Thinking of making Aliyah?

First steps to making Aliyah

The Aliyah Department will assist you every step of the way, ensuring a smooth absorption into Israeli society.

The Aliyah department has been instrumental in the Aliyah process for many years, assisting in organising all documentation, klita and absorption process, before arriving at your destination.

Once you have decided to make Aliyah, you will be advised on the best programmes suitable for your needs. We recommend you start the Aliyah process approximately 6 months before your desired date of departure. This will ensure that you have sufficient time to get organised.


The Jewish Agency for Israel acts on behalf of the Israeli Government to process applications and facilitate immigration for:

  • People eligible according to the Law of Return
  • Israeli citizens born abroad (Ezrachim Olim)
  • Returning minors (Katinim Chozrim)

*If you are unsure of your eligibility please contact your shaliach in Johannesburg or Cape Town.

Where to obtain important documents

Unabridged Birth Certificates
Civil Marriage
Apostille Certification

The Aliyah Process

In order to open a file for Aliyah, please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the below numbers to book an appointment
    The Israel Centre in Johannesburg
    Sue Resnick
    Tel: 011 645 2560

    The Israel Centre in Cape Town
    Tel: 021 464 6718
  2. At your first appointment all Aliyah options will be discussed. As each case is unique and confidential, you will be advised as to what documentations are required.
    Contact Global Centre for documentation
    Toll free: 0800 996 886
  3. To open a file
    Book an appointment with Sue or Shana to return all documentation and to be interviewed.
  4. Once your application has been approved, book an appointment and bring in your passport, colour passport photos and applicable courier fee with you. You will be required to complete a visa application and book your air ticket (paid for by the Jewish Agency).
  5. Collect your passport, air ticket and arrival forms from the Israel Centre. At this stage, the klita process will be explained to you.

General documentation required

  • Unabridged birth certificates for each member of the family. These need to be apostilled.
  • If you are married, your civil marriage certificate. This needs to be apostilled.
  • If you are divorced, civil divorce. This needs to be apostilled.
  • Should a spouse be deceased, death certificate. This needs to be apostilled.
  • Passports for each member of the family.
  • If you are an Orthodox Jew, a Proof of Jewishness from the Orthodox Beth Din in Johannesburg or Cape Town
  • If you are a Reform Jew, a Proof of Jewishness from the Reform Synagogue. Please ask Shana for the contact details of the Reform Beth Din in Cape Town

Arriving in Israel

When arranging Aliyah from South Africa, the Jewish Agency for Israel is delighted to make you a gift of a one-way airline ticket to Israel from specific ports of departure.

For information regarding available ports of departure and arrangements from other locations, please speak to your local Aliyah office.

In most cases, you'll also be entitled to take additional baggage on your flight with you – speak to your local Aliyah office for specific details.

Once you arrive in Israel, having gone through initial processing at the airport, the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption will arrange free transportation to your first address.

Oleh or Ezrach Oleh

Upon Landing at Ben Gurion Airport

Upon exiting the plane, you should be met by a representative of the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant or of Telfed. In the event that there is no representative to meet you:

  • Proceed in the direction of passport control.
  • Immediately prior to the entrance to the passport hall you will find a phone mounted on the wall on the left hand side.
  • Pick up the phone to be connected directly to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Office.

You will then be accompanied to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption offices at the airport. At the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption you will receive:

  • Teudat Oleh/Zakaut (Immigration document) – 1 per family. Contact information for your local branch of the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption will be printed inside
  • Teudat Zehut (ID card) – 1 per family member aged 16 and up (in some cases you will be referred to your local Interior Ministry branch)
  • 1st installment of Sal Klita in cash
  • Confirmation of registration with the Health Fund of your choice
  • 200 free call minutes for your cellphone

Have your passport stamped. MAZAL TOV! You are officially an Oleh!  

You will be accompanied to pick up your bags.

At customs, you are required to declare individual items valued at $200 or more or cash of more than NIS 1,125,000.

You will be accompanied to your free taxi which will take you to your first destination.

Katin Chozer (returning child minor)

On arrival at the airport, you will only receive a free taxi which will take you to your first destination.

You will then have to go to Misrad Ha Pnim (Ministry of Interior) in order to get your teudat zehut (ID).

You will need to open a bank account.

You will then need to go to Misrad Ha Klitah (Ministry of Absorption) in order to get your teudat oleh and your first payment of sal klitah (absorption basket).

Then you will need to go to Betuach Leumi (National Insurance), to register yourself and join the Medical Aid.

A Katin Chozer does not receive free Medical Aid benefits for the first 6 months from their arrival in Israel.

Army Service

Serving in the Israeli Defence Force is a privilege but also a requirement of making Aliyah. It is the gateway into Israeli society, facilitates encounters with Israelis of all backgrounds and assists in the initial absorption process, whilst also opening doors throughout the immigrant's life in Israel.

Your Aliyah Shaliach will explain the most updated process regarding Army service, at your initial appointment. However, please note all army service, length of service and branch of service is at the full and final discretion of the Israeli Defence Force and cannot be confirmed prior to Aliyah.

Now that you’re here

Dealing with Government Offices
Opening a bank account
Arranging Sal Klita and Ulpan for Olim and Ezrach Oleh
Opening a Customs File
Converting a Driver’s License
Applying for an Israeli Passport

Useful contact details in Israel

Government offices
Glossary of Useful Administrative Terms

Aliyah Benefits

Learning Hebrew
Sal Klita – Absorption Financial Assistance
Medical Insurance
Income Tax (Mas Hachnasa)
Arnona (Municipal Tax)
Rental Assistance

end faq