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If one has decided to make aliya, are there particularly good (or bad) times during the year to do so, beyond the desire to be there for chagim? Factors that seem relevant would include tax-related timing/deadlines, the school year, employment cycles (when is it easier/harder to get jobs), rental cycles (if leases are easier to get at certain times of the year), availability of government services for olim, and probably other factors I haven't thought of.

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Moving generally (not specifically to Israel) is easier on school-aged children when done between school years. Or so I'm led to understand. –  msh210 Nov 7 '11 at 21:46
    
@msh210, that's my impression too. I gather that in some places it's easier to move mid-year (strong semester system) and others it's not; no idea what it's like in Israel. –  Monica Cellio Nov 7 '11 at 22:03
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Go Tomorrow!!!! –  Double AA Dec 28 '11 at 2:15

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+250

The best time? Get on the next flight. (listen to a clip of Gershon Veroba's song)

But as for the most common/popular times to come:

I am the research assistant (intern) on a study (currently unpublished) examining patterns of aliyah. (We sent the draft to the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption for feedback, and more data, but that's probably on hold for the next few months until after elections.) The hard data shows that avi's answer isn't totally correct.

Worldwide rate of Aliyah per month

By far, the most common time for aliyah is in the summer. Close to double the amount of people make aliyah during each summer month compared to each winter month. The reason for this is most likely as he said; it's easiest for families with kids to move outside of the school year. That's also when my family made aliyah.

The January 1st observation seems to be kind of arbitrary. Some years have it, some don't. Same with around the chagim (and Pesach).

But that's the worldwide data -- aliyah from all countries, both Western and not. What if we only look at American data?

Rate of American aliyah per month

Here, the summer spikes are much more pronounced. I would say maybe 5 times higher than during the winter.

Also, the January observation might seem to show up here -- see those December spikes? I would guess that because these are "rich Americans" making aliyah, and not say, desperate Russians, they can be more concerned about making it easier with taxes.

The idea about Pesach also shows up a little more here, but the difference is negligible. It might be reading too much into a blip on the graph.

I'm not going to post the graphs here, but current Russian aliyah does not show "summer spikes" anywhere near the American level. Clearly, it's an older population making aliyah. From France, there is a spike pattern, but it's also high the rest of the year, combing traits from both USA and Russia.

To summarize, right now is the best time of year to make aliyah.

But as for what is the most common time, it's definitely summer. From Western countries, January (for tax reasons) is also done by some; from third-world countries, it's more stable across the year.

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Oh wow, thank you for sharing hard data! I didn't know we had this knowledge within the Yodeyan community. –  Monica Cellio Dec 21 '14 at 18:28
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I'm a data wonk, and this is FANTASTIC! Wow. Love it! If you have this level of detail, you've GOT to have age striated data-sets (or ones organized by family rather than by person) that would enable you to test the "summer aliyah" conjecture directly, right? Also: is there an increase in US aliyah following Birthright missions? End of zman American Yeshivas? This is a gold mine! –  Isaac Kotlicky Feb 24 at 13:55
    
@IsaacKotlicky Thanks. :) We actually don't have more specific data. We only have numbers per country per month, and only for 2005-2013 right now. Regarding Birthright and Yeshiva, i don't think everyone comes at the same time. Some people might decide to just make aliyah then and there, some might stay for a little while without officially making aliyah, some might come back a year, 5 years, 20 years later... –  Scimonster Feb 24 at 13:58
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Please post an update when your full report is published. –  Isaac Moses Feb 24 at 14:02
    
@IsaacMoses Don't worry, i will. –  Scimonster Feb 24 at 14:02

From what I have seen there are 3 or 4 popular times to move to Israel.

-Right before or right after January 1st.

This is done mainly for tax purposes so that it is easier on your mind to remember when things are do for which country and you don't feel all confused. However this does not work well if you have children that need to enter the school system.

-A month or so before the Chagim (Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur)

This is mostly done for religious reason as it just feels good. It is also good for children as the school year is just starting, and you can have a place for the children to go while you take care of all the things that need to be taken care of when you move.

-Right before Pesach

This is a time when Israel's weather is just about perfect, so moving heavy things or worrying about air conditioners and heaters is not so important. It aslo makes "cleaning for pesach" that much easier.

-The middle of the summer

Many families find that moving in the middle of the summer is best for the kids, as it seems like just one huge family vacation at first.

All Olim services and deadlines are based on the day you make Aliyah are not fixed to any yearly schedule. Except for specific laws that might be passed the year you make Aliyah, there is no real difference when you move. (For example, if they decide to change the import tax rates one year, that could be a factor... however that is very very rare.) As far as finding a Job, I have found that "hiring season" happens about once every 3-4 months depending on the industry.

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In most industries, hiring is a year-round thing, with a couple of exceptions: summer is often a low point, with a lot of hiring managers on vacation; as is Chagim time (till well after Sukkot), and around Pesach also. Also anything related to government/public sector (which, in Israel, is most jobs) tend to have a different pattern towards the end of the year (mid-November till January), though sometimes this can be in both directions. Obviously, some industries are different - e.g. teachers, which are obviously tied to the school year (but not always directly). –  AviD Nov 12 '11 at 18:35

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