To live in Eretz Yisrael. To walk its stone pathways. To breathe its air of Torah and Kedusha. To be able to approach the Makom Hamikdash and Kivrei Tzadikim on a regular basis. To literally walk in the footsteps of our forefathers. It’s the dream of every Jew. It’s been the dream for hundreds of years. And now, in the 21st century, a group of people are turning the cogs of government, economic, and social systems to make this dearest of dreams a reality for thousands of people.
When Rabbi Yehoshua Fass made Aliyah in 2002, he made two discoveries. Firstly. the obstacles preventing many English speakers from successfully integrating into Israeli society were real and significant. Secondly, the amount of people yearning to be close to the ancient streets of Eretz Hakodesh, but were discouraged only because of these obstacles, was just as large and significant. And as a result, Rabbi Fass together with Tony Gelbart, founded Nefesh B’Nefesh, to help English speakers successfully “Live the Dream.”
From those hopeful beginnings has come tremendous success – far beyond their wildest dreams. To date, Nefesh B’Nefesh is responsible for the successful Aliyah of over 30,000 Jews from the US, Canada and the UK, including 2500 IDF soldiers, 315 physicians, 420 educators, and 650 scientists and medical professionals. In the past ten years, NBN has chartered over 46 Aliyah flights. NBN has ensured the employment of 94% of their Olim, and the retention rate for Nefesh B’Nefesh Olim is a whopping 97%.
The huge success rate of Nefesh B’Nefesh owes itself to the outstanding support network they build for each and every Oleh, providing personal attention and guidance through every stage of the Aliyah process. For those considering Aliyah and wanting to learn more, NBN staff members provide innovative educational programming throughout the U.S. and U.K. Seminars, open houses, and personal (one to one) meetings help potential Olim learn all about living in Israel, explaining legalities, social considerations, government processes, healthcare issues, education, taxes, financial planning, pilot trips, and more.
Nefesh B’Nefesh helps Olim navigate the challenges they encounter as new immigrants. A listening ear is only a phone call away as NBN social workers are in regular contact with all new Olim. Close contact with the Oleh helps the social worker foresee potential problems and resolve them before they have the potential to become serious.
Nefesh B’Nefesh helps Olim acclimate to Israeli society easily and smoothly. NBN maintains an online community database of over 70 Israeli communities, with details of demographics, community resources, schools, transportation, housing costs, percentage of English speakers, ulpans, and more. NBN teaches Olim to understand and navigate the Israeli educational system and find schools suitable for their children. NBN sponsors exciting social events, bringing Olim together on hikes, museum visits, zoo trips, skiing, boat rides, air shows, game nights, and more.
Employment advisers assist Olim with Hebrew resume writing, contract negotiation, taxes, finances, and more. Resumes are entered into the NBN online employment database, and forwarded to NBN’s network of contacts in numerous fields. NBN receives, on average, 20 job offers daily. Amazingly, within the first year of Aliyah, 94% of those NBN Olim seeking employment are gainfully employed.
NBN cuts red tape and advocates for Olim in such areas as licensing, national insurance, taxes, and more. NBN liaisons with the Ministries of Interior and Immigrant Absorption, dramatically expediting bureaucratic procedures.
Nefesh B’Nefesh also offers chartered and group Aliyah flights which provide expedited Aliyah processing and invaluable emotional support for Olim. NBN’s professional staff accompanies each flight, assisting the new Olim with all paperwork on board, minimizing the bureaucracy upon arrival in Israel.
Want to learn more? NBN’s website is rich in resources and information, such as interactive webinars with real-time video and chat, and the “Aliyahpedia” collection of articles relating to Aliyah, such as planning your Aliyah, benefits, Army, education, housing, employment, retirement and much more.
Check it out, visit nbn.org.il and start planning to “Live the Dream” today!