A whole new meaning to 'pilot trip.'

Apparently, the Jewish Agency is giving a whole new meaning to ‘aliyah pilot trip.’ Haaretz reports:

Program allows Jews to give immigration a chance

The Jewish Agency will introduce a “trial immigration” program to Jews from abroad, as part of a broader strategy to make the move less intimidating for potential immigrants from the West.

As part of the new flexible immigration program, participants will become “trial residents” – a status that will make them eligible for financial benefits that ordinary tourists are not. JAFI officials say they are working with the Ministry of Interior and plan to introduce the program within the next six months.

The program, which will not obligate participants to immigrate, aims to provide a supportive framework for job searches, as well as expose potential immigrants to various living options if they were to move here. Jewish Agency officials say they are hoping to create living quarters for young Jews in Tel Aviv and Haifa. Participants in the program will also be assisted with travel and living expenses.

My husband, the aliyah counselor, says there is a downside to coming this way if the countdown for rights expiration by the Ministry of Absorption will start the date you came to Israel, not the date the trial period ends.

I suppose it’s a sound idea; it’s important to restructure aspects of the country for the evolution of the state. The seniority in me cries, “deal with it newbies!” but the fact is, evolution of the system is crucial to its survival.