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Monday, April 30, 2012

One-on-One with NbN

That’s Nefesh b’Nefesh, of course!

Made this appointment a couple of months ago, and then it snuck up on me so I realized super-late Saturday night that it was at 10 am Sunday morning.  Oops!

imageBut we made it there on time, which I’ll take as a good omen.  I brought my camera to “document the process,” but decided that’s cheesy so I will spare you a shot of us grinning on either side of the NbN rep. 

Here’s the back of a laptop instead, which is pretty much all we saw of her anyway.  Well, her head popped up from behind it from time to time to listen interestedly, but she was just off a plane from Israel and we were  her first appointment of the day, so she was mostly occupied getting set up for the dozens who were to follow us over the course of the day.

She was only too eager to hear we're considering the north, and in fact, I found out that our friends are definitely going to Mitzpe Netofa (they visited already last year). 

When you know so few people, even having a few familiar faces -slash- co-olim might be a very nice thing.  Also, one of the rabbis and rebbetzins from our shul made aliyah a couple of years ago to Yavne'el, so there would be other friendly folks in the neighbourhood.  On the other hand, we both agreed that we're city people, so it would be a big transition.

However, the NbN rep said there are a few communities up there that are going to be receiving extra aliyah support - a program that was apparently discontinued last year that is (perhaps, not counting chickens before they hatch) being reinstated in September for next year.  So we will have to wait and see that list if and when it's released.  On the other hand... (there are so many other hands!) going north is a minimum 3-year committment, so we'd have to consider that very carefully.

[a bloggy friend suggested Maalei Adumim, which does indeed sound great for a number of reasons, despite its location behind the Green Line, so I will continue to look into it]

The NbN lady had lots of advice about the older kids, which would have been helpful if the older kids would even entertain for a second the idea of aliyah, but as it is, they just think we're nuts.

What a job she has - rounding up lazy anglos like us, handholding, cheerleading us along.  Oy.

But I am unbelievably grateful... my kids are sick of my saying that for thousands of years, people walked, crawled, swam, stumbled and starved their way to eretz Yisrael any way they could and kissed the ground when they got there.  And Moshe Rabbeinu didn't even get THAT chance (boy, are they sick of hearing THAT!).

I brought along a stack of documentation, including Ted's teudah geirut, our family's birth certificates, passports, etc.  We could have gone straight from the meeting - I had everything but tickets!  But she didn't want to see that stuff - apparently, somebody from the sochnut has to check it over, not NbN.

Perhaps the biggest part of the meeting was discussing it later with my mother and sister, who are not exactly excited about the idea.  But drip by drip, we will wear away at even that stone. 

In any event, we will need their help looking after the kiddies next spring when it's time for a pilot trip.

Action items, talking points and resolutions to come out of the meeting:

  • Use the NbN website – especially the jobs & communities sections
  • Meet with an employment rep when they come through town
  • Meet with a Go North rep when she comes through town after Shavuos
  • Meet with any representative of NbN as often as possible
  • They will tell us when it’s time to meet with the Sochnut
  • Work on finishing the online application (I’m 75% done, but apparently that’s not enough…)
  • Wait to see the list of communities with extra aliyah assistance
  • Learn Hebrew – this goes for both of us!  Or rather, all, including the kiddies…

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