Seeing so many people from different ages, professions, family status and levels of religiousness was truly inspiring.”

To register for an Aliyah fair near you, visit

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