Yoav Friedman writes in Ynet about US families making Aliya to Israel in order to provide affordable Jewish education for their children.
"With Jewish school tuition fees per child reaching $20,000 a year, many families prefer to make aliyah and get free education. We met some of them onboard Nefesh B'Nefesh flight carrying 250 new olim to Israel.
Every Israeli parent is used to complain about the payments they are asked to pay every year – whether for the annual school trip, class party, cultural activities, parents' committee or anything else – with amounts reaching hundreds of shekels if not more. That’s quite a lot, there's no doubt, but for some new immigrants who arrived in Israel last week from the United States, it's basically nothing compared to the sums they are forced to pay for Jewish education in their homeland.
A significant number of American Jews, particularly religious-Orthodox families, don't settle for public schools and send their children to receive what they perceive as more suitable education in private schools. But the cost of those schools is so high, that some prefer to earn their salaries in shekels but get free Jewish education.
Danny Oberman, executive vice president at Nefesh B'Nefesh, adds that "the cost of education in North America is among the main reasons for the decision of many families to immigrate to Israel, especially in the past two years, in light of the financial crisis in the US. We hear from many parents who made aliyah with us in recent years how happy they are with the decision they made, and with the fact that they not only got to give their children a better Jewish and Zionist education than in Jewish schools in the US, but also managed to save a lot of money. In quite a few cases, we are talking about saving more than $100,000 per family a year."
Some 250 new immigrants arrived in Israel last week through Nefesh B'Nefesh.