I got the impression that NBN is looking to help only a particular type of immigrant, namely generally religious anglo families. They state that their assistance is based on "need," and I was able to demonstrate financial need, but they refused to give me any grant whatsoever. After talking repeatedly with Rabbi Fess, all I could get from him was that they did not think I would be likely to succeed in Aliyah. I got the same discouragement from the NBN employment counselor I drove 4 hours to meet, who told me she did not think I would be able to find employment. Fortunately, My Jewish Agency Shlichah encouraged me to persevere, and be aggressive like an Israeli. I ended up getting a $1500 grant from a Christian group that funds Jews making Aliyah, because they support the ingathering of the exiles. The Jewish Agency's Absorption Center was extremely helpful in giving me a soft landing. I am on my second job since arriving, and I am surviving 2.5 years later, with no intentions on returning, but it has NOT been to any help from NBN. 5 million NIS to 4000 immigrants? And nothing for me? Outrageous.
Suspect Bangkok bomber arrested, found with possible bomb-making materials (Reuters)