As a Jew born in the USA, if I wanted to move to Israel, what steps would I have to take? Can someone who has done so describe what the process involves? I don't know anyone who has.

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    Dov, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for posting this important question (which I hope will get re-opened)! I hope you'll look around and find other material worth landing on, including, perhaps, our 35 questions about eretz-yisrael.
    – Isaac Moses
    Apr 3, 2013 at 15:32
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    No offense to the poster, but how is this not off-topic? Apr 23, 2013 at 15:50
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    @CharlesKoppelman If I asked how to check my lulav to be able to do the mitzva, would that be off-topic?
    – Double AA
    Jan 31, 2014 at 16:08
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    @DoubleAA No. However, if you were to ask what steps you needed to take to open a lulav importing company, I would consider it out of scope. This seems to me to be more in the weeds of secular law and process than mitzva fulfillment. Feb 5, 2014 at 2:53
  • Voting to close as asking about Israeli law and not Jewish law. “Note that not all questions about...the State of Israel are necessarily about Judaism.”
    – DonielF
    Oct 30, 2018 at 19:31

4 Answers 4


Give Nefesh B'Nefesh a call - 1-866-4-Aliyah. Since 2002 they have helped 33,000 People make Aliyah. (Including Jamie Geller in this other answer) They have pre-Aliyah counselors, an employment team ready to help you find work and many other resources. Their web site is full of helpful articles about finances, employment, Israeli communities and the Aliyah process. B'hatzlacha!


From what I recall - it's been 23 years - you have 3 choices:

  1. Find a Jewish Agency in the U.S. where a Shaliach will help you make Aliya while in the States. It involved a Medical Check Up in my time. When you arrive here you have everything needed to be a full citizen without further ado.
  2. Hop on a plane and at the Ben Gurion airport inform the clerk at passport control that you want to make Aliya. This supposedly works - if they believe you are Jewish. I don't know anybody who tried this.
  3. Come as a tourist and then go to Misrad HaKlita (Absorption Ministry) and tell them you want to make Aliya. They will start the ball rolling and guide you through the rest of the process.

Better yet - read the Misrad HaKlita's current instructions online.

We started with #1 and got as far as the Medical Check Up. Then we did #3 - and were never asked for the Medical Check Up results.

Documents you may need during the process:

  • Passport
  • Passport Pictures
  • Diplomas and resume
  • "Proof" that you are Jewish; a letter from the local Rabbi on his stationary may suffice.
  • This answer deals with only the legal aspects of aliya.
    – msh210
    Apr 22, 2013 at 16:16
  • @msh210 - What else should I add? Seeking employment? Items to bring/but here? Places to live? I'm open to suggestions. Apr 23, 2013 at 6:34
  • Sure, any or all of those. And/or degree of necessity of learning Hebrew. And/or arranging a lift. And/or... I don't know.
    – msh210
    Apr 23, 2013 at 7:04
  • Ben-Gurion security will try to ascertain whether you're Jewish by asking you a few questions about your congregation and such.
    – Publius
    Apr 24, 2013 at 7:05

Something you may want to want to watch to get a feel:


It's a 10-part series that documents the Aliyah of Jamie Geller and her family.


well I have heard that many anglo speaking people from America and others made aliyah what was not known was that many of them do not know Hebrew and moved there and made aliyah. that however was wrong. because they are not suppose to be able to make aliyah until they do speak Hebrew read and write Hebrew that takes more then a year to do all this language study in college or university they have to take those courses. and do that and then complete the courses. then they have to send a document to jewish agency for Israel and must show proof that they completed that course for Hebrew before being able to make aliyah as they work closely with ministry of interior they will not be moved with anyone to make aliyah until that meet that requirements and all documents presented and send in to them also go to the ministry of interior.so just to make sure that anyone wanting to make aliyah must take up Hebrew courses in u.s. first at a college or university campus for at least 2 years or so Hebrew is very very very hard to do you cannot do it alone. you need to have the courses that's approx. how long it will take to learn it,that also applies to all who converted to Judaism they are required to take Hebrew no exceptions by the government of Israel they are tough and will not allow any aliyah to anyone until they prove they can speak the language period....

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    Since this directly contradicts some of the other answers, can you please add some links that state this is the government policy.
    – Mike
    Jan 30, 2014 at 21:09
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    Not sure where this info came from but it is not true. You do not need to know hebrew when you get on the airplane, and you can learn it in Ulpan when you get to Israel. I have been in Israel for 10 years and speak only very basic Hebrew
    – Zachary K
    Feb 2, 2014 at 11:19

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