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Top 10 Most Important Things You Should Know When Making Aliyah

Top 10 most important things you should know when making Aliyah.

If you want good advise on making Aliyah, then go to the experts - real Olim.

We asked Olim from all over what they thought were the most important things to know when making Aliyah and put it together in this post. We hope you find the next 10 pieces of advise as helpful as the Olim that provided them thought they were, and, of course, if you need any shipping info for your lift, feel free to be in touch.

Image Credit: Adam Pearlman

Don't take yourself too seriously

When you move to Israel, you're signing yourself up for a constant family get together. From a mother being told how to care for her baby on the train to a salesman telling you you're overweight, Israeli's are very comfortable getting comfortable. The one-big-family mentality that middle easterners are renowned for may shock westerners, but it is (usually) coming from a good place. "I scratch your back, you scratch mine". So when you're making Aliyah, make sure you develop the necessary space within your ego and mindset to not take yourself, or anyone, too seriously.

Bring an extra dose of patience and tolerance

When you make Aliyah, know that nothing comes easily. Finances, the health system, schooling and everyday occurrences usually happen with a story. Olim suggest a very wise piece of advice, "Bring an extra dose of patience and tolerance" to help you survive the bureaucracy, transportation, phone companies, and much more.

Come with a sense of humor and an open mind

So much of life in Israel can be frustrating for the westerner that is used to a "smooth" life and friendly customer service, but Olim reiterate over and again that the only way to survive the, sometimes overwhelming, change is to come to Israel with a sense of humor and an open mind. Having a good attitude and a ready smile can help any newcomer get through the strangest scenarios.

Don't think of "there" as "back home"

It can be hard not to miss certain aspects of your origin city once you move, but most people making Aliyah have a specific reason - Israel is home. Home to the Jewish people for thousands of years, their Promised Land, the golden stone and dusty roads have a supernaturally special place in many Jewish hearts. While the changing leaves, holiday tunes, summer resorts, and much more may be nostalgic for so many, keeping the focus on the idealistic reasons one has made Aliyah is important for a successful move. Family may even be "back home", so making sure to create "family" in Israel is essential to staying positive, feeling supported, and not becoming lonely. With the right support system, a positive attitude and reminders of why you live in Israel, "there" will remain "there" and "home" will be "here".

Go on tiyulim!

Tiyulim, or trips, are an important part of the Israeli culture. During vacations, on long weekends, and any other free time, Israelis enjoy going on hikes, finding a new area to explore and appreciating the beautiful nature that surrounds them. From top to bottom, the country hosts several different climates. Up north, it is mountainous, rainy, green, full of trees and even snowy in the winter. Down south, there is a large desert with beautiful sandy dunes, volcanic craters and more. The hiking trails and parks are packed on holidays, so head out early to avoid the traffic and make sure to integrate this essential part of Israeli culture into your new life.

Think in shekel right away, not in your former currency

It might be hard to spend hundreds when it comes to shopping for a simple sweater, a few food items or a lamp (!), but thinking in shekel is very important. Whatever it may be, whether cheaper or more expensive, you don't want to start comparing prices to where you came from. Cost of living in Israel is different than where you lived originally, so price comparing for specific items is not necessarily helpful, sometimes concerning, and more than anything makes you into a foreigner.

Celebrate the little moments along the way

It is important to recognize and truly celebrate the little moments along the way. Making the move to Israel can be demanding, but when you set time aside to reflect and appreciate the little things, everyday can become a short story of heroism, love or adventure.

Enjoy! Great things happen here ALL the time!

Losing your wallet might be a balagan, but in Israel it could be more than just a happy ending. The Jewish People are always putting up lost and found signs to help out an unknown friend, creating amazing stories and great experiences. Not only with lost objects, but friendly help from someone riding the bus with you, or a gesture of kindness from a random person waiting in line at the same bureaucratic office, surprising, heartwarming and amazing things happen in Israel ALL the time!

Life is more fulfilling here on a whole other level.

Words can hardly do this point justice. Most people find that there is a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment that comes with living, struggling, surviving and enjoying life in Israel. Leaving your homeland, family, friends and your familiar surroundings cannot be easy, but many Olim find that living in Israel is a very special gift and changes life for the better.

Living in Israel is better than anything you can imagine.

Words from real people. Can't argue with the many that find this point true. It might come with challenges and some people succumb to the pressures, but many people that have moved to Israel think it is better than they, or you, could have ever imagined.

And most importantly, enjoy the ride.

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Shana Tova u’Metukah

Wishing you a happy, sweet New Year.

Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, is around the corner (Oct. 2-4) reminding us that, at least, once a year we have a time to sit down and reflect on where we are in life and where we would like to go. For many, this season is full of excitement as schools begin and families relocate.

Holiday season is the busiest moving season. Most people that are making Aliyah are moving and settling into their new homes before, during and after the Chagim. It is a great time to begin your new life in Israel.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our new Olim, Toshavim Chozrim and visitors, as well as a Shana Tova to everyone that has already been living in Israel. Below are a few links we thought would be helpful or interesting. Enjoy!

8 Reasons Why We Love Israel (Israel21c)

Anglo List's price comparisons for setting your Chag table

Sukkot Events in Tel Aviv

Maccabeat's Sukkos Style

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5 Common Misconceptions About Shipping

From selling a house to finding a community, making Aliyah involves big decisions and all the details in between. When it comes to shipping, you need to know the facts so you can make efficient and deliberate decisions about the future of your belongings. Be informed about important things you need to know to avoid confusion or aggravation. Here are a few popular misconceptions about shipping to Israel that might get in your way.

Shipping is expensive.

This could be true, but that really depends on what you’re shipping. To ship your used Ikea furniture, light fixtures, poorly made dining room set, or raggedy linens and clothes would be expensive. Why? The cost of shipping would not be worth bringing these types of items. You might as well buy new, or even used, in Israel because it will be the same or cheaper cost. But the thought that shipping, in general, is expensive is a misconception. How much would it cost to theoretically ship all your belongings as extra baggage on a flight? There aren’t many options to ship internationally and ocean freight shipping is definitely the cheapest option. There are different options/add-ons that definitely affect cost, but overall shipping what is important and worthwhile will not be more expensive than setting up your home from scratch in Israel. Read more about what is worth bringing in your shipment in our other blog posts.

You can get everything you need in Israel.

This is actually not a misconception, but it can be misunderstood. With misconception #1 in mind, the truth is that even though Israeli stores might sell most US or UK things, it might just be easier and cheaper to bring it with you. Small items, especially, can be packed into a box or a drawer. One Oleh listed that he brought a lot of toothpaste on his lift. Granted, he probably was talking about a time before cheap toothpaste in Israel, but you get the point. I personally have people bring me Listerine because I don’t feel like paying double or triple Costco’s price. Larger items need careful evaluation. Shipping prices are based on volume, so the bigger the item, the more it will cost. Books, kitchen appliances, and furniture can most likely be found in Israel, but you will have to pay Israeli prices. It is important to do enough research when deciding whether large items should be shipped or bought in Israel.

Shipping is complicated.

Shipping is only complicated if you don’t work with a reliable and professional shipping company. Either you deal with all the pieces of the picture yourself or your hire someone like Kef do to it for you. From start to finish, there is packing, crating, loading, paperwork, insurance, customs, delivery. You can choose what you do yourself and what you hire professionals for, but at the end of the day the misconception that shipping is complicated is only a possibility based on your decisions. If you do hire a company to take care of your shipment (and you), then consider the following:“Wherever a shipping company is not based, it uses a 3rd party to act on their behalf. Israeli companies use an agent at origin (e.g. in north America) for packing and a north American company uses an agent in Israel for customs clearing and delivery. Signing a contract with a company based in Israel will help you avoid surprise charges, unfamiliar agents, and lack of control at the port in Israel. If you sign a contract with an Israeli company, they have liability, responsibility, and the ability to be sued in Israel. If you use a uS company, that is not the case.”
(Kef International’s Essential Shipping Guide)

You can ship anything to Israel.

Simply put: not true. Each country has their own qualifications for what can be brought into it. Israel has a list of “forbidden items” that you can see HERE. Always find out before you purchase items to ship or pack anything if it is allowed in your container. You must also declare everything to customs, so if you’re going to bring something illegal be sure take responsibility for your decision.

You can share or sell space in your container.

This is a potentially dangerous misconception because it is illegal. People that have a smaller volume tend to think that to put their stuff on someone else’s lift or container is much easier and cheaper. It might be easier, but it is definitely not legal and shipping companies cannot help people arrange this. Meanwhile, there are other viable options for sending a smaller volume. You can read more about sharing space on your container here.


These misconceptions among others not listed above can make for a difficult or uneasy shipping experience. To be best equipped to make the best decisions for you and your family, it is important to do your research before making Aliyah. Being informed about the process of bringing your lift or container can make for smooth sailing. To read more very helpful info about shipping, download Kef’s easy-to-read Essential Shipping Guide.


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