Our Aliyah Journey

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It’s been nine and a half months since we boarded the plane for the Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight. The goodbyes were awful, the plane ride itself was pretty uneventful (Baruch Hashem), but our lives changed forever when we stepped off the plane. We stepped into a crowd of mostly strangers, who were enthusiastically welcoming us into this wonderful country, we now call our home. 

We each made a conscious decision when we spent our respective years learning in yeshiva and seminary that we wanted to move to Israel. It was important to us when dating to find someone who shared this dream and we made it happen.  I remember on the flight we were asked, “Why now?” Our response was very simple, “Why not now?” It was literally the perfect time for us to make the move. Our daughter, Amalia, was 16 months old. She wouldn’t notice the difference between Israel and New York, other than the fact that she would mainly see her grandparents and cousins on a screen.  

I finished graduate school and my husband, David, had one year left of semicha. Originally we thought we would start working right away, David in engineering and myself in Special Ed, but we ultimately decided to begin our journey at Yeshiva University’s Gruss Kollel, figuring it would help ease the adjustment into living in Israel.  David would be able to finish his last year of semicha learning in Eretz Yisrael and we could look for a community to move to while already living here. Being away from family and friends is tough, but thankfully the visitors keep on coming and technology allows us to constantly be in touch. We are lucky to have David’s brother and sister-in-law living nearby, and we are so excited for both his sister’s family and his parents to join us as they are making Aliyah in the coming months.

Thank G-d, these 9 plus months have gone by smoothly, even though we’ve certainly had our fair share of “Only in Israel” moments, ranging from heartwarming to frustrating to inspiring.

We knew Amalia would fit right in when she came back from gan saying “דיי” (enough!), showing true Israeli toddler attitude. She has already picked up on so many Hebrew words, phrases, and songs.

In all honesty, we did this for her.

We want our children to grow up in the land of our forefathers. Baruch Hashem, we already experienced birth in Israel, as we welcomed a baby boy into our family just 2 months ago. Luckily, I managed to finish ulpan the night before I went into labor.

Although giving birth in Israel might not be as luxurious as it is in America, there is something so special about giving birth here that makes up for any lack of comfort.

Spending Yom HaShoa here as citizens, and now Yom Haatzmaut, I can’t help but think that our son, Yaakov, named for both of our grandfathers who survived the Holocaust, has the privilege of growing up in the Jewish state. David and I are jealous of the opportunity our children will have to speak Hebrew with ease and to grow up intimately connected to the land of Eretz Yisrael. We feel so lucky and thankful to be able to live in Yerushalayim. Our journey here has only just begun and we cannot wait to see what is in store for us in the future.

I live in Jerusalem with my husband, David, my two-year-old daughter, Amalia, and my two-month-old son, Yaakov. For the last few years I worked as a teacher in special education in New Jersey, and now I am a rakezet in MMY. In my free time, you might find me following food bloggers or experimenting in the kitchen on my own.