Israel’s Aliyah and Integration Ministry, in coordination with the Development of the Periphery, Negev and Galilee Ministry, has approved a grant package for certain immigrants who decide to live and work in the country’s northern and southern peripheral regions, to incentivize healthcare professionals and engineers to live in Israel’s periphery.
Physicians will be eligible to receive 50,000 NIS ($14,500) per family, while the other professions will be given 20,000 NIS ($5,800). Both grant packages will be disbursed in two installments, delivered during their second and 13th month residing in the North or in the southern Negev region.
In order to receive the package, one head of the household must be an eligible new immigrant who made aliyah in the past 24 months, will be living and working in Israel’s periphery, and has a license to work in the following professions: medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, pharmaceutical assistant, optometry, orthotics, clinical genetics, medical lab worker, speech pathology, dietitian, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dental technician, dental hygienist, nursing, clinical criminology, podiatry, and surgical podiatry.
The incentive comes in the wake of a looming healthcare staffing shortage that is slated to impact the entire country, and in particular, the periphery. According to Dr. Sefi Mendlovic, associate director-general of the Health Ministry, the next three years will be a critical period to address this issue, as Israel may very well see a severe shortage of physicians from 2026-2030.
“As part of my role as minister for the Development of the Periphery, Negev and Galilee, I am implementing an important strategic plan that the Israeli government approved that will look out for the health needs of the residents of the Negev and the Galilee,” said Minister Oded Forer.
“For many years there has been a major shortage of doctors in Israel’s peripheral regions, therefore I made it a top priority when I took office to change the situation. The program we initiated is meant to encourage the immigration of Jewish medical professionals and engineers from around the world to Israel. In this way, we hope to expand and strengthen Israel’s periphery, grow Israel’s economy, and improve the medical treatment and availability for the residents of these areas. This is true Zionism,” Forer added.
“For many years there has been a major shortage of doctors in Israel’s peripheral regions, therefore I made it a top priority when I took office to change the situation. The program we initiated is meant to encourage the immigration of Jewish medical professionals and engineers from around the world to Israel. In this way, we hope to expand and strengthen Israel’s periphery, grow Israel’s economy, and improve the medical treatment and availability for the residents of these areas. This is true Zionism.”Minister Oded Forer
Pnina Tamano-Shata, Aliyah and Integration minister, said that "the medical professionals and engineers who choose to make aliyah and live in the Negev and Galilee are the essence of Zionism, and an integral part of our national mission to grow the country. We will continue to assist these professionals in all areas of life by removing the barriers and challenges they may face. The new grants package is just part of a broad process to encourage the immigration of trained professionals from the medical and engineering fields to Israel’s periphery.’’
Tamano-Shata said that she welcomes immigrants “who are strengthening the Negev and the Galilee. I am confident that the grant package will help strengthen the economy and health care system in these regions which urgently require high-level manpower assistance.”
Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, said his organization “has been working closely with the Israeli government to find viable solutions to Israel’s healthcare staffing crisis. We are streamlining the aliyah process for olim looking to practice medicine in Israel. We welcome this grant package as a means to incentivize talented individuals to establish their home in Israel’s periphery and to contribute their invaluable care and expertise.”
As such, the organization has provided a plethora of resources to potential immigrants in the medical professions, including during its annual MedEx event held in New Jersey, which offers a one-stop shop where prospective immigrants can have their medical license recognized and interview for potential jobs all in one day.
Those interested in receiving the new grants must apply by December 24. The grants also apply to returning minors and immigrant citizens.
Those planning on making aliyah before December 24 should apply for the grants with their local Jewish Agency branch, while those already residing in Israel should apply via the Aliyah and Integration Ministry.