The concept behind AACI’s popular Navigational Series is simple: putting those of us who don’t know together with someone who does. Both aliyah and what comes after – daily life in Israel – are quite challenging. All of us, no matter how long we have been in this country, still have many new things to learn. (TRUE STORY: Although I have lived in Israel for 20 years, I just found out a way to save money on my health care payments from someone who made aliyah last Tuesday.) Dealing with bureaucracy and solving problems require not only time, energy and money, but often something more.
The missing ingredient is what is referred to as Vitamin P, P as in protekzia, which can be defined as connections, pull, knowing the right people and the right procedure. Problem is, most of us olim haven’t got it. We are often somewhat isolated, without a solid grasp of the language or the strong family ties so important to native Israelis. Like the simple son in the Passover haggadah, we don’t know who or even what to ask.
That’s where AACI’s navigational series comes in. It is a series of talks by English-speaking experts in fields such as housing, health care, banking, education, insurance, American citizenship/Social Security and much more. The subjects, which are generally repeated from year to year, stem from the questions most commonly asked by callers to AACI’s counseling hotline. (For short aliyah-related inquiries, call 02-566-1181 Sunday through Thursday from 12:15 to 1:15 PM.)
Counselor Sheila Bauman, finding that the same topics came up again and again, decided that having those questions addressed in detail, by an experienced professional, would be a great way to reach large numbers of olim.
And the response has been extremely positive. The lectures are well attended, by English speakers of a wide assortment of ages. Although each lecturer is a professional businessperson, they are donating their services and the purpose of the evening is not promotional, but informational. The speaker tries to address the concerns of every person in the room. Sheila makes the impressive statement that no one leaves with his or her questions unanswered, whether in the public forum, or by speaking privately with the lecturer after the talk. And, knowing how many questions we puzzled Anglos can come up with, that is saying a lot.
Watch for the next Navigational Lecture on Monday, June 4, at 7 PM. Advocate Deanna Fein will discuss “Housing Contracts: Rental & Purchase.”
All Navigational Lectures take place at the AACI Jerusalem Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center. Cost is NIS 15 for AACI members/NIS 20 for non-members. Please call 02-566-1181 to register.
AACI Jerusalem – Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center, Pierre Koenig 37, corner of Poalei Tzedek 2, Talpiot MAP
Buses # 21 & 49 stop on Pierre Koenig across from AACI; 71, 72, 74 & 75 stop at Tzomet Habankim, a 10-minute walk away.