Behind the Scenes: Letter to the Jewish Agency

Jewish Agency

As I’m sure our readers know by now, our Ariel Aliyah program has a very good relationship with all of the organizations involved in North American aliyah.  Recently the Jewish Agency shared with me an insightful letter that an olah chadashah wrote them.

Guess why I mention this – that’s right! Because I’m about to share that letter with you…

Of course, the name of the olah and the name of the “involved city” have been removed. The purpose of this post is not to single-out a person rather to highlight a phenomenon, not to disparage a city in the Land of Israel – G-d forbid – but to give people practical decision making tools.

Here we go: 

Dear —,

My name is — and my family made aliyah to — through the Communal Aliyah Program in May of 2007. We have truly appreciated all of the additional help that we received through the program, however we will be leaving — shortly, and we felt the Jewish Agency should be aware of the reason why.

When we arrived in —, we were able to find a 4 room apartment that was conveniently located for 2800 NIS per month. When the time came to renew our lease, our landlord demanded 3800 NIS per month, a 30% increase. A brief search of the real estate listings shows that the lowest rent available for even a 3 room apartment in — is 3200 NIS. If the point of the Communal Aliyah program is to build communities, instead of just giving olim an Anglo destination to crash land into for a year before benefits like sal klita and arnona reduction end, perhaps there should be a different approach to choosing the participating cities, such as someplace more affordable.

We visited Ariel and they seem to have the right idea. It’s a very Israeli city with a small Anglo population that really needs assistance, versus —‘s large Anglo population that can afford the rising prices with or without the addtional benefits.

Thanks for your time,

I can’t say that I personally agree with the terminology used in the letter. It’s not that where there are Anglos there’s less of a need and where there are Israelis there’s more of a need. HOWEVER – the bottom line is perfectly clear: Ariel continues to develop an ideal location for Anglo olim. It’s not about an attractive benefits package, leaving you high and dry when it runs out. It’s about a REAL place you can call home, afford, enjoy and be part of a community.

 Simply put, Ariel works for those who choose to live in Israel, work in Israel and love life in Israel.

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1 Response to “Behind the Scenes: Letter to the Jewish Agency”


  1. 1 Batya August 8, 2008 at 5:19 am

    Nothing has changed, since I made aliyah decades ago, except there was public housing being built which kept the market reasonable. Now any half-way decent place has a shortage. Rents have gone up in Shiloh, too.


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