Nefesh B'Nefesh has launched an innovative new project, "Go North", to encourage aliyah (immigration) to northern Israel. Go North is aimed at westerners who want to make aliyah to northern cities such as Afula and Nahariya, but are uneasy about living away from the major urban centers of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The program will provide an "unprecedented amount" of help for them.
According to the project's website, Go North will supply new families with grants of up to $25,000, transportation subsidies, employment services and help with social infrastructure. The program offers two aliyah tracks. The first one lists pre-selected communities that have English speaking residents, Hebrew language support, new immigrants who can provide emotional support and guided assistance in dealing with government offices. The neighborhoods that are offered are Maalot-Tarshisha, Karmiel, Misgav and Afula.
The second track promotes faster integration into an Israeli community. It provides social programs with other immigrants and Israelis, employment assistance, and transportation to Hebrew language courses. The second track communities include Kfar Tavor, Acre Moshav Hazorim, Hatzor Haglilit and Nahariya, among others.
The Ministry of the Development of the Negev and Galilee sees aliyah to the north as a priority for the strengthening of Israel, and ministry officials say they will accommodate the new immigrants as much as possible.
The Go North program is funded by the Russell Berrie Foundation of Teaneck, NJ. Nefesh B'Nefesh, an organization founded in 2002 that encourages aliyah from North America and the United Kingdom, says it plans to work with the Jewish Agency for Israel to bring more than 1,000 new olim in the next few years.