Find Your Home in Israel

If you're considering the exciting step of moving to Israel and making it your home, you've landed in the right place. We're here to guide you through every step of your journey.

Photo by Karen Meyer on Unsplash

Choosing your living arrangement in Israel has unique challenges, much like in any other country. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or renter of Israeli real estate or if you’ve opted for alternative living arrangements like a kibbutz or absorption center (Merkaz Klita), this guide is designed to offer crucial information, helping you make well-informed decisions. From pinpointing the ideal neighborhood to understanding your entitlements as an Oleh Chadash, we’re thrilled to be your trusted resource for all matters related to finding a home in Israel.

True to its start-up nation reputation, Israel offers excellent web-based resources for discovering new and pre-owned apartments for ownership or rent, such as Madlan (Hebrew website), Yad2 (Hebrew website), and iHOMES. However, for new Olim, there are additional options beyond buying or renting. These encompass subsidized accommodations at absorption centers and kibbutzim. To make an informed choice about your place of residence, it’s beneficial to consider the type of dwelling you prefer—whether it’s an apartment, duplex, or standalone home. Additionally, the decision between urban, suburban, or rural residences is also crucial.

Choosing a Community

There are so many unique places to live in Israel. Let’s help you choose one.

Whether you fancy the vibrant energy of Israel’s bustling cities or the tranquillity of a rural kibbutz, selecting the perfect place to call home is a significant decision.
Let us guide you through the different types of dwelling spaces available in Israel:


The biggest cities in Israel are the capital, Jerusalem, the vibrant city (Ir) of Tel Aviv, and Haifa which is known for its historical port. These bustling cities boast a wide range of restaurants, nightlife, and unique architecture. In Israel, a suburban community with a population of 2,000 to 20,000 is termed an urban locality, while a community surpassing 20,000 residents is officially recognized as a city.


A rural locality, a village (Kfar) is a community with up to 2,000 residents. In an Israeli rural town, where life moves slower, there is a delightful escape from the fast-paced life in a big city. Typically, these villages have larger lots and homes than urban areas, providing more living space and outdoor areas for families to enjoy.


A kibbutz is a distinct form of communal living in Israel where individuals collaborate, pool resources, and sometimes engage in friendly disputes over whose cow produces more milk. Today, many kibbutzim have undergone privatization and have created advanced industries, offering idyllic rural residences for families desiring a countryside-oriented lifestyle.

Communal Settlement

Like a kibbutz, a communal settlement (Moshav) is an agricultural village. However, unlike a kibbutz, a Moshav is a community of farmers with a more free-market-oriented approach. Residents of a Moshav engage in the cultivation and work of the farmland surrounding their locations.

Remember, each specific option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which is why it’s essential to conduct thorough research when choosing a place to live. Now that we clarified that, let’s jump right into the steps you need to take in order to buy or rent a home in Israel.

Other Types of Living Arrangements for Olim

New immigrants (Olim) can explore various living arrangements upon arrival to ensure a smooth and comfortable transition, offering a place that you can call “home.” Alternative housing for Olim includes an absorption center (Merkaz Klita), Kibbutz Ulpan, and other special accommodations.

Absorption centers

Israel provides a unique living arrangement for prospective Olim in its absorption centers (Merkaz Klita). Due to limited space, prospective Olim are advised to register for this option with their Jewish Agency emissary (Shaliach) before making Aliyah.

These absorption centers are scattered across the country and offer temporary housing with a supportive environment tailored to meet the needs of new Olim. The furnished rooms and apartments offered for rent at these facilities are notably more budget-friendly than the prevailing rental rates in the private market. They offer an economical and welcoming starting point for those new to Israeli society. All absorption Centers also provide intensive Hebrew classes (Ulpanim) and are staffed by knowledgeable professionals who support new Olim, whether they are families, students, or individuals, during their absorption journey. Generally, residents can stay at the center for six months to a year.

Kibbutz Ulpan

Combining Hebrew Immersion Courses with Working the Land.

The Kibbutz Ulpan is an excellent option for young Olim seeking to integrate their Hebrew language studies with meaningful work contributing to Israel’s society. This program is primarily designed for singles or couples without children, typically aged 17-35.

The program lasts five months and includes 18-24 hours of weekly Hebrew studies and 24 weekly hours of Kibbutz work. The Hebrew language studies are based on the Ministry of Education’s protocol while working in one of the kibbutz industries. Participants live on the kibbutz and receive subsidized meals in the kibbutz dining room. In addition to Hebrew language studies, the program incorporates social and cultural activities and tours designed to acquaint students with the country.

To register and learn more about the fees for the Kibbutz Ulpan program, you should contact the Jewish Agency emissaries overseas or the Global Centers of the Jewish Agency.

"First Home in the Homeland" (Bayit Rishon Bamoledet) Program - A kibbutz living experience for the entire family

For families looking for the kibbutz living experience but don’t qualify for the Kibbutz Ulpan, the ‘First Home in the Homeland’ (Bayit Rishon Bamoledet) program is a great solution. To find out if your family is eligible, contact your local Shaliach.

In this program, the Jewish Agency pairs you with one of the kibbutzim participating in either the southern (Negev) or northern (Galilee) regions. You’ll be provided a coordinator to assist in your settling process and introduce you to your new kibbutz community.

However, it’s important to recognize that this program may not fit every family.


Who is eligible for this program?

  • Families – The program is designed for families with parents up to the age of 45, with some flexibility regarding age and an emphasis on good health.
  • Single Olim – The program also welcomes single individuals (singles, divorced, separated, widowed) aged 28 to 45 (with some flexibility), in good health, interested and willing to integrate within a supportive community of fellow Olim sharing a similar status.

Each family must pass a vetting process, including a series of interviews to determine compatibility with the culture and way of life of the kibbutz they have chosen. It is also a great way for families to determine if the kibbutz lifestyle suits them as well.

During the first 5 months, you will attend Hebrew classes in the Ulpan while your children attend local schools or kindergartens. After completing the basic Ulpan, you can extend your stay for another 6 months to find employment, continue to an advanced Ulpan, or take other vocational courses.

The kibbutz provides after-school care for children 5 days a week and on holidays. Local recreation centers offer after-school sports, music, and art activities. Additionally, all program participants will receive an “adoptive family” to help them with their personal day-to-day needs.

Your coordinator will provide assistance throughout your stay. After completing the ‘First Home in the Homeland program’, you can choose to apply to become a permanent resident, apply for kibbutz membership, or move on to a different location like a city or nearby settlement (Moshav).

Public Housing - Housing assistance for those who need it

Eligible Olim are entitled to public housing assistance (Diur Tziburi) up to 15 years from the date of their Aliyah. At the end of this period, Olim who meet the Ministry of Immigration’s criteria will have their files transferred to the Ministry of Construction & Housing, which will examine the option of extending the period of entitlement according to its regulations.

To check your eligibility, click here (Hebrew website) to contact the nationwide branches that provide housing assistance.

For those who can’t afford housing, Israel has offered a solution in its public housing program under Amidar, a government company. Olim with a valid Aliyah ID card who don’t have a home according to the Housing Ministry’s criteria may be eligible for public housing.

Elderly Housing

Housing Assistance for Your Golden Years

The Ministry of Aliyah tends to the housing needs of elderly Olim without any restriction on the Aliyah period provided that they meet the following conditions:

  • They meet the criteria of “elderly” at the time of contacting the Ministry and receive a supplement to their income from the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) or disability benefits from the Ministry of Finance
  • They have a certificate of entitlement for the “elderly” from the Ministry of Construction and Housing
  • They are confirmed as not having a home to live in

The Housing Ministry currently provides more than 100 assisted living facilities boasting 12,000 apartment units throughout the country. To see the entire list, click the button below

Rights and Benefits

Property tax payments

New Olim who have made Aliyah to Israel are eligible for a local municipality property tax payment (Arnona) discount of 70-90%, applicable to properties of up to 100 square meters for a duration of 12 months. This benefit applies to either their first or second year of Aliyah. However, depending on the town or city, the discounted amount is subject to variation.

It’s essential to note that even though you are listed as a new Oleh, you must apply directly for the tax break, as it is not automatically granted. Different cities and municipalities, such as JerusalemKfar Saba, and Netanya, (Hebrew Websites) may have different requirements to qualify for an Arnona discount.

As a new immigrant (Oleh Chadash), you are entitled to special housing benefits.

Check your Housing Rights & Benefits