Jewish Agency poll shows aliyah getting easier

As opposed to popular perception, a new poll shows that the aliyah process for North American Jews is a much less daunting ordeal than previously thought. Representatives of 402 households consisting of 1,464 individuals who made aliyah during the 12-month period from the beginning of September 2004 until the end of August 2005, were polled in the survey, which was carried out by Dr. Mina Zemach of the Dahaf Institute, and was coordinated by the Information, Planning and Evaluation Section of the Department of Aliyah and Absorption of the Jewish Agency. A large majority of 93 percent of the interviewees expressed a high level of satisfaction with their absorption in Israel. Seventy-four percent said that they would recommend making aliyah to others. The amount of economic assistance one receives is a critical factor in ensuring successful aliyah, and here too interviewees expressed a great deal of satisfaction. Eighty percent of the new olim said they had received substantial assistance from organizations such as government ministries, the Jewish Agency and, or Nefesh BeNefesh, while 84% of the olim received assistance of some kind in the aliyah process. Nonetheless, the survey results confirm that employment is a central component in successful absorption and that a comprehensive effort is required to improve the assistance provided to olim in this area.