February 1, 2010 / 17 Shvat 5770
My family made Aliyah on the 5th July 2009. We live in a city called Ariel, which is 40 km (25 miles) east of Tel Aviv and 60 km north of Jerusalem.
When we first arrived in Ariel, we were put up in an absorption flat, which was by a community called Netzarim, whose community come from Gush Katif. Every one in that community couldn't do enough for you. They helped with the washing of our clothes, they came to welcome us, and we spent a wonderful 1st Shabbat with that community, which was really special.
Reuven Franks, who is the Aliyah Co-ordinator, has been a fantastic support and unbelievable help with all the necessary paperwork, creating a bank account, taking you to all the relevant government departments, like Bituach Leumi, which is the National Health Insurance, to register your children, so that you get a monthly grant for them. He took us also to the cell phone company, where we bought cell phones. He really goes out of his way to help, and even 6 months down the line, he is still helping us.
The community we belong to has an ex South African Rabbi, by the name of Hillel Maizels, who is the son of Rabbi Desmond Maizels of Camps Bay in Cape Town.
It is a warm and loving community, and when we were recently blessed with our 6th child, a boy, they provided meals for us, and also gave us the bris seudah as a gift.
One doesn't get this type of help in other communities, so we would definitely encourage people to come on Aliyah to Ariel. It is also a growing Anglo community, as well as a growing religious community.