As a single moving to Israel, remember you are not alone. Not only have 1,800,000 made aliya since 1970, but your ancestors have come and gone several times. They never stopped yearning to recover it.
You are coming here to be transformed and to help transform the country–both into what you were always meant to be. You’ll find that the other people who made aliya have a certain strength–not the Old Country strength of self-interest, more the ability to envision how your life is part of a much greater whole, and you can and will make a big difference.
If you come on a Nefesh b’Nefesh aliyah flight, you’ll be seated in the singles section of the plane, maybe next to a soulmate! Part of Nefesh b’Nefesh is the One Aliyah Department, a division dedicated to helping young professional and single olim from North America between the ages of 17 and 35. The program offers networking opportunities and helpful webinars, among other services.
As a single person, you may be interested in going to college or graduate school (it’s free for most olim), serving in the Israeli army, and getting a job. It can be lonely moving to a new country when you’re single, especially if you don’t speak the language well. Developing a new social network (in the flesh as well as online) is an important part of settling into your new life in Israel.
For religious people, the shul is often a social center as well as a place to daven. Many Israeli shuls are known for their social scene, and this is especially true in Jerusalem. Some popular Jerusalem synagogues include Yeshurun in Rehavia (Dati Leumi), Yakar in Katamon (Modern Orthodox), Mayanot in Sha’are Chesed (Chabad), Kol Rina in Nachlaot (Carlebach), Mayanot in Talpiot (Conservative),. Kol Haneshama in Baka (Reform), Yedidya in Baka (Pluralistic), and Kedem in the German Colony (Egalitarian). You might even want to go shul shopping before you select an apartment in order to save yourself a long schlep on Shabbat.
In Jerusalem, some neighborhoods popular with singles are Baka, the German Colony, Rehavia, and Nachlaot. Overall, anywhere in the center of town and around the Machane Yehuda market is a good place for singles. In Tel Aviv, popular neighborhoods for singles include Central Tel Aviv (near Shenkin and Allenby streets), North Tel Aviv (near Tel Aviv University) and Giv’at Shmuel (near Bar Ilan University).
There are numerous online dating sites and lists of singles events, and you can also pick up the Friday editions of The Jerusalem Post and Ha’Aretz to see what’s going on. Time Out also publishes a monthly edition for Israel. If you’re in college, or a recent graduate, you might not have a lot of belongings to move to Israel. But if you’re already well established and bringing furniture with you, one of the things you will need to think about when moving to Israel is hiring a shipping company. The resources on the Kef site can help you get ready for the big move.
Either way, the most important “thing” to bring is you–all your energies, all your powers of patience and giving the “benefit of the doubt”, your sense of history, and your vision of a time when Israel and you really have it “together”!