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The expert is Maurice Singer, an Independent Consultant and former Senior Aliyah Consultant at the Jewish Agency. While every care and attention is made to give accurate answers, no responsibility can be taken by the writer if the information offered may prove to be misleading.
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Q: I am a 27-year-old non-Jew currently living in the US. I intend to convert to Judaism and migrate to Israel under the Law of Return. How do I take my first step?Â I just don't know where to begin.
A: Begin by completing your conversion and spending a year as an active Jewish member of a community outside Israel following your conversion. Then you may contact the Nefesh B'Nefesh organization who now process Aliyah from the USA.
Q: If I am ineligible for aliyah (because my Jewish ancestry is a generation too far back), but my father is - could he make aliyah and then I would somehow be able to acquire Israeli citizenship?
A: I am assuming that you are over 18 years old. Therefore even though your father may qualify under the Law of Return, I'm afraid it doesn't apply to you.
Q: My mother, born in Haifa pre-1948, emigrated to the US post-1948, and was naturalized. She has had problems touring Israel on a US passport.Â Will I, born in the US, have problems as a tourist on a US passport?
A: Post-1948 could mean 1949 or 1969 or yesterday. You need to be more specific if you want an accurate answer. However, I suspect that she left Israel after 1952 when the Law of Citizenship was passed meaning she was an Israeli citizen when she left hence the problems when she returned as a tourist.
Q: If I hold a New York Pistol permit, and make aliyah, can I transfer that license to an Israeli gun license and bring my handgun to Israel?
Q: You refer to the Misrad Hapnim [Ministry of Interior] policy of requiring persons converting outside Israel to be active in their community for one year. Didn't the High Court rule this to be illegal several years ago?
A: The policy of the Interior Ministry has not changed regarding the one year
Q: Which recommendations may you give if I return to my country after the first year from Aliya (Kupat Holim, Bituach Leumi, Misrad Klita, etc)
A: I don't really understand your question, but are you asking as to who you should notify if you decide to leave Israel after one year? I suggest that you try harder and stay another year!!
Q: How do I prove I'm Jewish if I'm Ethiopian for taglit birthright trip.
A: You must show evidence such as a statement from an Ethiopian "Case" (Rabbi) attesting to your Judaism.
Q: If I immigrated to Israel, would I be allowed to bring in my legally-registered hand guns?
What are the Israeli laws on owning firearms?
Thanks for your help!
A: This is the second gun question I have had this week. It is very difficult to import hand guns into Israel legally. You will need to contact the Israeli Ministry of Interior. They will provide you with a long list of requirements. Also they will want to know why you think you need to be armed.
Q: IÂ converted to Judaism in 1974 through a Reform Rabbi. I celebrate Jewish holidays however, I am not orthodox.Â I attend a Messianic Jewish Shul. Would I be eligible to make aliyah?
A: This is a delicate question and like many questions in Israel, the answer depends on who you ask. The Ministry of Interior which is the government office responsible for issuing Resident visas and Citizenship frown on 'Messianics' and appear to be reluctant to grant them Olim status. In your case, having converted to Reform Judaism but then practicing Messianic, they will check the validity of your conversion very carefully.
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Q: I converted to Judaism (Conservative) and was approved for aliyah under the Law of Return. Will my teudat zehut [Identification card] include my Hebrew date of birth? If not, am I still considered Jewish in Israel?
A: All ID cards have the date of birth written twice: The Gregorian and Jewish corresponding day. However this has nothing to do with being considered Jewish. You can write the Hebrew date that you purchased a car but that doesn't make the car Jewish!!!
Q: How can we become Israeli citizens and become able to live there permanently without having recent Jewish blood. Our parents were European.
A: Very difficult. The Immigration policy of Israel is based on the law of Return. There are other categories such as Unification of families, Law of Passports and Laws of Entry. From what you have briefly written, it doesn't sound as if you fall under any of these categories. Your best bet is to try and find jobs in Israel and apply for foreign workers visas. After a few years of working in Israel, no criminal record etc, you can try and obtain permanent residency.
Q: My father was adopted at birth by two Jews (my grandparents). My dad was brought up in the Jewish faith. He was circumcised,Â given a Hebrew name and bar mitvahed. Can his son make aliyah?
A: If your father was legally adopted by Jews and then underwent an official symbolic conversion by a Beth Din, then your father is as Jewish as any other born Jew. Consequently you have the right of Aliyah.
Q: I am the son of sabras, 3 generations, and a surgeon wishing to return to Israel. Without abandoning all US life, can I get an Israeli passport/before arrival.
A: If I understand you correctly, your father is Israeli-born and I assume holds an Israeli passport. Therefore theoretically you can apply to the Israeli Consulate with a request to apply for an Israeli passport. The question is whether you parents registered your birth with the consulate. If you are not registered, they might well refuse to issue with a passport. A passport is merely a travel document enabling you to enter and leave a country. As I assume you are able to do this on your US passport, the consulate might not understand your need for another one.
Q: I am a holder of dual citizenship, Canadian and Israeli. I left the country at the age of 13, and I have been in Canada since. I am not a student anymore. My question is what would be the best way to visit Israel as a tourist without being recruited in the the army?
A: Pity you failed to mention your present age and gender, detailed and accurate answers are dependent on detailed and accurate questions! I would advise you to apply to the Israeli Consulate for an entry and exit permit to Israel before making the trip. That way you will be able to enter and leave without any hassle.
Q: Does a converted Reform Jew have the same rights of Aliyah as Orthodox Jews.
Q: My father was Jewish, my mother a gentile. Both my father's parents were Jewish. If I want to make Aliyah, what documents do I need to prove I am Jewish?
A: You will need documents to prove the Jewishness of your father or either one of your grandparents. If your grandparents are deceased, then proof that they had a Jewish burial. If alive, then a letter from a recognized Rabbi, stating that he knows them to be Jewish and that you are their grandchild.
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