When did you make Aliyah?
August 1, 2018
What made you decide to make Aliyah?
Really, it was before I got married.
We had lived here for several years after we got married and planned on making Aliyah and coming back. Initially, we thought we would do so when we retired but for many reasons, we realized we didn’t want to wait that long. The idea that we have Israel to go to and we aren’t there was a dream that we didn’t want to push off any longer!
Different transitions and stages of life for our kids was a big part, being a Tanach teacher where Israel is THE focus of so much and working/learning in a ציוני school all contributed towards it.
How did you decide which community to move to?
We chose a place that would be a soft landing for our children.
Are you still working in the same field you were in America? Did you have to change careers? How did you enter the Israeli job market?
Pretty much- yes–Jewish education. Definitely had to figure out how to make it work here. For my husband, the “shape and form” of Jewish educators is a very different one from what was. He was determined to come here with a job since this field can be quite full here and I am grateful to him for that. It means that he travels a lot which we don’t love but know that it was part of the trade-off of adjusting careers. This year gave me the opportunity to help settle us all in so I worked only part time. I applied to seminaries from the U.S. and was fortunate to find a perfect start. Since being here and settling in, I have been fortunate to find more full-time work for the coming year. I had just started contacting NBN Employment to learn different options of how to branch out more when Hashem sent me a special opportunity! I am now involved in starting a new high school.
How is your Aliyah experience going so far?
BH, very grateful! It’s wonderful. Yes, there are some challenges but we are very blessed. I think the fact that we lived here for four years, have a decent Hebrew, and REALLY want to be here are all contributing factors to our blessing but mostly, Hashem! Challenges can be in all forms – being new will always have its adjustments anywhere.
How have your children adjusted to the move? How did you decide which schools they should attend?
BH overall great. They definitely are on the ‘front lines’ with a lot of experiences, and for the most part are doing really well. Working through challenges and planning ahead so some of them are limited or eliminated proactively is critical. “Being there” for them and putting them in schools that match who each of them are etc. are all important pieces.
Choosing schools has to do with both how a family is “hashkafically”-aligned and the type of learner the child is. Researching beforehand and if possible visiting are all important in making those decisions.
Do you have any plans in place for retirement?
Great question! Somewhat!
What tips do you have for someone who is considering Aliyah?
I think really wanting to be here is key! I think putting yourself into situations (that you want to be in) to meet people is important. Those situations are different for everyone. Some people like social gatherings etc. I personally like meeting people organically as well. Showing up to shul or continuing with hobbies (running learning for me) helped me meet people that have common interests for example
Focus on the positive –in general in life—is a good one. We have a ‘line’ in our house that if people are complaining about something in Israel, we call out ‘meraglim’ – that doesn’t mean not being supportive of real issues to work with but the things that can make someone kvetchy…