Moving to Chutz La'Aretz
Sarah Sacks
Jan-9th, 2017 13:30
Last updated: March 20, 2019

You have been living in Eretz Yisrael for the past few months or years, and now the time has come to move on. Just like coming to Eretz Yisrael was overwhelming, leaving can be challenging, too. We hope that this guide will help to mitigate the stress involved in this formidable undertaking.


To keep or not to keep? You will be surprised at how much you’ve accumulated here! Moving is the time to evaluate what you want to keep and what you don’t. You might choose to sell, give away, or throw out the things you do not want to bring along with you. Here are some considerations to bear in mind:

Israeli appliances will not work in the United States without a converter, so you’ll want to leave those behind if that is your destination. They can be used in certain parts of Europe, though.

Items that are in good condition and that you still use on a regular basis might be worthwhile to keep. On the one hand, although you can sell them in a moving sale, you’ll have to rebuy them at full price at your destination. Then again, the trouble of shlepping versus the monetary value might convince you to leave them behind.

Don’t throw out “small stuff” that you’ll regret not having later – that half-empty bottle of Acamol might be a lifesaver the day you get off the plane!


Used items are generally sold at a discount of 10% per year of use.

Furniture is often sold to the tenants who will be taking over your apartment. You can offer the incoming tenants appliances and accessories that you would like to sell, too.

If the incoming tenants will not be purchasing your furniture, try arranging a moving sale. You can also employ the services of used furniture agents, though they will obviously take a commission.

Giving Away

Many gemachim will gladly come to pick up anything you do not want or manage to sell – even open packages of food or cleaning supplies. See Newcomers Guide for a list of gemachim (edition XV, page 195).

Shipping and Transport

The items you are planning to keep can be transported to your destination in a number of ways, depending upon their size, weight and value.

In your suitcase Certain small, lightweight items can be sent overseas with others traveling to your destination, or packed in your suitcases when you leave. Most airlines allow for one 50-pound (23-kilogram) suitcase per adult passenger (children and infants have different allowances). Aeroflot and Turkish Airlines allow two pieces of baggage per traveler. Confirm your airline’s baggage allowance before packing.

Shipping seforim Seforim are often shipped overseas. Shanky’s will ship your seforim for free if you have spent a total of $1800 or more at their store. Alternatively, you can ship your seforim through Torah Treasures of Lakewood at 60¢ per kilo: (732) 901-1911.

Lifts To transport heavier and/or bulkier items (e.g. pieces of furniture), or if your belongings far exceed the baggage restrictions on your airline, arrange to send a lift. Lifts are shipments that are measured according to size: the cost is determined by how many pallets your belongings fill.

The size of a pallet is usually 1 x 1.2 meters in perimeter and 1.8 meters high. You can fill the pallet as you please. Be creative with saving as much space as you can. Compact blankets and clothing with vacuum packs, use towels to wrap delicate items instead of wasting space on extra packaging materials, and arrange your belongings as efficiently as you can.

There are several shipping companies to choose from, all with different service options and price ranges. If your belongings will fit onto one pallet, go with the cheapest shipping company. If you are short on time or have lots of things to pack, use a company whose service includes packaging materials and/or packing for you. Just make sure that the company measures your lift in front of you to ensure that it is done accurately.

The following shipping companies are listed in Newcomers Guide (edition XVI, page 643):

1. Best Shipping02-586-0600

2. Israport Shipping02-538-4244

3. S.H.J.R. Freight & Services Ltd.03-771-0003

4. Sonigo Quality Worldwide Shipping1-800-230-232

Shipping valuables Lifts are generally uninsured. Some shipping companies (such as Best Shipping) offer insurance at approximately 2% of the estimated value of your shipment, plus a deductible if damage or loss occurs, in addition to standard shipment costs.

Silver can be sent separately. Heichal Hakesef (02-537-0707, Divrei Chaim 15, Jerusalem) offers insured shipments for silver. They charge approximately 250-300 NIS per box; one is usually large enough for this purpose. Shipments take three days to arrive.

Import taxes Depending upon your destination country, you may be charged tax for imported goods. Be aware that these fees may apply to your shipment; consider them when deciding how and whether to transport your bulkier belongings.


Before leaving, there are several technicalities to take care of. You’ll have to close down phone and internet accounts, transfer ownership with gas, water, and electric companies, notify government offices, and gather medical and school records, if applicable. Here are some pointers and links to make the job a little less complicated.

Phone and Internet Cancellations

You can do it yourself, but will do the work for you – at no charge! If you have a teudat zehut number, check out the website to see which of your phone, cell phone, and internet services they can cancel for you, free of charge, in just three easy steps.

If you do not use Netek, the following information will help you do it yourself.

Landline Phone

To cancel your landline phone plan, contact your service provider.

Bezeq • 199

HOT • *6900 / 1-800-077-077

Netvision • *3031

Partner • *054 / 1-800-800-054 • *3012 / 1-800-200-300 (from outside Israel: 972-74-707-3211)

Cell Phone

To cancel your cell phone plan(s), contact your service provider. Most cell phone providers have forms that you can fax or email them to cancel a plan. Netek can do this for teudat zehut holders, as well. If you have an international number on your cell phone plan, you may be able to have your next service provider (e.g. Verizon) request it from your current one (e.g. Golan).

Partner • 074-705-4033

Cellcom • *123 / 1-800-052-052

Hot • *6900

Golan • *0058 / 1-800-016-058

Pelephone • *166 / 1800-050-166

MIRS • *053 / 1-800-800-053 / 053-500-3000

Internet Service

Contact your service provider to let them know when you will be leaving. If the incoming tenants plan to use internet, mention that to the representative you speak to. You may just decide to transfer the account to the new tenants. The new tenants should call the provider, as well.

VOIP Lines (DSL)

Consider what you want to do about your VOIP line when you leave Israel. You might choose not to disconnect it at all. Because VOIP lines work over the Internet, they can be maintained anywhere. They are often even more cost-efficient than regular landlines. You can also transfer ownership of the line to incoming tenants by contacting your service provider.

If you are not sure what you’d like to do, it can wait. You can cancel your line from outside Israel easily, and you might want to explore the options at your destination before making a final decision.



To transfer ownership of your water bill to the incoming tenants, call *2070 or 02-565-1111, or fill out this form. Follow instructions on the form. You will need to fax (1-532-565-1111), email (, or mail (Derech Chevron 101, Jerusalem 9110002) the form to Hagihon, the water company. The most recent water meter reading is required on the form.


Before leaving your apartment, read the current number on the apartment’s electric meter. Dial 103. Provide the contract number located at the top left of the electric bill and the meter reading. The company will create a bill for you to pay on the spot over the phone via credit card. The next bill to the address will begin from this point.

If you have the next tenant’s information, provide his name, teudat zehut/passport number, and phone number, and the new bill will show his name. Otherwise, let the company know that you are leaving so they can remove you from the bill.

From outside Israel, Chevrat HaChashmal (Electric Company) can be reached at 972-3-713-1890.

For the new tenant to put his name on the bill, he should submit the designated form along with a rental contract, letter from yeshiva (if applicable), passports and visas by email to Alternatively, fax to 1-800-200-103. The name change incurs a nominal fee.


Contact your gas provider for information on transferring ownership to the incoming tenants.

Amisragas • 03-564-4124

Gaz Yagel • 02-622-2371

Isragaz • 1-700-500-059

Supergas • 09-830-8103

Pazgas • 03-968-8088

Government Offices


Before you leave, let the Arnona office know that you are moving. If you’ve already paid Arnona for the full year and need a refund, they will return whatever money you paid beyond your period of residency. If you have not yet paid your Arnona bill for the current year, they will generate a bill that covers up until your date of departure. If you have a teudat zehut, simply fill out the online form provided by the Iriyah for renters leaving apartments. You will need the ID information and confirmation of your landlord aside from relevant dates and property details.

If you are not a teudat zehut holder, you must submit the form in person, together with the passport(s) of the adult member(s) of the household listed as the tenant(s) on the contract. Before you go, make an appointment at (department: Arnona Megurim) or call *3552.

Bituach Leumi

Before you leave, let Bituach Leumi know that you plan to permanently establish residency outside Israel. This can be done at their office, or by faxing in a letter stating as such. The fax number of the Jerusalem office is 02-624-5898. Email to request a sample letter.

Attach a copy of the front page of each family member’s passport with appropriate Bituach Leumi numbers next to each one. If you have documentation that will prove you plan to permanently live outside Israel, you can fax that in, as well. This might include an acceptance letter to an educational institution, a rental contract, or anything similar.

Kupat Cholim/Medical Records

You will need to close your kupat cholim account so that they stop billing you for their services. Contact your kupah for details.

If you are a Meuhedet member, cancelation can be done:

in person – visit your local clinic and sign a form stating that you wish to stop receiving Meuhedet services.

via fax – submit a letter that lists your name, your Meuhedet ID number, the current date and the date of your departure. Explain that you wish to stop receiving services. Fax number: 02-531-2778. [If you do not have Meuhedet, contact your kupat cholim to confirm that they accept fax requests.]

Note that if you are a member of Bituach Leumi, your kupat cholim membership will stop as soon as your Bituach Leumi file is closed. However, you may cancel your supplementary insurance plan separately, if you have one (e.g. Maccabi Sheli, Meuhedet Adif/C).

It is also highly advisable to obtain printouts of your family’s medical records. Make sure to request this for each member of your family. Additionally, you will need your children’s immunization records. These are usually found in the kartis maakav/gedila, the booklet that is filled out at each Tipat Chalav appointment.

It is advisable to scan or copy all medical information for safekeeping.

Bank Account and Other Finances

Take out all money from your bank account and visit your bank (in person) to have them close down your account. If you’ve emptied your bank account but have not visited your bank to close down the account officially, most banks will automatically close down the account in a matter of months. However, it is inadvisable to leave your account open once it’s empty as it can start accruing interest if you set up hora’at keva or if you owe money at all.

If you owe any money – bills, parking tickets, etc. – pay it off before you go.

If you deposited money in gemachim, remember to take it out before your move.

School Records

Contact your children’s schools to obtain academic records and transcripts.

Tzeischem l’shalom. Wishing you much success!

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