Originally from Winnipeg, Baruch (Brent) Labinsky, who has been living in Israel since 1993, published his book, A Financial Guide to Aliyah and Life in Israel.
Labinsky, who today works as a financial planner/investment manager, was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End. Today, he lives in Beit Shemesh with wife Tammy and their seven children. The couple made aliyah 19 years ago, about six months after having married.
“We came to Israel for a period of time to learn in Yeshiva in Jerusalem, having in mind that if it worked out and we enjoyed it, we’d stay,” said Labinsky. “Thank G-d, it has worked out very well.”
For their first three or four years in Israel, the Labinskys lived in Jerusalem, later moving to Beit Shemesh where they have remained for some 15 years.
“Beit Shemesh at that point was a very strongly growing English-speaking community, and we were looking for a real feeling of community.
“The book, A Financial Guide to Aliyah and Life in Israel, is a product of probably a decade of work and research,” said Labinsky who has been lecturing on finances in Israel, internationally and in Israel, for more than a decade.
“I’ve been travelling for about four years with Nefesh B’Nefesh,” said Labinsky. “They plan events where I speak with potential olim, giving them information about what it would be like to move and live here.”
About a year ago, Labinsky decided to write this 230-page book, “for the layman not familiar with the financial system in Israel. It gives people an overview so they can start by asking the right questions and talk to professionals, getting them thinking in the right direction.
“There are a couple chapters on real estate, as well as on how to cut costs and on how to make it here.
“When we made Aliyah, even though I had an MBA and worked in business and politics for a couple of years in Canada, the culture is so different here that it’s like starting from scratch.
“When we arrived in Israel, olim weren’t on the agenda at all. The bureaucracy was a lot more difficult then. Nefesh B’Nefesh has made it much easier to make the transition, making it easier for the next generation too.
“Probably the most important single idea potential olim need to be thinking about is putting together a plan, an idea of how it’s going to work for them. Everyone has some idea of where and how they want to live and how they plan on making that happen.”
This review first appeared in The Jewish Tribune