IM GOING HOME

I’ve just booked my Aliyah flight!! August 12th will be the start of something new and wonderful, 18 years in the making. Words cannot describe this feeling I have knowing I’m out in 2 months. I’ve started packing already that’s how excited I am!!

These next 2 months will be incredibly suspenseful. I just cannot wait!!

THIS year in Jerusalem!

AND WE HAVE LIFTOFF

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Yesterday went really well!! I went to the New York office of the world Zionist organization to meet with Asher Israeli, my Aliyah shaliach. (pictured on left together with myself, photo credit H. Milner) At the meeting, I filled out my Aliyah visa application and turned in alllllll the required documents. It really paid off being organized.

So, now I have a slightly new plan. Again. If all works out, I will be flying out early-mid August and in late August I will be going to a five month kibbutz ulpan program. I’m so excited!

Now that it’s only a matter of weeks before I head out, there’s lots of stuff to do. Mostly thinking of all the stuff I may or may not need for the next few years. No biggie. If anybody thinks they could set me up with a packing list that would be mighty helpful. I feel like my list is missing something.

Sometimes, you never know what will happen till it happens. And guess what? ITS HAPPENING!

AND ON THE THIRD DAY, THERE WAS A NEW PLAN

Dear readers,
I know I haven’t been posting much recently as over the past few months I have not been sure what was going on myself, let alone sure enough to actually write about it. BUT, I have not abandoned my plan! just changed it slightly. For one reason or another, garin tzabar didn’t work out for me. At this point I was wondering what I would do. And today, after weeks of indecision I finally “think” I know what my plan is.

Later this morning I have an interview with the Jewish Agency For Israel in manhattan! To finally get my Aliyah approved and to fine tune many aspects of my plan. I will let you guys know just as soon as I know.

PLANS CHANGE

Hey everyone! I know it’s been a while since I posted but that is because a lot has happened. As of now, I am not making Aliyah with Garin Tzabar. Ever since I was told this there has been so much flying through my head. So, after much thought, I have decided on which course of action I will be taking.

Hopefully somewhere around September I will be going to Israel for a gap year/ Mechina-style program, to help me integrate better in to Israeli society when I finally make Aliyah. With regard to my army service, I think I will do Machal, which is a program for foreigners who want to serve in the IDF.

I’ve realized that yes, Aliyah is what I want, but it may not be so wise to just go without being 1000% sure that it’s the right thing for me.

I think it’s a fitting day for this post. Yom Ha’azmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. A tiny nation of hope in a region of darkness, the candle kept burning for these wonderful 65 years because of people like you and me.

 AM YISRAEL CHAI!

Garin Weekend: Aftermath.

This weekend was an amazing success!! I met most of the rest of my Garin, and I really get along well with all of them.

This weekend I volunteered together with another Garin member to put together a few icebreakers. Thankfully, they went well enough that nobody wanted to shoot me.

This weekend we were speaking a lot more Hebrew than we did at the last seminar, and I did do somewhat better than I did last time.

However, I cannot stress how important it is to be able to speak Hebrew fluently before you make Aliyah. My Hebrew skills are rudimentary at best, and I’m trying. But as it seems now, I am considering making Aliyah 2 months early to attend an early Ulpan program. This is a 7 week course to prepare new Olim for life in Israel in the absorption center in ra’anana.

Also this weekend, we were interviewed by Garin Tzabar and army officials- in Hebrew, which went rather well actually. Considering I haven’t been asked to leave the program that is.

Also, they brought in a bunch of Garin Tzabar alumni who explained several incredibly important things to us.
1- just because you feel that you can do a certain job in the army, does not mean you will be able to do it.
2- it’s not all fun and games. This is above all still an army. As such, there are rules, officials, and red tape.
3- when Garin Tzabar says “mishpacha lekol hachaim” “family for life” it’s really true. Two of the alumni who visited were from the same group and they told us that they trust each other with their lives.

From this weekend, I learnt a lot. How the draft process works, how I can improve my Hebrew, what I will be reaching for, who’s giving me money…. All the fun stuff.

This is not a decision to be taken lightly. This is likely going to define my life. I congratulate all the Garin Tzabar members who have made this choice and all those who even seriously considered this decision. You are Israel’s future.
You should be proud of yourselves.

On a side note, one of the Garin members mentioned something to me this morning that made my day. He told me that a while back he read my blog and thought to himself “hey, sounds like a good idea”. And to see him sitting in our circle and know that at some point before we met he read advice I wrote, for people like us, was honestly very satisfying for me.

But back to the message, I hope that all of you Olim succeed way beyond your wildest dreams. This year on Passover when I say the words “leshana haba be’yerushalayim” I will know I will be a hell of a lot closer to our nations holy city than I am now.

Garin Weekend: Take Two

This weekend is the second seminar for the North American garin dati. Yay!! What I know this means is spending Friday afternoon on trains, but I hope that it will be even more fun than the last seminar was, and that seems pretty hard to beat….
This weekend we will be talking with representatives from the IDF about army life and the various parts of the army, and if you know me, this is great news for me.
I’m so excited!! I really cannot explain how much I’ve been looking forward to this.
I will keep all of you informed as I can.
Until then, shalom and a fun Shabbat to all of you!!