By Senior Partner Amit Acco |

In the very day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year holiday, twenty-eight Olim arrived in Israel from the US and will celebrate their very first Rosh Hashana in Israel as new citizens.

The Hebrew word “aliyah” means ascent or rise, but for generations, it has been used to mean “to move to Israel”.

Amid to 2nd COVID-19 lockdown, Penina Tamano- Shata congratulates the new Olim to Israel.

“I congratulate today’s new Olim from the United States who will be joining over 13,500 Olim who have arrived in Israel during 2020, to celebrate the beginning of the Jewish New Year in the land of their forefathers. The Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, under my leadership, is prepared and ready to welcome all future Olim arriving during and after the lockdown period. These Olim will never be alone, as we will do our utmost to take care of all their needs.”

This summer alone, the organization fielded record-breaking interest in moving to Israel with a 150% increase in Aliyah applications. No less than 3,236 immigration applications from North Americans were opened last month, a seven-fold increase over a year earlier, according to the Immigration and Absorption Ministry. In France, 731 applications were submitted, a 269% rise from a year ago. In Latin America, the number doubled in June to 583.

The global coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on bureaucratic systems since offices are shut and workers are staying home. This means that the process of making aliyah, which requires no shortage of paperwork, signatures, and stamps, has essentially slowed to a crawl.

To make matters worse, Israel requires an apostille – a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961 – for documents such as birth certificates, personal status documentation, adoption papers, and criminal background checks.

In response, Immigration Minister and senior officials have begun working on a program to prepare for it. Her bureau declines to discuss the details, but sources said they will be seeking 420 million shekels ($122 million) annually over the next five years, as the office is forecasting a “coronavirus aliyah,” the result of the economic distress the pandemic has created. Diaspora Jewry has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19, officials say.

Although unknown to many, Aliah does not necessary;y means obtaining a full Israel citizenship.  There are several options for the outcome of making an Alyiah. For example, some people would like to become an A-5 resident rather than full citizens.  There are many reasons to prefer only a residency over “full citizenship” (for example Tax issues, travel restrictions, etc.), but unfortunately, many people are not aware of this option.

Kan-Tor & Acco can assist you through the complicated process of applying for the Aliah, processing your application at either the Ministry of Interior in Israel, or preparing your case to consular processing. At the beginning of the process, we will assist you in demonstrating your eligibility for this process under the Law of Return and work with the relevant Israeli Government, especially the  Ministry of Interior until you receive Israeli residency.

Kan-Tor & Acco can provide advice on this, and lead you through the immigration process in Israel, that can sometimes be complicated due to cultural and language differences.