How to start life in Israel: Your first steps

            Mazal Tov, you did it! After months of planning and a lot of effort, your dream of coming to live in Israel finally became a reality! It’s a time to celebrate and some people even keep track of their “Aliyah-versary” date for future parties.

            It’s not our intention to spoil the fun, but there are a few things you definitely need to do when you arrive in Israel. After all, you are not yet settled and Paveway wants to make your stay as easy and smooth as possible.

            So, without further ado, we prepared a little list of things for you to start your life in Israel with the right foot:

1. Visit the Misrad HaPnim

Now that you will be a permanent resident of Israel, you need the national ID (called Teudat Zehut) and Oleh Certificate (called Teudat Oleh). This can be done at the Misrad HaPanim (Ministry of Interior), which has an office at the Ben Gurion Airport. They will ask you a few simple questions and the documents will usually be sent to your new place of residence. Remember to bring 3 small pictures of each member of your family so they can put them in the documents.

2. Visit the Misrad HaKlitah

Olim Chadashim get many perks, and perhaps one of the sweetest is the Sal Klitah, a monthly stipend from the government to help you settle. Depending on the size of your family and your financial standing, this can be a huge help so don’t forget to sign up for it. Remember that you need to schedule an appointment over the phone before going to their office.

3. Sign up for Ulpan classes

Hebrew classes are called Ulpan in Israel and they are invaluable for people who need to improve their skills. This is also done in the Misrad HaKlitah and you are entitled to have 6 free months of classes, paid by the state. This can be a great opportunity to meet new friends who happen to be in the same situation as you!

4. Open a bank account

Choose a bank of your liking, preferably close to where you will be living. If you are married, this can be a joint account that will give both you and your spouse a credit card. Don’t forget to send the form you receive from Misrad HaKlitah back to them with your bank information so you can get the Sal Klitah you signed up for! Remember: you do not need a Teudat Zehut (the country’s ID) ready in order to open your bank account. Here you also need to schedule an appointment over the phone before going there.

5. Get the Rav Kav

This is the national transport card, which enables you to travel freely and easily on trains and buses. Some people might not need it, since they will be getting a car or using one from their company, but for most people, this card will be very handy and can be acquired in one of the Rav Kav’s offices spread throughout the country.

6. Buy furniture and food for your new home

This hardly needs to be stated, but in any case, it’s something everyone needs to do when they arrive here. And it can be great fun! So, take one day off from all other activities to enjoy some shopping. We are blessed with many affordable stores and supermarkets throughout the country, so make the most out of it.

7. Search for a job

It’s highly advisable to search for a job even while you are attending Ulpan classes. Sometimes it can be a few months until you find a suitable position, so why not do it while you are also studying Hebrew? Also, it’s not rare for companies to wait for a future employee to finish his Ulpan classes (even up to a few months!) in order to fill their open positions. Make sure to have your CV ready when you come.

8. Get your driver’s license

A driver’s license is technically speaking an optional thing for most Olim Chadashim. Yet, in case you do need to drive in Israel, be sure to take the driving course or get your old driver’s license to the Misrad HaRishui in order to validate it in Israel. If you are already an experienced driver, chances are you will only need to apply for a revalidation, have a short interview and pass a simple driving test.

Making Aliyah is a huge project and it can be a little stressful, but with the right mindset and the right steps, your stay will be much more pleasant.

Paveway wishes you Hatzlacha Rabbah (great success) in your journey and if there’s anything you think we can help you with, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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