Aliyah and Klita

From the moment you land in Israel, Telfed is here to support you.

Telfed – the South African Zionist Federation (Israel) – was established in 1948 with the purpose of assisting new Olim to Israel with their absorption (klita).

Over the years, we have evolved to meet the changing needs of our Olim. The Jewish Agency for Israel is the the organisational body that deals with Aliyah from South Africa and Australia through various centres, including the Israel Centre in Johannesburg and Cape Town and the Aliyah Centres in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, Australia. The Aliyah process (including flights, documentation requirements and ulpan) is under the umbrella of the Jewish Agency.

Once you arrive in Israel, Telfed is at your disposal. A Telfed representative will be waiting for you at the airport when you land in Israel.* Avraham will assist you with the bureaucratic requirements at Ben Gurion Airport. From there, we are a phone call away. A few days after your arrival, you will be contacted by a Telfed staff member and a volunteer from your region will be in touch. We encourage new Olim to meet with our Aliyah and Klita advisor to better understand Olim rights and Aliyah benefits.

To learn more about your first steps in Israel, download our new arrivals booklet (pdf).

In order to maintain regular contact, please ensure your contact information is up to date.

For more information, contact Danieladaniela@telfed.org.il / 09 790 7804

*except on Fridays, holidays and in other exceptional circumstances. 

Pre-Aliyah FAQs

The Jewish Agency for Israel is responsible for Aliyah (immigration to Israel). If you are considering making Aliyah, your first port of call is the Israel Centre in Johannesburg or Cape Town, or the Aliyah Centres in Melbourne, Sydney or Perth.

Jewish Agency representatives will provide you with the relevant information and requirements for making Aliyah.

Israel Centre, South Africa

Johannesburg – 011 645 2560

Cape Town – 021 286 2130

Zionist Federation of Australia – Aliyah

Melbourne – 03 9272 5688

Sydney – 02 9360 2368

The Jewish Agency for Israel

Global Service Center (Jewish Agency)

Global Center toll-free phone numbers:

  • South Africa – 0 800 996 886
  • Australia – 1 800 445 781
  • New Zealand – 0 800 448 591

Preparing for Aliyah is a process that can take a few months, depending on the individual. Once you have the relevant documentation (as explained by the Israel Centre or Aliyah Centre), you can make Aliyah at any time. There are factors to take into consideration:

If you have school-age children, you may want to arrive in Israel over the summer (July/August) in order to start the new school year in September.

If you would like to start ulpan soon after your arrival, find out when the next ulpan closest to you will begin.

Telfed does not arrange pilot trips to Israel but our team is available for one on one meetings in person, or over the phone, ahead of your Aliyah. If you would like to schedule a pre-Aliyah meeting please contact us. You may schedule an appointment with our Aliyah and Klita advisor, our employment advisor, property manager or social worker.

We also encourage you to contact our regional volunteers ahead of your Aliyah to learn more about the communities you are considering moving to.

As always, research and advance preparation will serve you well. We invite you to follow us on Facebook – and encourage you to use this forum for Aliyah-related questions including advice and information on suitable communities, choosing a health fund (kupat cholim), information on the education system, and more.

If you, or a family member, have a disability or if you require guidance on special needs education, please ensure that you arrange a pre-Aliyah meeting with our social worker. She will offer information and guidance specific to your needs.

If you would like to join a WhatsApp group that is independently run by a South African Oleh for members of the South African community who are planning to make Aliyah, send an email (with your full name and contact details) to typeemail@gmail.com. Please note, this group is administered by a volunteer.

This is an often-asked question and one that we cannot answer for you.

We can, however, connect you with Southern African Olim in communities around Israel. Do you want to live in a city or on a moshav? Do you prefer a religious environment, a secular environment or a mixed community? Do you want a community with a large English-speaking population? Do you need to be in close proximity to one of the big cities? Will you be using public transport? And does the community you are considering meet your transportation needs? Do you have children with special needs and where will their needs best be supported? These are some of the questions we encourage you to think about before you decide on where to live.

As always, research and advance preparation will serve you well. We also invite you to follow us on Facebook – you may use this forum for Aliyah-related questions including information about suitable communities, health funds (kupat cholim), education, doctor recommendations and more.

An overview on communities throughout Israel is available on the Nefesh B’Nefesh website.

We cannot provide an exact answer to this question. However, the prevailing guideline is to arrive with sufficient savings to cover your monthly expenses for at least 6 months.

The Jewish Agency will cover the costs of your flight to Israel and your transfer from the airport.

In most cases, we do not recommend bringing a large container with you to Israel. Housing sizes vary and your furniture may not be suitable for your new home, and the shipping is costly. This should not be an automatic assumption, weigh the options available to you before you decide.

You will receive your Sal Klita (absorption basket) from the Ministry of Aliyah and Klita, but it is essential that you arrive in Israel with sufficient funds to cover your expenses for the first few months.

You should make extra provision if you are planning on renting as many landlords require a security deposit.

You may need to adjust your lifestyle expectations when you first move to Israel. While healthcare and education are provided by the state at a minimal cost, rentals are higher than what you may be accustomed to.

Take a look at our cost of living index, and ask locals in the communities you are considering – this will give you a clearer picture of what your monthly expenses may be.

We recommend visiting the Jewish Agency’s website for the most comprehensive and up to date information about your Aliyah benefits. 

For an overview, click here.

To download the Jewish Agency’s ‘First Steps 2018’ booklet, click here.

For information on your absorption basket, click here.

To calculate your absorption basket, click here (Hebrew only). 

The Student Authority should be your starting point. The Student Authority will advise you of your options for studying in Israel. In addition, they may recommend preparatory courses before you begin your studies. For further information on Higher Education in Israel, click here.

Each university has its own acceptance criteria. Your matric may not automatically be accepted at all universities. Please contact the universities directly to learn more about their admission requirements.

If you chose to make Aliyah after completing matric, you will be required to do national service.

In general, new Olim qualify for tuition grants from Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Absorption) within 3 years of making Aliyah for a Bachelor’s degree if they are under 27 and a Master’s degree if they are under 30. Time spent serving in the army does not count towards the 3 years.

For pre-Aliyah queries, contact Ortal Dary at the Student Authority in Tel Aviv: aceng@moia.gov.il and 02-6214693.

For detailed information on how to apply after you have made Aliyah, please contact the Student Authority in

Haifa: 15 Pal-Yam Street, tel: 04-863-1140 / 48/ 49, Hastudents@moia.gov.il

Jerusalem: 15 Hillel Street, tel: 02-621-4552 / 4545, Jrstudents@moia.gov.il

Tel Aviv: 6 Esther Hamalka Street, tel: 073-3974004/3, Tastudents@moia.gov.il

Be’er Sheva: 31 Shazar Street, Beit Oshira, tel: 08-626-1286, Bsstudents@moia.gov.il

If you plan on making Aliyah, or if you would like to assist elderly parents to make Aliyah, we recommend you arrange a meeting with our Aliyah and Klita advisor, as well as with our social worker.

As employment options are severely limited, those who are not financially stable need to give careful thought to making Aliyah.

Visit the Bituach Leumi website (National Insurance Institute) for information on pensions in Israel .

Prior to Aliyah, we strongly recommend contacting our Aliyah and Klita advisor (daniela@telfed.org.il/ 09 790 7804) and our social worker (ariela@telfed.org.il / 09 790 7821) to learn more about your rights, benefits and other practical information.

If you are considering a retirement home, Beth Protea (located in Herzliya), was founded by members of the Southern African Olim community.

Anglo-list offers ‘Top Tips‘ for retiring in Israel.

Blev Shalem offers information on geriatric care in Israel.

The vast majority of Israelis send their children to public schools. In some communities, private or semi-private options are also available.

From the age of 3, children can attend public nursery school (gan).

Primary school runs from grades 1 through 6; middle school from grades 7 to 9; and high school from grade 10 to 12.

Your options will vary depending on your location. School placements are often based on zoning, which may influence where you choose to live. Most communities will offer you the choice between secular (chiloni) or religious (dati) schools.

Consider what framework you would like and find out where other families in the community send their children to school. Does the school offer ulpan (Hebrew learning)? Do you want to live in walking distance to a school? Understand what your family needs are and ask the relevant questions!

For information on special needs education, please contact our social worker – ariela@telfed.org.il / 09 790 7821

The Jewish Agency for Israel is responsible for Aliyah (immigration to Israel). If you are considering making Aliyah, your first port of call is the Israel Centre in Johannesburg or Cape Town, or the Aliyah Centres in Melbourne, Sydney or Perth.

Jewish Agency representatives will provide you with the relevant information and requirements for making Aliyah.

Israel Centre, South Africa

Johannesburg - 011 645 2560

Cape Town - 021 286 2130

Zionist Federation of Australia - Aliyah

Melbourne - 03 9272 5688

Sydney - 02 9360 2368

The Jewish Agency for Israel

Global Service Center (Jewish Agency)

Global Center toll-free phone numbers:

  • South Africa - 0 800 996 886
  • Australia - 1 800 445 781
  • New Zealand - 0 800 448 591

Preparing for Aliyah is a process that can take a few months, depending on the individual. Once you have the relevant documentation (as explained by the Israel Centre or Aliyah Centre), you can make Aliyah at any time. There are factors to take into consideration:

If you have school-age children, you may want to arrive in Israel over the summer (July/August) in order to start the new school year in September.

If you would like to start ulpan soon after your arrival, find out when the next ulpan closest to you will begin.

Preparing for Aliyah is a process that can take a few months, depending on the individual. Once you have the relevant documentation (as explained by the Israel Centre or Aliyah Centre), you can make Aliyah at any time. There are factors to take into consideration:

If you have school-age children, you may want to arrive in Israel over the summer (July/August) in order to start the new school year in September.

If you would like to start ulpan soon after your arrival, find out when the next ulpan closest to you will begin.

This is an often-asked question and one that we cannot answer for you.

We can, however, connect you with Southern African Olim in communities around Israel. Do you want to live in a city or on a moshav? Do you prefer a religious environment, a secular environment or a mixed community? Do you want a community with a large English-speaking population? Do you need to be in close proximity to one of the big cities? Will you be using public transport? And does the community you are considering meet your transportation needs? Do you have children with special needs and where will their needs best be supported? These are some of the questions we encourage you to think about before you decide on where to live.

As always, research and advance preparation will serve you well. We also invite you to follow us on Facebook – you may use this forum for Aliyah-related questions including information about suitable communities, health funds (kupat cholim), education, doctor recommendations and more.

An overview on communities throughout Israel is available on the Nefesh B’Nefesh website.

We cannot provide an exact answer to this question. However, the prevailing guideline is to arrive with sufficient savings to cover your monthly expenses for at least 6 months.

The Jewish Agency will cover the costs of your flight to Israel and your transfer from the airport.

In most cases, we do not recommend bringing a large container with you to Israel. Housing sizes vary and your furniture may not be suitable for your new home, and the shipping is costly. This should not be an automatic assumption, weigh the options available to you before you decide.

You will receive your Sal Klita (absorption basket) from the Ministry of Aliyah and Klita, but it is essential that you arrive in Israel with sufficient funds to cover your expenses for the first few months.

You should make extra provision if you are planning on renting as many landlords require a security deposit.

You may need to adjust your lifestyle expectations when you first move to Israel. While healthcare and education are provided by the state at a minimal cost, rentals are higher than what you may be accustomed to.

Take a look at our cost of living index, and ask locals in the communities you are considering - this will give you a clearer picture of what your monthly expenses may be.

We recommend visiting the Jewish Agency’s website for the most comprehensive and up to date information about your Aliyah benefits. 

For an overview, click here.

To download the Jewish Agency's 'First Steps 2018' booklet, click here.

For information on your absorption basket, click here.

To calculate your absorption basket, click here (Hebrew only). 

The Student Authority should be your starting point. The Student Authority will advise you of your options for studying in Israel. In addition, they may recommend preparatory courses before you begin your studies. For further information on Higher Education in Israel, click here.

Each university has its own acceptance criteria. Your matric may not automatically be accepted at all universities. Please contact the universities directly to learn more about their admission requirements.

If you chose to make Aliyah after completing matric, you will be required to do national service.

In general, new Olim qualify for tuition grants from Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Absorption) within 3 years of making Aliyah for a Bachelor's degree if they are under 27 and a Master's degree if they are under 30. Time spent serving in the army does not count towards the 3 years.

For pre-Aliyah queries, contact Ortal Dary at the Student Authority in Tel Aviv: aceng@moia.gov.il and 02-6214693.

For detailed information on how to apply after you have made Aliyah, please contact the Student Authority in

Haifa: 15 Pal-Yam Street, tel: 04-863-1140 / 48/ 49, Hastudents@moia.gov.il

Jerusalem: 15 Hillel Street, tel: 02-621-4552 / 4545, Jrstudents@moia.gov.il

Tel Aviv: 6 Esther Hamalka Street, tel: 073-3974004/3, Tastudents@moia.gov.il

Be’er Sheva: 31 Shazar Street, Beit Oshira, tel: 08-626-1286, Bsstudents@moia.gov.il

If you plan on making Aliyah, or if you would like to assist elderly parents to make Aliyah, we recommend you arrange a meeting with our Aliyah and Klita advisor, as well as with our social worker.

As employment options are severely limited, those who are not financially stable need to give careful thought to making Aliyah.

Visit the Bituach Leumi website (National Insurance Institute) for information on pensions in Israel.

Prior to Aliyah, we strongly recommend contacting our Aliyah and Klita advisor (daniela@telfed.org.il/ 09 790 7804) and our social worker (ariela@telfed.org.il / 09 790 7821) to learn more about your rights, benefits and other practical information.

If you are considering a retirement home, Beth Protea (located in Herzliya), was founded by members of the Southern African Olim community.

Anglo-list offers 'Top Tips' for retiring in Israel.

Blev Shalem offers information on geriatric care in Israel.

The vast majority of Israelis send their children to public schools. In some communities, private or semi-private options are also available.

From the age of 3, children can attend public nursery school (gan).

Primary school runs from grades 1 through 6; middle school from grades 7 to 9; and high school from grade 10 to 12.

Your options will vary depending on your location. School placements are often based on zoning, which may influence where you choose to live. Most communities will offer you the choice between secular (chiloni) or religious (dati) schools.

Consider what framework you would like and find out where other families in the community send their children to school. Does the school offer ulpan (Hebrew learning)? Do you want to live in walking distance to a school? Understand what your family needs are and ask the relevant questions!

For information on special needs education, please contact our social worker - ariela@telfed.org.il / 09 790 7821

Arriving in Israel FAQs

It is important to be in contact with our Aliyah and Klita advisor ahead of your Aliyah. Avraham, our Telfed representative, will be waiting to welcome you at Ben Gurion Airport when you land in Israel (except on Fridays, Saturdays and religious holidays, or in exceptional circumstances). Avraham will guide you through your first bureaucratic steps as a new Oleh/Olah.

Click here to download Telfed’s booklet for new Olim, detailing your first steps in Israel. This includes information on obtaining your ID, opening a bank account, and registering for a health fund, national insurance, and your Aliyah benefits.

In general, all Olim Chadashim are processed by Misrad Hapnim at the airport and given a temporary Teudat Zehut. This is valid for 3 months. You will need to make an appointment with Misrad Hapnim in order to apply for a permanent Teudat Zehut. You can do so online (in Hebrew) or by calling *3450. If you schedule an appointment for 3 months after your Aliyah date, you will be able to apply for an Israeli passport at the same time.

If you are a Katin Chozer, Ezrach Oleh, former A-1 via holder, Oleh B’Shenit or Oleh Gorer Zakaut you will not be processed at the airport and will have to go to your local branch of Misrad Hapnim to apply for your Teudat Zehut. Most branches require you to schedule an appointment online.

Once you have received your Teudat Zehut, you willl be able to open a bank account. Both spouses must be present. Married Olim are required to open a joint account in order to receive Sal Klita payments as a family. Make a small deposit when you open the bank account as Misrad Haklita cannot transfer Sal Klita payments to an inactive account.

Israel has four state-mandated health care organisations, Kupot Cholim, that offer health care services for Israeli citizens: Maccabi, Clalit, Meuchedet and Leumit.

It is important to understand which healthcare fund will be best suited to your geographic location and medical needs. Ask for recommendations in the community you have chosen, prior to your arrival in Israel.

You have the option to register for your Kupat Cholim at the airport. Visit your local branch after one week to make sure that you are in the system, find out about topping-up with an additional tier of insurance and order your membership card. Make sure to bring with you the stamped voucher that you received at the airport.

You are not obligated to register for a health fund at the airport. If you do not sign up at this time, you can do so at a local post office by paying a small fee.

Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute) is the umbrella organisation for a number of social services in Israel. It covers the basic health plan of the different Kupot Cholim and provides stipends for child allowances, income support, pensions and workers’ compensation, etc.

Every Israeli has to pay into Bituach Leumi each month. If you are employed, your employer deducts the payment from your salary and pays Bituach Leumi on your behalf (noted on your salary slip). If you are unemployed or self-employed, you need to set up an account directly with Bituach Leumi.

As an Oleh you do not need to pay Bituach Leumi during the first 6 months if you are unemployed during that time. If you are still not working after 6 months you can ask Misrad Haklita for “Dmei Kiyum” which is an additional 6 months’ worth of financial assistance, during which time you also do not need to pay Bituach Leumi.

After you have been in Israel for one year, you will have to pay Bituach Leumi – either through your employer or directly yourself. If you are a pensioner, you get the basic level of health coverage for free for 6 months, after which you need to go to Bituach Leumi to open an account with them.

Call your local branch of Misrad HaKlita (Ministry of Absorption) to schedule an appointment with a personal Klita counselor.

During this meeting you will receive information about your Sal Klita (including payment dates), ulpan registration vouchers, access to online Klita services and information on region-specific resources. Students will receive information about studying in Israel.

If you are making Aliyah with children under the age of 18, you should receive a monthly stipend (Kitzvat Yeladim). After you visit Misrad Haklita, your child allowance should automatically be deposited into your Israeli bank account. Please make sure to check your account two months after Aliyah to make sure you are receiving the stipend. If you have not received it, please contact Bituach Leumi.

To download the Jewish Agency’s 2018 booklet on Aliyah rights and benefits, click here.

To calculate your absorption basket, click here (Hebrew only).

Whether you are renting or own a property, you will be obligated to pay Arnona (municipality taxes). This is calculated based on the size of the residence.

Olim are granted up to a 90% discount on Arnona (for up to 100 square meters) during one of their first two years in Israel. The amount of the discount is determined by your local municipality.

Returning Minors are not eligible for this discount.

Children ages 0-3 can be placed in private daycare, which you can arrange directly with a facility of your choice.

You will be required to register for pre-school (from age 3), primary school, middle school and high school through the education department of your local municipality. This can only be done once you arrive in Israel.

It is worth noting that after school activities (chuggim) – including arts, sports, dance and music – are not offered through the school system. These are run independently of the schools.

To begin with, we would like to clarify that the Olim who participate in our regional committees are volunteers who are dedicating time and energy to assist new Olim so as to make your integration easier. We greatly appreciate their concern with the wellbeing of new Olim, and once you are settled, you too are invited to take an active role in supporting new Olim to your community.

You may contact our regional volunteers before your Aliyah and once you arrive in Israel. 

An Oleh who is eligible for conscription will only receive call-up papers from the Israel Defense Force a year after making Aliyah. If you wish to enlist before this time, you need to contact the army directly and ask them to bring forward your call-up date: write to Lishkaat Ha’Giyus at meitav@idf.gov.il or call 03-7388888.

Length of army service is determined by the IDF according to the age you were upon arrival in Israel.

For official guidelines on the duration of military service, click here (in Hebrew).

Religious boys who want to study in yeshiva can apply to defer their army service. This must be organised in conjunction with the yeshiva.

Religious girls have the option of military service or national service (Sherut Leumi). More information on Sherut Leumi is available from these organisations: Aminadav, Bat Ami and HaAguda Lehitnadvut.

If you are eligible for military or national service and you are making Aliyah alone, please let us know! Send an email to lonesoldiers@telfed.org.il.

Olim may drive in Israel using a valid foreign license for up to 1 year from the date of Aliyah. However, if you entered Israel within 12 months prior to your Aliyah entry date, the year count will start from this entry date.

If you can prove that you have had a valid driver’s license for at least 5 years prior to making Aliyah, you will not have to take a road test.

If you have not yet reached the age of 70, you will also not have to take an eye examination or medical test. You will still need to present the Green Form (Tofes Yarok) that is obtained from a licensed optician’s office, together with your foreign driver’s license.

From age 70 and above, you will need to take an eye examination and do a medical test. You will also need to present the Green Form (Tofes Yarok) and foreign driver’s license.

Please note that with or without the road test, the driver’s license conversion can only be done within 3 years of making Aliyah.

If you cannot prove the above 5 year requirement, you will need to take a road test.

Schedule a few lessons with a driving school and they will help schedule the test for you. You must present a valid foreign driver’s license issued at least 3 months prior to entry into Israel. A theory test is required only if the road test is failed twice.

You can apply to convert your foreign license at the Regional Offices of Misrad Harishui (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) in Haifa, Jerusalem, Holon, Ramle, Rishon and Beer Sheva. The main number for Misrad Harishui is *5678 or 1-222-5678.

You will be eligible to apply for an Israeli passport 3 months (90 days) after you make Aliyah.

Click here for information on applying for your first Israeli passport.

Additional information on how to apply, what is required, biometric passports and fees, is available on the Government Services and Information website.

It is important to be in contact with our Aliyah and Klita advisor ahead of your Aliyah. Avraham, our Telfed representative, will be waiting to welcome you at Ben Gurion Airport when you land in Israel (except on Fridays, Saturdays and religious holidays, or in exceptional circumstances). Avraham will guide you through your first bureaucratic steps as a new Oleh/Olah.

Click here to download Telfed's booklet for new Olim, detailing your first steps in Israel. This includes information on obtaining your ID, opening a bank account, and registering for a health fund, national insurance, and your Aliyah benefits.

In general, all Olim Chadashim are processed by Misrad Hapnim at the airport and given a temporary Teudat Zehut. This is valid for 3 months. You will need to make an appointment with Misrad Hapnim in order to apply for a permanent Teudat Zehut. You can do so online (in Hebrew) or by calling *3450. If you schedule an appointment for 3 months after your Aliyah date, you will be able to apply for an Israeli passport at the same time.

If you are a Katin Chozer, Ezrach Oleh, former A-1 via holder, Oleh B’Shenit or Oleh Gorer Zakaut you will not be processed at the airport and will have to go to your local branch of Misrad Hapnim to apply for your Teudat Zehut. Most branches require you to schedule an appointment online.

Once you have received your Teudat Zehut, you willl be able to open a bank account. Both spouses must be present. Married Olim are required to open a joint account in order to receive Sal Klita payments as a family. Make a small deposit when you open the bank account as Misrad Haklita cannot transfer Sal Klita payments to an inactive account.

Israel has four state-mandated health care organisations, Kupot Cholim, that offer health care services for Israeli citizens: Maccabi, Clalit, Meuchedet and Leumit.

It is important to understand which healthcare fund will be best suited to your geographic location and medical needs. Ask for recommendations in the community you have chosen, prior to your arrival in Israel.

You have the option to register for your Kupat Cholim at the airport. Visit your local branch after one week to make sure that you are in the system, find out about topping-up with an additional tier of insurance and order your membership card. Make sure to bring with you the stamped voucher that you received at the airport.

You are not obligated to register for a health fund at the airport. If you do not sign up at this time, you can do so at a local post office by paying a small fee.

Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute) is the umbrella organisation for a number of social services in Israel. It covers the basic health plan of the different Kupot Cholim and provides stipends for child allowances, income support, pensions and workers’ compensation, etc.

Every Israeli has to pay into Bituach Leumi each month. If you are employed, your employer deducts the payment from your salary and pays Bituach Leumi on your behalf (noted on your salary slip). If you are unemployed or self-employed, you need to set up an account directly with Bituach Leumi.

As an Oleh you do not need to pay Bituach Leumi during the first 6 months if you are unemployed during that time. If you are still not working after 6 months you can ask Misrad Haklita for “Dmei Kiyum” which is an additional 6 months’ worth of financial assistance, during which time you also do not need to pay Bituach Leumi.

After you have been in Israel for one year, you will have to pay Bituach Leumi – either through your employer or directly yourself. If you are a pensioner, you get the basic level of health coverage for free for 6 months, after which you need to go to Bituach Leumi to open an account with them.

Call your local branch of Misrad HaKlita (Ministry of Absorption) to schedule an appointment with a personal Klita counselor.

During this meeting you will receive information about your Sal Klita (including payment dates), ulpan registration vouchers, access to online Klita services and information on region-specific resources. Students will receive information about studying in Israel.

If you are making Aliyah with children under the age of 18, you should receive a monthly stipend (Kitzvat Yeladim). After you visit Misrad Haklita, your child allowance should automatically be deposited into your Israeli bank account. Please make sure to check your account two months after Aliyah to make sure you are receiving the stipend. If you have not received it, please contact Bituach Leumi.

To download the Jewish Agency's 2018 booklet on Aliyah rights and benefits, click here.

To calculate your absorption basket, click here (Hebrew only).

Whether you are renting or own a property, you will be obligated to pay Arnona (municipality taxes). This is calculated based on the size of the residence.

Olim are granted up to a 90% discount on Arnona (for up to 100 square meters) during one of their first two years in Israel. The amount of the discount is determined by your local municipality.

Returning Minors are not eligible for this discount.

Children ages 0-3 can be placed in private daycare, which you can arrange directly with a facility of your choice.

You will be required to register for pre-school (from age 3), primary school, middle school and high school through the education department of your local municipality. This can only be done once you arrive in Israel.

It is worth noting that after school activities (chuggim) - including arts, sports, dance and music - are not offered through the school system. These are run independently of the schools.

To begin with, we would like to clarify that the Olim who participate in our regional committees are volunteers who are dedicating time and energy to assist new Olim so as to make your integration easier. We greatly appreciate their concern with the wellbeing of new Olim, and once you are settled, you too are invited to take an active role in supporting new Olim to your community.

You may contact our regional volunteers before your Aliyah and once you arrive in Israel. 

An Oleh who is eligible for conscription will only receive call-up papers from the Israel Defense Force a year after making Aliyah. If you wish to enlist before this time, you need to contact the army directly and ask them to bring forward your call-up date: write to Lishkaat Ha’Giyus at meitav@idf.gov.il or call 03-7388888.

Length of army service is determined by the IDF according to the age you were upon arrival in Israel.

For official guidelines on the duration of military service, click here (in Hebrew).

Religious boys who want to study in yeshiva can apply to defer their army service. This must be organised in conjunction with the yeshiva.

Religious girls have the option of military service or national service (Sherut Leumi). More information on Sherut Leumi is available from these organisations: Aminadav, Bat Ami and HaAguda Lehitnadvut.

If you are eligible for military or national service and you are making Aliyah alone, please let us know! Send an email to lonesoldiers@telfed.org.il.

Olim may drive in Israel using a valid foreign license for up to 1 year from the date of Aliyah. However, if you entered Israel within 12 months prior to your Aliyah entry date, the year count will start from this entry date.

If you can prove that you have had a valid driver’s license for at least 5 years prior to making Aliyah, you will not have to take a road test.

If you have not yet reached the age of 70, you will also not have to take an eye examination or medical test. You will still need to present the Green Form (Tofes Yarok) that is obtained from a licensed optician’s office, together with your foreign driver’s license.

From age 70 and above, you will need to take an eye examination and do a medical test. You will also need to present the Green Form (Tofes Yarok) and foreign driver’s license.

Please note that with or without the road test, the driver’s license conversion can only be done within 3 years of making Aliyah.

If you cannot prove the above 5 year requirement, you will need to take a road test.

Schedule a few lessons with a driving school and they will help schedule the test for you. You must present a valid foreign driver’s license issued at least 3 months prior to entry into Israel. A theory test is required only if the road test is failed twice.

You can apply to convert your foreign license at the Regional Offices of Misrad Harishui (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) in Haifa, Jerusalem, Holon, Ramle, Rishon and Beer Sheva. The main number for Misrad Harishui is *5678 or 1-222-5678.

You will be eligible to apply for an Israeli passport 3 months (90 days) after you make Aliyah.

Click here for information on applying for your first Israeli passport.

Additional information on how to apply, what is required, biometric passports and fees, is available on the Government Services and Information website.