Aliyah from South Africa

“Aliyah on a Red Carpet” has become the Jewish Agency’s motto since the launch of the first Aliyah flight from South Africa in July 2008.
“Israel’s goal is to bring all Jews back home, and the Jewish Agency’s mandate is to enable them to do it with ease, ensuring that the Aliyah process is a smooth, enjoyable one for all new immigrants,” says Ofer Dahan, marketing director of the Jewish Agency’s Aliyah & Klita department.
Dahan conceptualised the “Red Carpet” idea while in his position as director of the Israel Centre in South Africa. He spent three years in the country before returning to Israel in July 2009 on Aliyah Dalet, the latest Aliyah flight from SA.
The Aliyah flights were a small part of Dahan’s innovative idea. The Aliyah “Red Carpet” package includes an Aliyah Expo in the country of origin, the Aliyah flight, a welcome ceremony in Jerusalem at which the new immigrants receive their Te’udat Zehut (Israeli ID cards), and a mini-expo at the hotel where new immigrants can sign up for a variety of services, including banks, cell phone companies, medical insurance, and more. The final step “up” the Red Carpet is a bus ride to the new homes of the new immigrants.
The services offered by the Jewish Agency at these events save new immigrants weeks and even months of going through red tape and administration nightmares.
Dahan’s reasoning wasn’t to stroke the ego of the Jewish Agency. “Moving to a new country, to the unknown, uplifting yourself and your family from the life you know is an incredibly hard thing to do, no matter who you are or at what stage of life you may be,” he says.

“Having lived outside of Israel a number of times, I know what it’s like to be in unfamiliar territory and so I wanted to find a way to make the Aliyah process less stressful and more pleasant.”
The first Aliyah Expo was launched in South Africa in November 2007. “We brought in experts to South Africa from every field to talk to potential new immigrants about life in Israel,” says Dahan. “There were lawyers and accountants and real estate agents and Jewish Agency representatives. We brought representatives from the different banks, medical insurance companies and cell phone companies, from the various absorption programs, and we even had removal companies set up stands.
“We had about 100 people walk through the doors over the two days and about 80 of them ended up on the first flight in July. When they found out what was planned on the other side once we arrived in Israel, they all wanted to be a part of it. Previously, new immigrants would take a flight to Israel and once there, would have to find their own way around the bureaucracy of country,” he says.
Since the first Aliyah flight, the Red Carpet idea has been fine-tuned and expanded.


Aliyah in 3 Steps

Step 1

Interview with a Shaliach

As part of the Aliyah process, an interview with your local Aliyah Shaliach (Jewish Agency representative) will be required.
You will be asked to present all the aforementioned original documents:

These documents will be returned to you during your meeting.

The Aliyah Shaliach is a representative of the Jewish Agency for Israel who is responsible for validating your Aliyah documents and meeting with you. You can make an appointment to speak with the Shaliach directly, as per the listing below:

South Africa


Cape Town

Israel Affairs Dept. 
P. O. Box 4176 
Cape Town, SA 8001 
Tel: (021) 4646-700 
Fax: (021) 4615-805 

South Africa



Israel Centre
Beyachad Building 
2 Elray Street 
Raedene, Johannesburg 2192 
Tel: (011) 645-2530 
Fax: (011) 640-6743 

The interview will include these topics:

Step 2

Approval for Aliyah

The Jewish Agency is the body responsible for authorizing Aliyah according to the Law of Return. Your application will be reviewed by The Jewish Agency, and you will receive a notification letter.

Step 3

Absorption Planning & Flight to Israel

Together with your file manager or Shaliach you'll need to plan your absorption in Israel:

Once you're landing in Israel you're considered as an Oleh Chadash, Welcome to Israel!


After Aliyah

Please visit our "Step-by-step" Guide of the first steps in Israel as a New Oleh.

The Global Service Center

South Africa:    0-800-996-886

Follow us on social network