## *‼️ Things to Take Care of Before Aliyah !!*
Prepared by Shoshana-Ruth Weindling
from lists by olim on FB pages and Balagan Be Gone’s Aliyah Workbook
Definitely worth downloading the Aliyah Workbook for much more information
Go to BalaganBeGone.com and scroll down
OlimAdvisors.com also has a very good list.
• Buy lightweight bags to bring on the plane (like the Samsonite Tote-a-Ton available cheapest on eBay.)
• Make a file of required aliyah documents and passport photos
• Port your mobile phone number
How to Port Your Phone Number to Google Voice
• Get you driving record/abstract/driver’s licenses showing 5 years of driving experience
NBN Converting Foreign Driver's License: https://www.nbn.org.il/life-in-israel/government-services/converting-your-foreign-drivers-license/
• Update your passport, if needed
• Print/scan all of your and your kids medical records and vaccinations
• Make sure your cell phone is unlocked
• Figure out and set up your U.S. banking situation and how you will get/transfer money from US if you plan to keep money there,
• Figure out your mail situation--who will check and forward mail for you? If using a service, you must do while still in the U.S. because you may need to sign and notarize an official form
• For about a year, notify the places that send you mail in order to cancel it.
• Get extra checkbooks: You may still want to send checks in the US - to pay the IRS for taxes, accountant, birthday gift, building fees if you still own an apartment or house, etc. It's much easier to have an extra 100 checks when you come to Israel than to try to order from abroad.
• Check about ATM banking fees, debit card fees, and credit card fees--get new ones, if needed (US-based credit card with no international fees... Israeli cards have fewer benefits and Israeli debit cards charge for every transaction. Mail from the US to Israel is less reliable than within the US and usually takes a month or more, plus many banks and other institutions won't mail things to an address in Israel, so it's safer, easier and less work to just do ahead.
• Decide how much cash to bring to Israel.
• Get Forever stamps (mail in Israel is very slow (about a month in both directions to receive mail). Some important letters have been lost in the mail. In addition, to send a letter in Israel you need to go to a post office, which may not be very accessible as most post offices are only to receive packages - you need to go to a large one to send mail. During non-corona times, it is easy to send an email or WhatsApp to a local listserve to ask who is flying to the US and willing to take and mail letters from there. The first time we did this we were astonished - instead of a letter taking 40 minutes to send (including driving to the post office and waiting in line) and over a month to arrive, it took 4 days to arrive including waiting for our neighbor to fly to the US and mail the letter.
• Close unnecessary credit cards, paid bills,
• Port your phone number or make a plan to do so.
• Set up a TransferWise account or something similar. (TransferWise is an online money transferring service - their bank is Wells Fargo and I have used it to send money to India and to Israel - it changes currency for you from dollars to shekel and charges a lot less than a bank to do so.)
• Decide if you want a VPN and if so, choose one (in order to get U.S. options for Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc., and it may help with online banking access from your phone).
• Bring a copy of your high school and university degrees and transcripts, if possible. I have needed my high school diploma and transcript, even though I already have a degree. You may need these authenticated.
Professional Licensing in Israel
• Get a minimum of 3 months of medications (prescription and OTC) and the prescriptions for them.
• Get extra glasses/contact lenses and their prescriptions
• Notify credit cards you will be out of the country
• Update will
• Check life insurance policy
• Sell car or find shipper for car
• Update resumé
• Set up Power of Attorney
• Get immunization records
• Get rabies titer
• Get new chip
• Get USDA health certificate
• Check carrier requirements
• Back up computer
• But adapters, transformers, surge protectors that you will need right away, especially in bidud
• Get first aid items
• Cell phone
• Home insurance
• Car insurance
• Memberships (e.g. Costco, gym, etc.)
• Address changes:
• Credit cards
• Life insurance
• Home insurance
• Alumni office