Quick, where will your first bank account in Israel be?
One of your first tasks when you step off the plane is opening a bank account so you can start getting sal klitah, the six months of “absorption” money that you’re entitled to when you arrive in Israel.
So that’s why many olim feel rushed into opening their first bank account, and don’t think the process through as much as they should.
Sure, you can always move your account later, but you might not want to once you have an established line of credit, “standing orders” (הוראות קבע/horaot keva – fixed monthly payments), government deposits or debits, not to mention (hopefully) payroll deposits coming in and out of that account every month.
So you do want to put some thought into opening your account, even if it seems like you don’t have a lot of choices. When you look back on your aliyah process in five years’ time, these are some of the mistakes you may end up regretting…
1) You didn’t set aside enough time
I’ve opened bank accounts in Canada where I’ve walked in, plunked down ID on the counter, and walked out 15 minutes later with a bank card. That’s not how it works here.