Haredi aliyah initiative blossoms into movement

Naava Kodesh establishes network to facilitate aliyah for English-speaking haredi community, focusing on networking and community

Mordechai Sones ,

Joy of mitzvah: Reception held at Ben Gurion Airport for new immigrants
Joy of mitzvah: Reception held at Ben Gurion Airport for new immigrants
Flash 90

"Have you ever wanted to live in Eretz Yisroel? But you thought it was IMPOSSIBLE. THINK AGAIN," begins the website of Naava Kodesh, an organization created to help members of U.S. Torah communities navigate the challenges in establishing their residence in Israel.

"Today Boruch Hashem there are thousands of Americans living happy and fulfilling lives in vibrant Torah communities throughout Eretz Yisroel. We’ll connect you with our network of community contacts to give you the info you need to make Eretz Yisroel your home, too."

To facilitate such connections, Naava Kodesh established their community contact database to connect potential Olim with people already living here. By connecting applicants to people with similar backgrounds, occupations, and lifestyles as their own, they are able to get the information potential haredi olim need to find appropriate communities, housing, education, and employment.

In addition, Naava Kodesh has a list of English-speaking rabbis ready to answer questions and provide customized guidance regarding the many aspects of living in Israel.

Additionally, Naava Kodesh is currently developing helpful community profiles of all major, American Torah communities in Israel, including specific information about schools, shuls, yeshivas, kollels, neighborhoods, housing costs, employment opportunities, and more.

More recently Naava Kodesh launched their Haaretz Hatova series profiling Haredi Olim who are living here so that they can share the experiences with their brethren back in the States in the hope that their success stories will inspire them to come and join. Haaretz Hatovah appears on a number of US-based news websites in the tri-state area and in a major print newspaper. They also started distributing the weekly in over 100 Shuls in Lakewood New Jersey. More info about their activities can be found on their website.

Joy of mitzvah: Reception held at Ben Gurion Airport for new immigrants
Flash 90

Avira D'Eretz Yisroel

The Avira D'Eretz Yisroel project, a grassroots effort to help long-term yishuv Eretz Yisroel for the English-speaking haredi community, with a focus on affordable housing and warm community.

Contacts were made with English-speaking residents in various communities in Israel. These include but are not limited to such diverse cities as Teveria Illit, Rechasim, Givat Hamoreh in Afula, Ma'ale Amos, and Ofakim.

Yoel Berman, who heads the project, said, "The communities we live in may have been suitable for us as young couples, but are not the places in which we want to continue to raise our children. We still find our avodas Hashem benefiting much from the same avira d'Eretz Yisroel that brought us here in the first place, or perhaps even see yishuv Eretz Yisroel as part of our avodas Hashem.

"The solution lies, at least in part, in discovering communities with affordable housing, which have an atmosphere that will allow for our integration. But how do we find out about such places? Do they even exist?"

Berman answers: "This is exactly where the Avira project comes in. It is about creating connections between us and the English-speakers who have already made the various relevant yeshivah/haredi communities their home."

The project's website contains a wealth of organizations and resources for haredi English-speakers living in (or interested in living in) the Land of Israel.