The following article mainly refers to new Jewish immigrants from the US. Why do so many American new immigrants to Israel (Hebrew: Olim Chadashim) decided to return to the United States?
Well, the article already points out the major reasons. Aliyah organizations such as Nefesh be’Nefesh or the Jewish Agency avoid telling the truth. The truth about the daily life in Israel which is tough if you don’t come as a millionaire. It is not only tough for new immigrants but also for Israelis.
Of course, new Olim are excited when they get off the plane in Israel. Nefesh be’Nefesh organizes everything and thus American and Canadian Olim are really lucky. Sometimes even Israeli politicians come the newcomers at Ben Gurion Airport. However, as soon as the daily routine hits, people have to deal with their own issues. Learning Hebrew is extremely important. Finding a job. Not only some job but you need something where you earn a real living. Many salaries only pay the bills but people also need to eat.
The new immigrant has to deal with Israeli bureaucracy and this alone can be a real disaster. Especially when North Americans are used to public services where civil servants are friendly and helpful. Well, in Israel you have to deal with the local mentality. Don’t expect too much and just take it easy. Israelis can be extremely rude but the best way to deal with it is stay calm and don’t yell. Argue in a calm manner and don’t freak.
It can be problematic moving to Tel Aviv, as costs of living are high. The same with Jerusalem. Although here it depends on what neighbourhood you choose. The Germany Colony or Old Katamon sound attractive and pretty Anglo. However, there you pay a fortune and why not move to cheaper neighbourhoods such as Talpiyot, Gilo, Kiryat Yovel or Armon HaNatziv?
Don’t expect all Israelis to know English! Believe me, they don’t. Especially when it comes to Russians and Ethiopians. Israelis think that Jews making Aliyah receive a lot of financial assistance and thus should be willing to learn Hebrew. Not only take the money and create their little America.
Unfortunately, there are too many “little Americas” where Anglos are not willing to learn Hebrew or adjust in any way to Israeli life. Example: Ramat Beit Shemesh or the Anglo community in Zfat (Safed).
It goes without saying that moving to a different country is never easy. However, the newcomers should, at least, make an effort to integrate into society and not maintain their American ghetto life.