Nefesh B’Nefesh’s week of multiple Aliyah events throughout North America kicks off with the ‘Mega Event,’ held for the first time in New Jersey
Edited by: JV Staff
This week, Nefesh B’Nefesh is hosting multiple Aliyah events across North America enabling prospective Olim to be as prepared as possible for Aliyah. The tour has commenced Sunday, March 10th, with Nefesh B’Nefesh’s annual ‘Mega Event’, which was held in New Jersey for the first time. The events are co-hosted by Nefesh B’Nefesh, Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL) and the Jewish National Fund-USA.
The New Jersey Mega Event provided an all-encompassing slate of resources for retirees, young professionals, families and singles looking to make Aliyah, including “MedEx” – a dedicated 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.”
Whether prospective immigrants were retirees, young professionals, families or singles, the Mega Event provided guidance about a wide-range of topics, including financial planning and budgeting, choosing a community, how to build a strategic job search plan, navigating the Israeli health care system, the ins and outs of buying or renting a home in Israel, and much more. The event was open to those intending to make Aliyah in the near future as well as those in the initial planning stages. Those in attendance also had the opportunity to speak with like-minded individuals thinking about making Israel their new home.
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. The goal of this initiative is to strengthen the southern and northern regions of Israel by increasing Aliyah to these regions. This goal will be achieved by providing Olim with logistical resources, enhanced Aliyah grants, personalized pilot trips, career counseling and resources, personalized education and community guidance and additional benefits.
At the event, World Chairman of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, Danny Atar, spoke about the relationship between Aliyah and Israeli society working in synergy to create a more balanced population demographic which will help strengthen the State of Israel. He unveiled KKL’s new “Project Israel 2040” which is aimed at bringing one million new citizens to Israel’s south and half a million new residents to the north.
“In recent years, KKL has placed developing the Negev and Galil as its main goal in order to bring Israel’s periphery closer to its center. This will help strengthen the country’s social and security sectors leading to a more balanced and secure Israel. I believe that the Jewish Diaspora should, and can, play an important role in realizing this goal, first through Aliyah and then populating those areas. This move is part of KKL’s recent holistic approach towards Aliyah. In the coming years, the organization plans to transform the Negev and Galilee into high-tech centers at an international level, attracting a strong and varied population from a wide range of professions. The presence of the incredible young men and women at this Aliyah Event attests to their desire to be a part of the State of Israel and take part in realizing the great challenge of Zionism in the coming decades. They will be joining the many Jews who have come to Israel since its founding, from all corners of the world to help complete the vision of an independent state for the Jewish people.”
The parallel ‘MedEx’ conference provided the opportunity to meet with top representatives from the Israeli Ministry of Health Licensing Division, the Israeli Medical Association and Israeli Health Funds. Representatives from leading hospitals in Israel were in attendance to meet with the prospective Olim. Professionals in various medical fields were able to start the process of transferring their professional license to Israel on the spot.
Since its inception, Nefesh B’Nefesh has assisted over 615 physicians with their Aliyah process. In 2018 alone, Nefesh B’Nefesh assisted 58 North American physicians, which on average is equivalent to 10% of the overall Israeli medical graduates per year.
In attendance at the Mega Event in NJ was Consul General of Israel in NY, Dani Dayan; World Chairman of KKL, Danny Atar; Director- General of KKL, Amnon Ben-Ami; CEO of JNF, Russell Robinson; Director General of the Negev and Galilee Development Ministry, Ariel Mishal; and Co-Founders of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Tony Gelbart and Rabbi Yehoshua Fass.
On March 11 and 12, respectively, Aliyah seminars will be held in South Florida and Canada titled ‘Dollars and Sense’, which are practical Aliyah-planning sessions on budgeting, cost of living, and calculating earning potential in Israel. In addition, on March 12 and 13, a large-scale Aliyah Fair will head west to hold events in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.
About Nefesh B’Nefesh (www.nbn.org.il):
Founded in 2002, Nefesh B’Nefesh in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel and JNF-USA is dedicated to revitalizing Aliyah from North America and the UK by removing or minimizing the financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles of Aliyah. The support and comprehensive social services provided by Nefesh B’Nefesh to its over 57,000 newcomers has ensured that 90% of its Olim have remained in Israel.