Aliyah Survey Results 2015
Anglo-list is a well established platform delivering practical Aliyah and Israel lifestyle information for Olim and expats. The recently establishment Facebook group Keep Olim in Israel Movement's mission is to empower, inspire, and support Olim, to help them integrate and find jobs. We decided to join forces and investigate current Aliyah issues and frustrations. This is our first survey together and from these and results of future surveys we will be able to identify problem areas and move towards a better future for all olim.
From various chat boards and social media Anglo-List and K.O.I.M identified a number of problem areas that olim continue to find difficult, distressing and even exasperating and from this information we prepared our questions.
The survey was promoted and shared in many Facebook groups for English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Greek, Bulgarian and other language speakers. It was also promoted on Google+, various list-serves and via direct mailings. 312 people participated in the survey. According to recognized statistics, a 6% margin of error is considered normal in a sample group of 300 people. From this website's demographics as well as previous surveys, we know the following:-
- Length of Aliyah
- Service Providers
- The Kids
1. How long have you been in Israel?
|First year||More than 1 but less than 3||More than 3 but less than 5||More than 5 but less than 10||More than 10 but less than 15||More than 15 years|
The community was asked to rank various topics on a scale of 1 - 10 with 1 being the worst experience and 10 being the best experience. All answers are shown in percentages.
To gain further insight respondents were invited to add a personal comment. There were as many as 37 comments on some of the questions. Obviously we could not publish them all. We have published some of the comments that gave us some insight into the real issues.
2. How would you rate your overall experiences with the various government offices like Misrad Haklitah (Ministry of Absorption), Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of Internal Affairs), Bituach Leumi (National Insurance) or any other government office you might have had to deal with?
52.7% off respondents answered in the negative 1 -5 range
47.3% of respondents answered in the positive 6,7,8, and 9 range with nobody being completely satisfied.
- I went to all places afraid of what I'd experience, but people in Bituach Leumi and Misrad Hapnim were nice and helpful once I spoke up and asked. Ironically Misrad Haklitah was the worst. But bureaucracy is never fun.
- I've adjusted my expectations. With the right attitude, and Hebrew, I get things done.
- The score of 5 that I gave is made out of higher numbers for Misrad Hapnim, where I never had any issues, an average number for Misrad HaKlitah, which has never impressed me much, and a very low number for Bituach Leumi, which is an useless dinosaur.
- Fortunately, we know how to network really well, so we haven't had any problems with BL or other government offices.
- In general, most of the people working in those places are not polite. It is hard to deal with them sometimes, when we just want to solve our problems.
- Main setback - working hours. If you have a job - forget getting there without taking a day off. It would be best if all the communication could be done remotely, via internet and postal mail for documents.
3. How would you rate the Hebrew learning experience at the Ulpan or Merkaz Klitah as covered by the Aliyah benefit?
65.76% off respondents answered in the negative 1 -5 range
34.24% of respondents answered in the positive 6 -10 range
- I found the teaching techniques 'infantilizing' and humiliating for mature adults from English-speaking countries. Some teachers were better than others.
- Not great hanging out with other Anglos only
- It was a good experience socially, but most of the other people in the Ulpan were Russian doctors, so much of the conversation was in Russian. I learned a bit, but began to speak Hebrew with a Russian accent, which was a bit funny. Still, it's an excellent program.
- I spent a while at the Mercaz Klita in Ra'anana and although not really a perfect situation, I found that it really helped to have somewhere to go immediately.
- After finishing Kita Aleph, about 10-12 of us signed a letter of complaint to the Minister of Education about the terrible teacher. We wanted our time credited back to us and we documented why she was so terrible. We received no reply!
- It is hard to come to a new country. Having the absorption center was really good, considering that you have a place to stay until you can put your thing in order. But the ulpan was terrible. I was in a experience program, the first class of the Movilim program. It wasn't good at all. While I tried to stay in my classes of the Ulpan Alef, my wife gave up of her class of the Ulpan Alef Plus. She knew the basic of hebrew, but there where people up to the Guimel level at her class, and that transformed her experience into something terrible.
- I made aliyah in 2005, I live in the north and a few months after I arrived the war broke out and after that I was not allowed to do a free ulpan anymore,
4. How would you rate the experience of finding suitable, appropriate and affordable housing or accommodation in Israel?
56.98% off respondents answered in the negative 1 -5 range
43.02% of respondents answered in the positive 6 -10 range
- The lack of a rental system in Israel is a problem. Need to build rental only buildings
- I've never had a problem finding housing, but I've intentionally avoided Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, since I couldn't afford to live there.
- Very hard to find rentals for a normal price unless you go to the middle of nowhere.
- Nightmare! adverts are misleading, landlords are slumlords, moving costs are very high, contracts are complicated
- This is a tricky question. At first I lived in a rat hole. But it's because I didn't know any better. Apartments are extremely expensive here, and when I first got here I didn't know where or what to look for, so I took the first reasonably priced studio in a location that I knew. After a year or so and becoming more familiar with Tel Aviv I moved out and since then I have managed to find very nice places to live (not necessarily in the center center) but still, better quality, better landlords, better prices. Having Israeli friend help me with contracts, however, has been invaluable. I'm not sure how my experience would have been without Israeli's who know the system help me.... However, I believe that this would be the case in any new country (to have locals help you out) so I don't think it's particularly an Israel problem.
- The problem is to find something affordable to rent in the ares olim have better chances to get a job (Jerusalem or Tel Aviv area). And if you want to buy something you have to be a hero (or a millionaire).
5. How do you rate the experience of signing up or dealing with private services like The Electric Company, Cable TV companies (HOT or YES), all phone companies (Bezeq, Orange, Cellcom, Pelephone etc.), the internet providers and gas companies etc.?
60.01% off respondents answered in the negative 1 -5 range
39.99% of respondents answered in the positive 6 -10 range
- The signing up is not the problem, everybody wants your money. The nightmare starts when you get over billed or want service or disconnect
- i have had really good and also very negative experiences. being lied to, tricked .... yet i have been treated buy certain companies like i am a millionaire
- Terrible service on the phone and charges that are well above and beyond what was contracted.
- Once I learned that nobody takes no for an answer and that everything has to be documented in writing, all has been smooth sailing.
- The major problems we had was with Orange and Hot. Poor customer service. We have Bezeq and Golan and have been happy with them.happy
- It could have been easier and clearer. When you push "2" for English, and the person who answers doesn't speak English, it is discouraging!
- A lot of the websites are in Hebrew only
6. How do you rate the entire experience of finding suitable employment?
58.34% off respondents answered in the negative 1 -5 range
41.66% of respondents answered in the positive 6 -10 range
- Anglos are taken advantage of.
- I was way overqualified for my profession and had to completely "repackage" myself.
- For people over 40 that do not have a degree its as if the government agencies don't care about us. Their is no real help for schooling and/or job training.
- I found a job after 3 months. The company laid everybody off. It took me 6 months to find another job. I've been there over 3 years.
- I feel that I have been very lucky in this regard.... I didn't have trouble finding decent jobs in the beginning. The salary's are a lot less than in the USA but I was realistic and expected it... I'm not being taking advantage of, it's just that these are the salaries in Israel. I have been in my current job for 4 1/2 years.
- It took about 7 years, but I finally have a great job
7. How do you rate your entire financial management experience from working with Israeli banks, managing your Aliyah budget, savings etc.?
62.36% off respondents answered in the negative 1 -5 range
37.64% of respondents answered in the positive 6 -10 range
- OK - but not good customer service
- The banking system is appalling
- Awful experience working with several banks which didn't seem interested in listening to any of my issues or concerns. Very difficult to deal with the credit card companies as well.
- Mixed, overall positive experience with the banks and with 'xxxxx' for budget advice.
- Our finances were in a mess before we made aliyah. Can't blame aliyah for that. But, we do need to work on our budget since prices here are much higher than they are in the States.
- The idea of service fees charged by the bank to receive my money (even cash) is unbelievable. How can you open a bank account without money, yet they charge to accept it!
- You need to be a smart consumer.
8. How do you rate your adult social and cultural integration experience from making new friends, dating, fun activities, cross-cultural differences etc.?
40.96% off respondents answered in the negative 1 -5 range
59.04% of respondents answered in the positive 6 -10 range
- Friends are all Anglo or Western European. Israelis are unfriendly and aggressive
- It took time, but I loved the social and cultural differences and experiences.
- Dating very difficult. Otherwise, I have a lot of friends.
- It's taken some time and a lot of effort, but I have made some good friends. It's rather difficult to find social things to do that aren't in Hebrew, and there are some cross-cultural differences, but that's actually part of the magic.
- With this perhaps I have been lucky... I have met amazing people and feel like I have a very strong community of peers from all over the world as well as native Israeli's. I have been in 2 serious relationships with wonderful men, and I have dated a whole slew of bafoons... but that's life :)
- Impossible to find Israeli friends but otherwise very good
9. How do you rate your children's social and cultural integration in Israel? If you do not have any children or your children did not accompany you to Israel please select the N/A (not applicable) option.
Surprisingly, this question was not applicable to 56.96% of the respondents. This could mean that a) their children were born in Israel b) they made Aliyah later on in their lives and their children did not accompany them to Israel or c) they do not have any children. The remaining respondents answered as follows:
12.1% off respondents answered in the negative 1 -5 range
31.8% of respondents answered in the positive 6 -10 range. We are happy to see that children seem to be having a positive Aliyah experience
- My daughter arrived in Israel a few years before I did. She studied here after school, worked here, married here and had two children here.
- Left my children behind...they were 19 and 22 and did not want to come with me.
- My daughter came a year after I did, and went to Mishmar HaEmek for ulpan. She learned so quickly and is now in the Air Force. She's doing fine.
10. From what you understood or were told by official bodies, Jewish Federations or Aliyah organizations, about Israel before you made Aliyah, have your expectations been meet?
38.97% off respondents answered in the negative 1 -5 range
61.03% of respondents answered in the positive 6 -10 range
- I had a fabulous shaliach who was very helpful and realistic.
- i probably didn't ask enough questions, or truly understand how hard it would be to learn the language
- Thank G!D for the Jewish Agency and my Shaliach. Thanks to the Christians who gave me a grant for my lift.
- Usually factually correct but we were not prepared for the frustrations & unexpected surprises
- Exceeded actually.
- I got a lot of good advice from this website.
Thanks to all the respondents who participated and took the trouble to provide so many insightful comments.
Thanks also to K.O.I.M for their current and future collaboration.
Next survey coming soon...
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