KeepOlim (RA 580613610) is a registered non-profit organization, authorized by the Israeli Corporations Authority and the Ministry of Justice. Last month we received our Nihul Takhin for 2019 – from the government which will allow us to receive grants and government funds.
KeepOlim is a post Aliyah non-profit for All Olim that provides vital programs, services, advocacy and support. The purpose of KeepOlim is to empower, inspire and support Olim to help them integrate successfully to keep them in Israel.
What started as a Facebook group Keep Olim in Israel Movement 3 ½ years ago to scream about the terrible situation of many Olim and watching Olim leave Israel by the thousands, has now grown rapidly into a community and non-profit of over 40,000 Olim from over 100 countries from all different backgrounds, with one simple goal- to keep our Olim in Israel.
Over 40% of KeepOlim is religious and over 30% is Russian speaking. Almost the entire community of Bnei Menashe’s from India are part of our community and one of our Board Members, Jessica Thangjom is from this special community. There has never before been an organization whose sole purpose is to unite and assist all Olim from around the world to stay in Israel.
We are creating a post-Aliyah support system to help successfully build their lives in Israel. With this support, many Olim will be able to stay in Israel and overcome their struggles. Many Olim are crying out for help!
KeepOlim is here to answer their cry!
KeepOlim is building a support system for all Olim in their time of need!
We have gotten 5 homeless Olim off the streets and put a roof over their heads.
We have gotten many hungry Olim food, help with their issues at Misrad Paneem, at Misrad Klita & Integration. We are a shoulder for them to cry on and encourage them.
Last year we received over 70 calls alone of suicidal Olim who contacted us via Facebook.
KeepOlim receives no government assistance or grants and we rely solely on the support of donors. We have a staff of 1 person the CEO who gets a small salary and has no office. We are simply overwhelmed working on a shoe string budget.
So much money is spent on bringing Olim here but sadly very little is spent on keeping them here. Over 40% of the recent French Olim have left the country, 35% of the Russian Olim have left and over ½ the Anglo Olim this according to private conversations with Aliyah officials.
Over 240 of my personal friends and acquaintances have in the four years since my Aliyah.
Nancy Rexin Evans – “And all because one man, together with several other Angels started to decided to do something to help the new Immigrants to make the transition and help wherever and whenever needed, so they started this group to find one another. Mazel tov! May we all help,, including non Jews as God commanded us!”
Susan Weintraub Leibtag– “You have no idea how many people you have helped – I talk about this group to everyone I know and encourage them to join. It helps newbies and oldbies (is that a word?) because no matter how long it’s been since you stepped off the plane, you need support and encouragement. I am in awe.”
Margalith Roos– “Thanks to you Liami and Tzvika we can start to begin living here and not anymore just survive. “
Daniel Cory– “You are the most amazing Oleh I’ve ever seen. It is just amazing that no one before you thought about having services like you have envisioned for your organization!”
Paul Bernstein–“Fantastic in the knowledge that you guys not only have our backs but you fight our corner too!”
Neil Glasser –“Thank you for doing what you are doing and being a voice for the Olim!”
Malka Levine –“Let’s come together and help this great organization; our organization, which through supporting and advocating for Olim, is also playing a crucial part in building this country—our country! Love Jews, love the land, and love the Torah.”
Bri’el Bar Avraham “Many native- born Israelis and Israeli Lawyers do not know the problems Olim now face. Unless we help ourselves through people like Liami sadly Olim stumble fall down …and there is nobody to turn to help you up!! Next stop…..a plane back to where they came from. Israel then loses gifted Jewish souls that have the potential to make this country a better place!! Mazel tov guys! Keep going!!”
Chaya Gold “You are setting a serious example of walking the walk, not just talking. This is true love and an example of a good Jew. Every blessing to you, Liami, with the huge heart!”
Louise Mehlman Lipert Maery- “Thanks so much for all you do. Its great knowing there is a lifeline if its needed. And it really is needed!”
Our Programs and Services
Free Legal Aid
Provides free legal services for Olim during their first year in Israel. For many Olim, signing contracts for apartments, jobs or services in Hebrew can be frightening experience.
Many Olim get into trouble and in many cases are ripped off when they sign contracts without fully understanding them.
Over 1,000 Olim have been helped by our team of lawyers, who volunteer to fight for Olim.
Siennicki Joanna “Thanks to Tzvika I win! You are amazing!”
Catherine Lawrence: -“An immense thank you to Tzvika Graiver I would have left Israel if it wasn’t for him.”
No Oleh Alone Program for the Holidays
It’s hard enough being a new immigrant to Israel but for many Olim with no family in Israel the holidays can be a time of extra stress with the feeling of loneliness and nowhere to celebrate.
That’s why we created “No Oleh Alone” for Rosh Hashanah and Pesach, where Olim are personally placed with warm embracing Israeli hosts families.
From ultra-Orthodox Chasidim to totally secular vegetarian celebrations we have placed over 1200 Olim in this program which has developed friendships for many of the participants.
About 40% of the participants are Russian/Ukrainian Olim, and for about 30% of them this was their first time celebrating any Jewish holidays.
Sharon Altshul “ Moadim l’simcha Seder worked out great, thank you for all your efforts. And who would imagine that Josh and Maria had someone in common. Love the small world here. It is a great initiative and your personal involvement. simply amazing. Thank you for introducing us to Josh, Maria and Misha.”
Denis Perchersky –“Thanks a lot for suggesting Barry and Julie! It was like a real family, so nice and amazing!! Thank you”
Enid Arfer Shiansky –“The program is wonderful! After being in Israel for only 2 days we were welcomed to a very warm and friendly family for Pesach! The Seder was great! Thank you!”
Bikur Cholim Program (visiting the sick)
No family or friends around, not understanding Hebrew. It can be a very scary time, so that’s why when Olim are sick they turn to the volunteers of KeepOlim Bikur Cholim Program to keep them company and cheer them up.
Led by Program Director Joan Berman Shrensky, our nearly 300 volunteers are fulfilling the mitzvah of visiting and helping the sick all over the country, accompanying them to doctors and even cooking for them with love and care. Hundreds of Olim have been helped in their time of need through our amazing volunteers.
As Adina Leah Wachsman said “ I will never forget Keep Olim sending an angel to me when I was in the hospital in Jerusalem.”
Free Resume Service
We have helped hundreds of Olim rewrite and tailor their resumes for the Israeli job market and in some cases found employment for them!
Ivan Lurie -Thanks to KeepOlim who not only fixed and rewrote my resume for free but also thru their contacts got me a job interview at Payoneer. They called me today to say that I’d be a great addition to the team! Thank you so much KeepOlim!!!
Denis Egorov -“I would like to say a great thanks to KeepOlim and Liami personally for supporting and keeping me up when i was about to give up. I am here for 2.5 months. Liami helped A LOT with my CV by advising me on the phone and through e-mail correspondence. He also kept saying i would succeed here and there was no time to be negative. And you know what: Liami, you are right! I have found a job i was thinking of. Now i am very happy. This is vitally important to me. Live long, KeepOlim. You help us to believe!
Our courses are designed to inspire, motivate and empower Olim and to give them the tools they need to succeed in all facets of their lives.
Many Olim get taken advantage because of their lack of knowledge in these areas.
We also have workshops on starting a business in Israel, “Accelerating Your Career in Israel” and many more. All these workshops are free to Olim.
Social Programs and Events
KeepOlim Advocacy & Non Political Lobby
In July 2017, we successfully advocated for a change in the law to enable all Olim to get their drivers licenses converted to Israeli ones.
Now any Oleh who has been driving 5 years or more and has lived in Israel for less than 5 years may simply convert their drivers licenses at the Driving License Bureau.
The Lobby is chaired by MK Ksenia Svetlova and MK Dr. Avraham Neguise both immigrants themselves. KeepOlim representatives regularly speak in the Knesset meetings and hearings to help all of our Olim.
Melissa Dubinsky “Kol Hakavod to KOIM! Thanks to you I received my driver’s license yesterday. Yippee! “
Benyamina Sharon-Schreiber “I just passed my 4th road test after spending 2000 nis in testing fees and lessons. I’m glad new olim won’t go thru the aggravation I did
Mauricio Lévy-“You should run for a sit at the Knesset!! You made more for Olim in the last couple of months than nobody else did since the state was established !!”
Adopt An Oleh
KeepOlim Quality Low-Cost Mental Health Counseling (in various languages)
Sadly, more than ⅓ of all suicides in Israel are Olim. There is a huge crisis of lack of mental health services for Olim.
We have had 9 OD’s and suicides in our group in the last 3 ½ years. All were young Americans and 4 of them were Lone Soldiers after the Army. It is so sad that these Olim who came to Israel to live their dreams were instead eaten up by the land that they so loved.
Last year alone over 70 suicidal Olim reached out to KeepOlim via Facebook for help! We gave them a shoulder to cry on and referred them to our volunteer therapists. We even helped put a few in the hospital for treatment.
KeepOlim is developing a program to combat depression among Olim. Mental Health care in Israel for Olim in their native languages is completely lacking in Israel. Olim sometimes wait for months to speak to a counselor in their native language through Chupat Cholim.
Many times, there is no therapist that speaks their language.
Israel’s suicide hotline ERAN only has counselors that speak Arabic and Hebrew providing no help for desperate Olim!
Moreover, after terror attacks that happens in Israel here and there, the municipality crisis hotlines don’t give any support in any language besides Hebrew, leaving Olim who needs support more then anyone else -without!
Depressed Olim lacking jobs, friends and family quickly lose hope as they have no-where to turn. That is why KeepOlim is developing Low Cost Subsidized Mental Health Services in the Olim’s native language.
Our program has over 60 Olim therapists that speak over 12 languages that understand the issues of Olim as they themselves are Olim.
Our program is overseen by a committee of volunteer doctors led by Dr. Robert Lubin.
The first part of our program is Support Groups.
This pilot program that just debuted last month has 13 groups in 3 languages in 5 cities across Israel.
Our Support Groups will consist of up to 10 individuals meeting with an experienced Oleh therapist. The support groups meet once a week for 8 weeks and only cost 200 shekels per participant for the 8 sessions.
If an individual cannot afford the support group, KeepOlim subsidizes the cost.
No one is turned away due to lack of funds.
Over ½ the 110 participants in this Pilot Program did not pay the full amount and KeepOlim paid the difference. We are losing money on every group as many Olim that need these services lack the funds.
The Pilot Program for Support Groups will be conducted in English, Spanish, and Russian. Other languages including French, Portuguese, Amharic and Kuki (the language of the Bnei Menashe) will follow once the program expands.
The pilot program will deal with various issues concerning your lives as Olim such as depression, job search, loneliness, language culture barriers, adjusting to Israel, family issues, etc.
The second part of our program is a Crisis Hotline in over 6 languages that will be staffed by trained volunteers that speak the language of Olim.
This is very desperately needed now as we have dealt with 70 calls of suicidal Olim in the last year alone!
As part of this Crisis Hotline we will have a special Hotline for Lone Soldiers to call in anonymously and talk to our therapists.
Many of the calls that we receive are Lone Soldiers that are too scared to talk to their commanders about their mental health as their profiles in the army will go down and their guns may get taken away.
There is a crisis of suicides and OD’s of Lone Soldiers during and after the army.
Two weeks ago, another Lone soldier from Russia hung himself. The last few weeks the calls from Lone Soldiers to us has skyrocketed due in part to this bad news.
The third part of our program will be Low Cost Quality Subsidized Individual Counseling Sessions in the Olim’s native language with experienced qualified therapists.
These sessions will be designed to help Olim overcome their own personal issues that they face as well as empower them in their new homeland. Each Israeli is entitled to 15 sessions of therapy through their Chupat Cholim.
However, there is many times no staff that speaks their language. Many Olim have to wait for months to see a therapist that speaks their language and if they are lucky enough to get one they do not in many cases understand the problems the Olim and dismiss them leading to very serious situations and sadly in some cases death.
In KeepOlim’s Program each Oleh will register and have an intake session and be given a number of sessions.
Each session will cost around 100 shekels and the patient will pay ½ and KeepOlim will pay ½. If the patient can’t afford it, the sessions will be given on a sliding scale with KeepOlim paying the difference.
In most cases KeepOlim will pay almost all of the cost as the Olim that need this the most have no money.
KeepOlim is accomplishing what the government and what no one organization has ever done before for all Olim!
We are making the impossible happen! We are giving Olim much needed vital programs, services, advocacy and support within a large community!
We are doing this on a shoe string budget, with a staff of one paid person the CEO, who is paid a very low salary and no office.
We have no administrative support, no secretaries, grant writers etc. and no infrastructure due to a lack of employees as well as a proper office to place our volunteers.
To realize the full potential of KeepOlim, which is truly a grass roots organization we desperately need funds. So many millions are spent bringing Olim to Israel but very little is spent keeping them here and sadly more then ½ leave within 5 years.
This is a very bad investment! Each Oleh that leaves tells their family and friends not to come! Spending a little bit of money on Keeping Olim here giving them the vital services that they need to succeed here is a great sound investment!
If the Olim succeed here, they will tell their family and friends to make Aliyah and lower the cost of the tens of millions spent convincing Jews to come here.
People will make Aliyah on their own without the need for convincing.
Investing in the Absorption of Olim will make Israel a stronger more prosperous country!
We have one simple goal – to keep Olim in Israel!
Please help us continue to be a lifeline for all Olim!
For more information please visit our website (which is now in both English and Russian). www.Keepolim.org