Happy Aliyah Day! Here are some tips for a successful move to Israel

Opinion: Despite the uncertainty of the current war and because of rampant global antisemitism, there’s still time to say 'This year in Jerusalem'
Daniel Green|
Three months before I made aliyah, or immigrated to Israel, if you'd told me that one day I’d live in Israel, I would have laughed. I started by thinking, “I’ll just give it three months,” and over a decade later, I’m still here, and still haven’t felt the need to book a one-way ticket back to Australia.
But here I am over a decade later, reminded that, even in these complicated times, Israel really doesn’t just feel like home, it is home, and I’m both glad and grateful to still be here.
If you’ve ever considered making aliyah, and if the thought is still top of mind even during this bizarre and painful time – from October 7 and the war that followed, to this week’s attack from Iran, to global antisemitism that is running rampant – my top piece of advice is to still do it. Throughout history the Jewish people have been faced with tough decisions and, as Passover nears, it’s more important than ever that we embrace our homeland and the worlds’ one Jewish state to help our people thrive. There’s still time to say “This year in Jerusalem.”
Here are my tips on how to make aliyah successfully during what some may see as the worst of times.

Build a support network

For new olim (immigrants) who are reading the news 200 times a day and checking the El Al website, stop. Israel has been facing threats since long before 1948 and, as we remind ourselves every Passover, that we’ve been facing such threats “in every generation,” and yet we persevere, and we’re still here.
The single most important thing you can start doing to make your aliyah a success is build a support network in Israel. That can be as simple as finding a synagogue with a community you connect with, joining any of the hundreds of non-profits and social organizations that meet regularly in Israel, or just figuring out your favorite coffee shop and taking the time to learn the names of the staff who work there and some of the regulars. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get “adopted” in Israel by people who want to see Jews immigrate here and succeed.
Even in times of conflict, most groups and organizations are still meeting, though they just might need to move to a location that has better access to a shelter.
Being in Israel during times of war can be quite powerful in terms of bonding – with neighbors, strangers and taxi drivers – and generally brings out the best in people. Maybe it’s a massive form of group therapy, but for a lot of people it seems to work.

Adopt the mindset

Every day I hear a new story of someone who moved here, during the war, and these stories rarely contain regret. There are risks and dangers to living in almost any country, but Israel seems to have such a powerful resilience as part of the culture that, despite war and conflict, life quickly settles into a “new normal” and we just continually adjust.
Daniel GreenDaniel GreenPhoto: Mor Arkadir
You need to learn to adopt the Israeli mindset of “this is Israel, what other home do we have,” and things quickly get easier. The grass isn’t always greener, and while any oleh or olah who has lived here for longer than three months (or 14 years in my case) will be happy to give you their long list of complaints and concerns, they’ll then be able to tell you stories of kindness from strangers, adventures in government offices and chaos with taxi drivers, that somehow smooth out the rough edges and are the reason they’ve stayed.

Just see for yourself

So if you’re newly here in Israel, welcome. I hope you find your community, or communities that form an anchor to the country and help you to settle and thrive. If you’re thinking of making the move, come. No-one has a crystal ball and can tell you if it will be easier in three days, three months, or three years; You’ll just need to figure that out, from Israel, laughing and crying through the news cycle like the rest of us.
Daniel Green is co-founder & CTO at Faye Travel Insurance. He made aliyah from Australia 14 years ago and is now building his second company in Israel
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