Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Aliyah Red Tape - Bureaucracy

Today I had more bureaucracy to deal with, but thankfully it was all for important, valuable reasons. It’s just hoops. That’s what I tell myself.

The day you land as you make aliyah, with Nefesh B’Nefesh, representatives from Misrad HaKlitah are there to greet you and set you up for appointments. Misrad means ‘office,’ and klitah means ‘absorption.’ The Ministry of Absorption helps new immigrants get their ‘sal klitah’ payments (the government pays new immigrants a considerable amount of money to settle in), Hebrew language school vouchers, higher education vouchers (I can get a masters essentially for free here), and other matters of a new immigrants life.

So, the appointment was to give them my new Israeli bank account information, and to meet in general to see how our transition is going. My woman was very nice, for an Israeli. I’ll be expecting that welfare soon, each month, for the next 7 months! On top of that, if I’m unemployed in 6 months I can apply for unemployment checks. It’s just a few hundred dollars a month, but it’s an option. I’ll be in an intensive Hebrew course then, most likely, which goes from about 8 in the morning till 1.

I saw a new friend at the ministry, someone I met on my flight, and we talked for about 45 minutes about various things going on in our first two weeks. Today she has an interview with IDT, an international company that does various telephone things: telemarketing, customer support, debt collection, etc. The work is generally in English, at night (because you are usually calling America – 7 hour difference), and they pay very well for Israel (apparently $10 an hour or so, entry level).

That’s definitely something to think about, as I’m doing intensive Hebrew in the mornings, with my afternoons and nights free – free to work?

My parents will like this: yesterday it was announced to the program I’m in that today it would be going to Hebron, to the Cave of Machpelah, where Abraham and some other patriarchs were buried. It’s a very holy site. The only problem is that this area is in the West Bank, and in partial Palestinian Authority control. I don’t know if it made the American press, but there was a very big issue recently over some religious Israelis that bought and lived in a house in Hebron, and the government forced them to leave. Let’s just say it is a hot spot. To go there you have military guard, an IDF post, and bulletproof buses.

I was kinda surprised the school would be taking such a liability risk, especially for a quasi-mandatory field trip. It’s fun to go on these trips, I’ve done one before, but I’d rather with a political observation group…not with 40 of the most right-wing religious people around (there are actually only a few in the group, but one is enough).


Anonymous said...

Be careful man. Palestinians and a few very strict religious Jewish students doesn't sound like a good mix. Miss ya buddy. Jon

yuccadale said...

Why do they want to endanger you? Do they have an armoured vehicle? What safety precautions do they take? Mom

Fivel said...

I drove into Hebron by myself in a rented car, asked for help when I needed it and had no problems. I felt safe, protected and guided the entire time.