Haolim: They\'re coming!

So… what do you get when you combine the voyeurism of MTV’s The Real World, the antics and drama of Survivor, the dreaminess of Theodor Herzl, the pragmatism of David Ben Gurion and 8 new, hot, young immigrants to the state of Israel? Why Haolim (The New Immigrants) apparently. Currently in pre-production and slated to begin production later this year, the production company Highlight Films informs me that this new show will be broadcast on Israeli Television and streamed online to an international audience.

So the concept is pretty straightforward. Eight young olim from different countries live together in a big house in Tel Aviv. They each have to pool their finances, like in an old skool kibbutz, and accomplish various tasks, while going through the usual shtick that one goes through as a new immigrant. As the show progresses, the audience will witness moments of hilarity and heartbreak and everything will culminate in the selection of the Ultimate Oleh who will get a luxury condo in Tel Aviv, a new car and a hot job to help them with their new life in Israel. Ok, ok, I know it’s not draining swamps, but it’ll sure be a lot more entertaining than watching a swamp get drained. Have you ever seen that? Swamp draining is boring but Haolim will be hot!

And guess what? They are casting participants now! So… if you are in your twenties, fluent in English with little or no Hebrew skills and are committed to making aliyah like… soon, send them an email for more information. The address is [email protected].

Also if you are an organization or company wishing to get involved, there are a number of sponsorship opportunities still available. Same email address.

Oooh! I can’t wait for the episode where they have to open a bank account!

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Meaningful how Dan? Soul searching interviews with the Olim where they tell us about how their passion for Jewish peoplehood and the centrality of Israel in their Jewish identities lead them to the decision that making aliyah was an unavoidable next step in their lives?


    I think the meaningfulness will be accomplished by the realistic presentation of the lives of these olim and the struggles and accomplishments they go through as they try to integrate in and understand a new land. Also how they manage their idealized reasons for making aliyah with the reality of daily life in Israel. And lots of shots of them frolicking on the beach. Yeah, that would be meaningful.

    OK all kidding aside, this is meant to draw a large audience and so it has to appeal to the lowest common denominator while still not being completely idiotic. From my chats with the producers I can see that they gave your concerns some thought and while the entire project has some lofty goals like presenting Israel in a more realistic/positive light, they are also planning on various challenges that will be infused with a higher meaning.

    So you applying Dan or are you that enamored of the Montreal winter? Go Habs!!

  • Wow! How great! A show to come to my defense and tell the hold world….”Hey, she isn’t a freak! Other people make aliyah these days too, even normal people like the people on reality television!”

    Ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but I do really think that show like this could be benificial to the Israeli public as well as an international audience. Often times people see my decision to make aliyah as foreign and uncomprehensible. With a program like this, people can see the day-to-day lives of people who have made the decision to move to Israel, creating some image of making aliyah in Israel to give them comfort in my decision.

    It will also give many people that have come to Israel for short periods of time and are interested in making aliyah, the chance to see the reality TV version of aliyah…all of the hardships, heartbreak and soft cuddly endings.

    Lastly, if any Israelis bother with watching, the show will help them understand some of the reasons that people immigrate to Israel, especially why Americans immigrate.

    After a year of standing in endless lines (no, really–endless), collecting numerous strange documents in Hebrew and being constantly asked, “Why on earth are you moving here?” I can surely say that I’m looking forward to the one hour a week when I can laugh at all of the olim hadashim and prove to everyone else I’m not the only person in the entire world moving to Israel.

    Alison Avigayil

  • I guess this is the type if thing that really has the potential to be entertaining to the Israeli and diaspora audience and insightful and meaningful at the same time–finally, a reality show about real phenomenon that is actually occuring in our “real world” today…great:)

  • It’s a great idea? My cousin lives in France and is planning to make Aliyah next year. Is this show only for Olim form Aerica?

  • This is fantastic! My family lives in Ra’anana and I visit them often. It seems that no one in Israel really care about ALIYAH, although this is what Israel stands for to begin with.

  • To Naomi – this is simply not true. Olim are accepted in Israel like no immigrant anywhere around the world is treated. They get all the help they need, financial assistance, low-cost housing and many other benefits. I worked with the Jewish Agency for several years, and this is a huge organization dedicated to help Olim.

  • I hope the Jewish Agency is not behind this program. There are so many smaller organizations but still they bring many olim every year.

  • Jamie- it’s for people from all over the world (except Israel obviously), but they have to be fluent in English. http://www.haolim.tv/

    I think it’s a great idea, it would make good TV (as long as it stays off the Big Brother path) and the prize is unbelievable.

  • It doesn’t look like this show ever made it into production. If you’re interested in genuine, substantive unscripted Jewish reality television, check out InOverOurHeads on JLTV – the Jewish Life Television network. You can watch episodes online at http://www.inoverourheads.com. Check it out and let us know what you think!