Thursday, December 08, 2005

On "making it" in israel

According to a recent survey, commissioned by the Jewish Agency, and conducted by Dahaf - Public Opinion Research Institute, found that more than 90 percent of North Americans who immigrated to Israel between 3 and 16 months ago are "very satisfied" or "quite satisfied" with their absorption into Israel.

Here are some other points of interest from the survey (for a copy of the full survey, click here):
• The main factor explaining the variation in the level of satisfaction is employment (about 50% of those working in their field are very satisfied as compared to 41% of those not working in their field and 27% of those who are unemployed), while among the unemployed, the main factor influencing the level of satisfaction is the assistance received from organizations in Israel (52% as compared to 12%).

About three quarters (74%) said that if asked, they would recommend Aliyah to Israel. 7% stated explicitly that they would not recommend Aliyah. The main factors explaining the variation are employment and religious affiliation (secular individuals tend to recommend Aliyah less than religious, ultra-Orthodox and traditional individuals).

• 80% of the olim received substantial assistance or a great deal of assistance from one organization or another (government ministries, the Jewish Agency , Nefesh B'Nefesh).

A large majority of the olim have relatives or friends near to where they are living (76%).

Granted, I have been here longer than 16 months (going on 3 years now), but I must say that I am one of the very satisfied (and my friend Natan is amongst them, as well). To be totally honest, I don't know of anyone, on a personal level, who isn't happy with their Aliyah. Now, that is not to say that there aren't any hiccups or speed bumps along the way, and perhaps I generally associate myself with overly idealistic, passionate and proud Jews, but I do believe that the vast majority of those who choose to make Aliyah are more than satisfied with their decision to do so.

A popular mantra from many Jews in America is that they do in fact want to make Aliyah, but they are waiting until they can (circle all that apply):

* save up enough money
* get married
* finish college / graduate school
* gain work experience
* other
* all of the above

Now, this survey did not go into the financial situation of the olim who responded, whether they came with savings, and if so how much, and how they are managing financially here in Israel. However, I do not imagine that all of the olim who are included in the 93% who expressed satisfaction with their Aliyah, or the 74% who would recommend Aliyah to others are all rolling in the money or spent years saving up a ton of money.

I believe that there is more to a successful Aliyah and overall happiness in Israel than the almighty Shekel.

Thankfully, today, there exist organizations like Nefesh B'Nefesh to help with the financial side of Aliyah, Israel's Student Authority that offers olim either a free 1st or 2nd degree, as well as plenty of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes so that no oleh / olah chadas(ah) need worry about finding their (English speaking) soul mate.

The bottom line, as I see it, is that for any Jew who truly believes that Israel is where the Jewish People are meant to be, there is no reason why they must sacrifice their happiness to live the Jewish Dream that has no become a reality for so many.

Make Aliyah now, beat the Mashiach rush!


feeling 'right handed' in the garden shed....

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Dec 08, 04:29:00 PM GMT+2  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger Don Radlauer, at Thu Dec 08, 07:11:00 PM GMT+2  

Ze'ev wrote:

> Make Aliyah now, beat the Mashiach rush!

Not to mention that if peace breaks out (even without Mashiach), real-estate prices will go through the roof! :-)

Israel: You'll come for the high taxes. You'll stay for the terrorism. (Sorry sorry sorry. I've been here almost 8 1/2 years now; a bit of cynicism is, IMO, part of succeeding as an oleh.)

By Blogger Don Radlauer, at Thu Dec 08, 07:12:00 PM GMT+2  

don: If you can be cynical, then your klita is complete!

Welcome home...though it takes forever to get rid of he Oleh Chadash status. Your accent will give you away forever.


By Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata, at Thu Dec 08, 07:21:00 PM GMT+2  

Thanks for the welcome, Jameel!

In my case, just having an accent would be a relief. I made aliya with a job (I worked for an Israeli company in England during my last year living there) - so I never had time to take Ulpan. To this day, my Hebrew is spotty: fairly decent for dealing with the stuff I deal with at work, not too bad for weapons, targets, and stuff like that (I'm a volunteer police sniper, currently inactive), and lousy for lots of other things.

Vaguely Sinister Wife has been here for something like 23 years, and although she still sounds American in Hebrew (and actually pronounces things properly - a definite sign of an olah!) she actually is fluent. I'm the family dummy, Hebrew-wise.

By Blogger Don Radlauer, at Thu Dec 08, 07:42:00 PM GMT+2  

Are you a volunteer police sniper in Israel, or from the UK?

Were you on the sniper team here in Israel? Got a close friend who used to train with them every Friday morning.

In any event - welcome to the blog carnival.

By Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata, at Fri Dec 09, 07:30:00 AM GMT+2  

I think those were all pretty good reasons why someone would be in the States, actually...

And the question is not people's satisfaction with making aliyah; I'd hope that if someone does so, they'd be satisfied. The Q is how they're doing.

Notes: They've all been there a year or less; it's a bit troubling that 57% don't have a job. It's interesting that 47% are single. Half those aged 35-54 are looking for jobs and don't have, and a 1/4 of those 18-34.

Just little things that stuck out at me.

By Blogger Ezzie, at Fri Dec 09, 10:19:00 AM GMT+2  

Ezzie, the survey found that 27% arent working.

Keep in mind, that this is counting people who have been here for as few as 3 months. The 1st 6 months that a person is in the country is spent doing Ulpan, so those people wouldnt be working anyway...

I don't know how many people that would include, but I dont think there was anything drastic happening here.

Also, of course those were good reasons to stay in America, which is why so many people do stay.

The fact that 75% of olim would reccom,end it means that they must be doing well, no?

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Fri Dec 09, 12:21:00 PM GMT+2  

Living is Israel is the best! It is the place for Jews to live. We must work hard to make it the Land that Hashem sees ready for the redemtion.

By Anonymous Hillel, at Fri Dec 09, 03:49:00 PM GMT+2  

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