"Experiencing the Kotel as an Olah Chadasha on the last night of Slichot just before Yom Kippur is so humbling. I am very grateful and honored to be part of this great nation. Gmar chatima tova to all." -Davira Reichman Bareli, NBN '16
"My wife and I had aspired to make Aliyah ever since we studied in Israel during our college years. Due to family obligations, we put our dream on hold for many years. Recently, we were able to focus on realizing our dream and Baruch HaShem, we made Aliyah this past year.
So far, Aliyah has presented a lot more ups than downs. Israelis from all walks of life warmly wish us Mazal Tov and Kol HaKavod when they find out that we are new Olim, and assert that we have come to the best country on Earth. It is gratifying that our children and grandchildren, who currently remain in the US, are proud of us and our Aliyah has certainly put Israel front and center in their consciousness. Most of all, there is the feeling every morning looking out from our apartment toward the Ayalon Valley and the Mediterranean Sea that we are in the Land where Jewish history is being made, and that we have the opportunity to play a small part in the miracle that is the modern State of Israel.
To prospective Olim, I offer the following observations:
1. Downsizing your home in chutz laAretz (abroad) and preparing a lift for shipment to Israel is time-consuming and a lot of work. Budget the time so that you can do it well.
2. Finding a job in Israel can be very difficult and can take months. Generally, Israeli companies will not commit to employment until you arrive, but making as many contacts as possible, before you arrive or early in your Aliyah, as well as getting honest feedback from them, will likely aid your job search.
3. Day-to-day living is not inexpensive; as a rule, plan to pay the same price in dollars for groceries as you do in the United States.
4. Bring plenty of informal attire. The person you see walking down the street in jeans, a t-shirt and sandals without socks is as likely as not to be a well-known philanthropist, renowned scientist, or Talmudic scholar!
5. Do not worry if it does not feel great every day. I am told that this is to be expected for quite a while.
6. Do not underestimate how difficult it is to be so far away from family. It is hard, every day, and there is no refining it. Even with today’s communications technology, it is for us the most difficult aspect of Aliyah.
7. Do not try to take in the entire spectrum of educational, cultural, spiritual, and entertainment activities at one time. You will be overwhelmed with the variety of opportunities for personal growth, learning, volunteering, and fun.
We feel fortunate and blessed to have merited the opportunity to take part in the historic return and revival of the Jewish People to our God-Given homeland, a process which fills us with wonder each and every day."
Ron Mitnick, NBN 2015
Be like the Mitnicks and #MakeItHome www.nbn.org.il/landing/lp-sm/