Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Making The Jump

I think the readership on this blog would very much appreciate these two posts - Apple, who just recently visited Israel, wrote a post about Plans: (excerpts, read the whole thing)
Living in Jerusalem for those two weeks was the closest I've ever come to truly feeling like Israel could be a permanent home for me in all the time I had spent in Jerusalem thus far. One day, while I was walking down King George towards home, a chill ran through me and gave me goosebumps that were quite unconnected to the blazing heat of the day. My goosebumps were the result of the awesome, spine-tingling, tearfully exciting feeling that I experienced at that moment of a simple and incredible love of the place I was standing in. I need to be here, I thought to myself. I love this city. I love this country. This will be my home.

I do have concerns, though. I know that day-to-day survival in Israel is based on more than an overwhelming and abiding love of the land. I am not afraid of the bureaucracy that everyone loves to hate, or going food shopping, or speaking in Hebrew every day. What I am afraid of is not finding a job that gives me enough satisfaction so that I won't regret having left family and better job opportunities (and with that, more ways to support and build a family) in America. I'm afraid of the loneliness that will come from moving away from all my family and most of my friends. Those things aren't small concerns - they're big ones, and for that reason, making aliyah after graduation isn't a cut-and-dried plan just yet. There are lots and lots of details to consider and people to talk to and network with before I can really, truly commit to this.
That in turn spurred a post of my own on making the jump:
Over the years, it seemed as if all of my parents' friends, relatives, and mentors would make aliyah or lived in Israel. R' Schubert Spero was the rav of the Young Israel of Cleveland, and made the move around 1980, if I'm not mistaken; he was joined by countless other Clevelanders who ended up in places such as Harnof, Efrat, and many other areas throughout the country. Cousins of ours made the move: Romberg, Rock, Weisberg, Weisberg, Weisberg... Friends: Sukenik, Zivotofsky, Reich, Jacobson, Becker, May, Neustadter, Spero... the list was endless. When I got to Israel, I had over 40 places I could feel comfortable calling up and asking to come visit, and surely many more that I could have if I'd wished.

My two years in Israel were amazing ones for me, but hard ones for the country. It was 2001-2003, and the intifada was at its worst. But even with all of that, there was *something* about being there that was indescribably incredible, and partway through my first year there, I told my parents I'd be staying a second year. I still remember the flight back to the United States at the end of that first year - I found myself literally shaking at the prospect of leaving the country, tempered only by the knowledge that two months or so later I would be returning. In the middle of my second year there, I started speaking to a lot of the friends and relatives there about the idea of attending Bar-Ilan instead of returning to the United States. After a little investigation and understanding the feasibility of it, it was still suggested to me - unanimously, I should add - by all of the people who had made aliyah that I should first get my degree, get married, and work a number of years in the US while saving up money before doing so. That if I wanted to make aliyah and stay, the best path for me was to actually spend some time away from Israel.
Wherever I am, my heart aches to come back to Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Anonymous said...

how about an update on the olympian?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Bat-El, the Olympian only starts her matches on Aug 20th.

Don;t worry - I'll post all about it :)

(And thanks for posting this Ezzie!)

Baila said...

I guess getting your education in the states is good advice. And then staying a bit to make some money. You need money to make Aliyah. But then there is the likelihood that you won't come. Take it from me. We kept pushing it off--for 15 years. It just gets harder as you get older, you get more entrenched in your life, your family, your community. If you think you are close to your friends now, wait till you've lived through the joys and challenges in your life with them for the next 20 years. That is what I did, making Aliya in my 40's, with older kids. I won't say I regret not coming sooner--this was G-d's plan. But leaving those friends and family at this point in my life was wrenching--I have felt a grief like a permanent loss (chas V'chalilah)--even with skype and instant messaging etc. And don't even get me started on coming with older kids.

Despite all that, I'm glad I'm here. Aliyah is tough any time you come. I would say it's not for everyone (Jameel may disagree, but I believe if someone doesn't want to be here, they shouldn't). Come for the right reasons, because you believe that as Jews it is our priviledge to be able to govern our own land, that our nation belongs here, that you can contribute something to society. If you do believe all that, do yourselves a favor, come as young as you can. Build your life and community here. In twenty years you'll be Israeli, your kids will be Israeli and your life will have meaning. And you won't be thinking, as I did for 15 years, "I should be there".

rescue37 said...

transfer to a firm that has offices in Israel and ask at the interview what the prospect of transfering would be in 2-3 years. This way you get to move there with a job in hand. Also, if you've already passed the CPA exam, start studying and pass the israeli version. I have heard that the dual certification does wonders on salaries. Another thing that would help is to try and get on clients that are already reporting under IFRS.

Batya said...

I don't understand the advice you got. Postponing aliyah sometimes goes into permanent mode. Having to go back to school when here with kids is harder than doing it Israeli the first time.

We came as newly-weds in 1970. I don't think we ever would have saved more money than we had from the wedding, Bar Mitzvah etc.

Nu? We'll gladly welcome you to Shiloh!!

G said...

Okay, so here is something that has always worried me about the whole idea.

From everything that I saw in my two years there in addition to what you hear/read...there does not seem to be a place in Israel for one who wishes to just live what i like to call a "regular frum" life. It seems like one needs to pick a side in Israel to a greater degree than what currently exists in the states.

again, only my impression

Rebecca said...

Every day,every hour,and every minute is specialrunescape gold

Chai18 said...

anyone know how to see the rest of the post from Apple?

Search the Muqata


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