Facebook group eases the way towards aliyah

By Charlotte Oliver, July 4, 2014
Graduate Eytan Halon: off to Israel

Graduate Eytan Halon: off to Israel

British young professionals are being encouraged to prepare for life in Israel by joining a social media site which promotes aliyah.

Set up by former Union of Jewish Students' president Joe Tarsh, the Young Olim 2014 Facebook page has attracted substantial interest in the nine months since it was launched.

Almost 60 British Jews have joined - with 25 due to leave for Israel this summer. Ten members departed earlier this year, with the remaining members due to fly to the Holy Land before the end of 2014.

Leeds-born Hannah Gilmore, 21, said she was looking forward to living in a predominantly Jewish country.

She said: "I feel there are a lot more opportunities in Israel for young Jewish girls. Plus, I feel a lot more at home and safer there."

Others making aliyah plan to join the Israeli army, complete internships, or join yeshivas.

"There are a lot of us young Brits moving out at the moment," group member Eytan Halon, 23, from Cheadle, said. "I studied law and French at Birmingham. It was a long four years and now the only thing left to do is make aliyah."

Parents of group members said they were actively supporting their children's plans to leave Britain - with many saying they hoped eventually to join them.

Ronen Feiner, 22, originally from Edgware, north-west London, made aliyah last month after completing a six-month internship run by the Jewish Agency and Israeli government. He said: "It is great to have this group - we can make connections before we even get to Israel."

Last updated: 4:24pm, July 4 2014