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Considering applying to make Aliyah - a few quick questions


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#1 Speeding Wheels

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 09:11 PM

Shalom!

I am looking into applying for Aliyah and have found some amazing resources all over the internet, however there are still a few key questions that I cannot find answers for before I even move forward with the application process.

Let me just give a brief overview of who I am -

I'm a 43 year old single man who currently lives in the US.
I am unemployed and the job market here in Detroit simply stinks - thus I have no ties of significance that would block my move if I choose to go ahead with it.


My questions are for those who have made Aliyah recently.. especially if you're single.

1. What kind of financial requirements are there? I'm not in debt for any amount I cannot clear, but I also dont have a ton of savings.
2. Is it possible for a single person to live on the Absorption Basket funds during the initial transition in Israel?
3. How much is a small 1 bedroom or studio apartment in Haifa, Tel Aviv or another similar, vibrant city?
4. How much is cell phone service for Olim? I have seen many mentions of cell companies being on site for the "Aliyah on A Red Carpet" events, but dont see mention of prices.
5. Is it easy to use public transit to navigate through the major cities and what is the cost?

These are only a few of my concerns.. but I really need to know if I can pull this off financially before I even consider submitting the paperwork for approval.

Thank you all for your time... I am very excited to move forward with this journey!

#2 paganyid

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 10:13 PM

Will you be studying in Ulpan full-time at the start of your transition?

#3 Shoshi

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 10:44 PM

I have a couple of questions:

1. Do you speak Hebrew? (the reason I ask is because it's much easier to secure a decent job if you are fluent or at least quite proficient in Hebrew. Some jobs are available for English speakers - English is also a valuable skill in Israel since it's really the international language in general, but Hebrew skills are even more important.)

2. Do you have a profession and/or work experience that is valuable and needed in Israel?

3. Do you have family in Israel? (The reason I ask is because Israel is a very family-oriented society. As a single you are already at somewhat of a disadvantage socially. Most 43 year olds will be married in Israel. However, among the secular population (if you are secular, or at least not Orthodox), there is a significant amount of divorce, so you may meet a fair number of divorced people your age with whom to socialize, both men and women. However, having family there, even some cousins, will be very helpful. Failing that, do you have any friends in Israel?

4. Do you have some savings you can bring to Israel? I don't think it's enough not to have debt. You will want to have some savings to carry you through at least the first few months.
No, the absoption basket is not enough to live on.
If you stay at an absoption center/ulpan for the first 5 months, I suppose you can survive (since they give you a place to live and some meals I believe), but believe me, after that, you will need a place to stay and some cash. Life in Israel is quite expensive - like a mid-level American city or higher - and salaries are low. The average salary in Israel is about $19,000 per year. Keep in mind that as a new immigrant without (possibly) language skills and connections (VERY important in Israel), you may be making well below the average salary. So you will want to bring some American dollars to help you through the first months at least.

5. I don't know much about prices of real estate in Haifa. I do know that Tel Aviv has become very expensive. To rent a studio or 1 bedroom apartment may cost you between $750 and $1000 per month. (keep in mind that the average salary is $19,000/year). You may want to think about living with a roommate. I know, not appealing as a 43 year old single.

I made aliyah in 1997 at age 29, and lived in Jerusalem as a single new immigrant for 4 years. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them.

Good luck!

#4 Speeding Wheels

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 11:40 PM

Wow, thanks so much for the responses!

@Pagenyid - Yes, I plan on studying Ulpan upon arrival. I will do some basic Hebrew study during the approval process, but I have to believe Ulpan will be a far cry greater than any Hebrew education I could get here in the states.

@Godol Hador -
1. No. As a child I had some very basic Hebrew comprehension skills, but those have eroded over time. As I stated I will embrace Ulpan upon arrival.
2. I work with computers, preferably as a hardware technician although I do have networking skills. Over 10 years in the field.. so my resume, or CV will at least get me in the door.
3. No family in Israel that I am close to. I know there are distant cousins and such that have made Aliyah over the years.. I'm sure I could get some names and contact info and since you mention that it's going on my "To Do" list. I also have at least 3 other contact, friends or family of current friends of mine. At least one of whom I already know will gladly show me around if I should end up in Haifa (where his family is located)
4. I'll have a bit.. I'm just trying to figure out what the target number needs to be. If the average salary is $19k and the Absorption Basket gives just shy of $16k the first year I would think it should be doable... there wouldnt be many extras, but it seems like it should work out.


Regardless, I will be making first contact with the Shlichah for my region tomorrow.
I'm very excited to talk to her and see what she has to say about everything.


Thanks again for the responses.. please keep them coming and I will update as things progress.

#5 Shoshi

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 11:44 PM

Wow, thanks so much for the responses!

@Pagenyid - Yes, I plan on studying Ulpan upon arrival. I will do some basic Hebrew study during the approval process, but I have to believe Ulpan will be a far cry greater than any Hebrew education I could get here in the states.

@Godol Hador -
1. No. As a child I had some very basic Hebrew comprehension skills, but those have eroded over time. As I stated I will embrace Ulpan upon arrival.
2. I work with computers, preferably as a hardware technician although I do have networking skills. Over 10 years in the field.. so my resume, or CV will at least get me in the door.
3. No family in Israel that I am close to. I know there are distant cousins and such that have made Aliyah over the years.. I'm sure I could get some names and contact info and since you mention that it's going on my "To Do" list. I also have at least 3 other contact, friends or family of current friends of mine. At least one of whom I already know will gladly show me around if I should end up in Haifa (where his family is located)
4. I'll have a bit.. I'm just trying to figure out what the target number needs to be. If the average salary is $19k and the Absorption Basket gives just shy of $16k the first year I would think it should be doable... there wouldnt be many extras, but it seems like it should work out.


Regardless, I will be making first contact with the Shlichah for my region tomorrow.
I'm very excited to talk to her and see what she has to say about everything.


Thanks again for the responses.. please keep them coming and I will update as things progress.


Just curious - how does the Absorption Basket give you 16 K the first year? You mean the rental subsidy? Or the free airfare? Absorption Center/ulpan?

#6 Speeding Wheels

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:06 AM

http://www.moia.gov....ountsBasket.htm


According to that table the total amount is $15,789 for a single person.
Or am I reading it wrong?

#7 happyduck1979

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:13 AM

I have no idea where you get the 16000 number, but as a family of 3 we did not get that much when we came last year. If I remember right it was roughly 12 for all 3 of us. If you mean that plus unimployment (for which you are eligible after your sal klita runs out) you should understand that it is not so simple to get. You WILL br able ot get it, but it will make your life, and what you can and can't do, somewhat more complicated.

The rental subsidy only starts after the end of the first year and is not a lot of money. I think it was 400 shekel a month the first year and goes down by 100 shekel a year after that.

The basket grant is NOT enough to live on in any major city- certainly not in TA where rents on small places can start at a few thousand shekel a month. We figure out first year (keep in mind we were 3 people) cost us about $15000 on top of our sal kilta, not including our lift costs. That included furniture, clothing, utilities, for us a bunch of day trips to various parts of the country, school, apartment fees, rent and various other things.

We did not find the olim cell phone packages to be worth bothering with. We are currently with cellcom, and spend about 250 shekel on both phones together, for 850 minutes a month between the 2.

I have found that public transit is basically good and reasonably priced (most places. TA and JLM service is great but prices are higher). We do not have a car. We do rent on occasion, but 95% of the time we rely on transit and have no trouble getting around.

Please feel free to pm me if you have any more questions as I am only checking in here spotilly for the next bit.
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#8 Pinchas

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 06:40 PM

http://www.moia.gov.il/Moia_en/FinancialAssistance/TableAmountsBasket.htm


According to that table the total amount is $15,789 for a single person.
Or am I reading it wrong?


You are reading wrong. It's 15,789 NIS... that's New Israeli Shekel... NOT US dollars. The rate today is $1 is about 3.89NIS so you have to divide by almost 4 to get the amount in US dollars.

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