Medical Professionals Aliyah | The Jewish Agency - U.S.

The interest in Aliyah has never been higher.

In 2020, The Jewish Agency received around 160,000 inquiries about immigration to Israel, opening roughly 41,000 new Aliyah application files.

That interest is especially high among young medical professionals worldwide, who felt they could contribute so much more to their beloved Israel during a global health crisis.

One professional who moved to Israel during COVID-19 is Stanislav, a surgeon from Ukraine. Married to Dasha, a nurse, and father to a young son, Stanislav had long dreamed of Aliyah, inspired by his grandfather, also a doctor, who moved to Israel in the 1990s.

“We were not going to let the coronavirus stop us,” said Stanislav. “We made our decision to move and we were going to make that move no matter what, and The Jewish Agency really helped us prepare for a Corona Aliyah.”

Read more about Stanislav’s and his family’s Aliyah journey during COVID >

Photo courtesy of Stanislav
Photo courtesy of Stanislav

In addition to providing housing and Ulpan (intensive Hebrew classes) through our absorption centers, for medical professionals, The Jewish Agency offers Ulpan courses specifically covering Hebrew medical terminology.

Over the last 10 years, more than 800 individuals have participated in our Absorption Center programs for medical professionals.

Meanwhile, Emergency Room (ER) doctor Deena has been fighting the coronavirus pandemic since it emerged in early 2020, serving on the frontlines in two countries and continents – first in her native United States, and then in Israel, her new home. Despite the pandemic, she was able to make Aliyah from Philadelphia in August, and was quickly thrown into the Israeli medical system, having to acclimate fast.

“I was lucky that The Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh made my Aliyah possible and that my transition was fairly smooth even when the world was crazy,” she said. “Because I got my medical re-licensing taken care of before moving, I was able to start working as a doctor in Israel right when they needed me most.”

“The week I started working in October also happened to be the week the second wave of the virus started, so my very first 12-hour shift was scheduled in the main ER as a regular senior doctor,” Deena added. “They literally threw me in the deep end, and I just started treating patients and learning as I go.”

Photo courtesy of Deena
Photo courtesy of Deena

Approximately 30% of Israel's doctors and nurses are olim.

And Ary is a doctor specializing in anesthesia, having made Aliyah from Argentina with assistance from The Jewish Agency in 2018. But in 2020, after he had just finished his first year at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, he found himself on the front lines in Israel when the coronavirus pandemic hit, working in the ER.

“I was in the middle of a surgery rotation when the pandemic broke out. Even though I’d already done an ER rotation, I was sent back there because they needed doctors and was put on 12-hour shifts,” he said. “It was very intense. But I also felt like what we did mattered. Everyone was counting on us and supporting us. It made me feel like I finally belonged here and was part of society.”

Read more about why Ary chose to make Aliyah and how he ended up on the front lines >

Photo courtesy of Ary
Photo courtesy of Ary

In 2020, The Jewish Agency helped around 950 medical and paramedical professionals make Aliyah from around the world.

To meet this growing demand, in 2021, The Jewish Agency is developing a unique program for immigrant doctors to accelerate their rapid integration into hospitals and clinics throughout the country.