web analytics
July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Aliyah in the National Religious Path

"We very strongly identify with the Aseh Chayil National Religious and Modern Orthodox ideology."

The "Cheder Tanach" (Bible Room) at Aseh Chayil School in Efrat. Parents identify with the school's National Religious and Modern Orthodox ideology, and its allegiance to the old-time HaPoel HaMizrachi path.

The "Cheder Tanach" (Bible Room) at Aseh Chayil School in Efrat. Parents identify with the school's National Religious and Modern Orthodox ideology, and its allegiance to the old-time HaPoel HaMizrachi path.
Photo Credit: Dina Mann

As an education writer for the nonprofit organization, Kars for Kids, and as someone who made Aliyah from Pittsburgh 34 years ago, I decided to write about the challenges of Aliyah from western countries with school age children. See the previous piece in this series, Aliyah and the Gifted Child.

Today I interview Dina Mann of Efrat.

V: Dina, I know you came here when you were in fifth grade, from Cleveland. Where did you go to school in Cleveland? Were you popular? What was hard to leave behind? How did you feel about making Aliyah?

Dina: In Cleveland I went to the Hebrew Academy through 4th grade. I was not popular. On the contrary – I was pretty marginalized, picked on.

It just happened to work out in my class that most the other girls came from Telshe Yeshiva homes, whereas I came from a Modern Orthodox/Bnei Akiva home. The other girls ridiculed me for pronouncing Hebrew with a Sephardi Taf instead of an Ashkenazi Saf, for wearing pants after school and for going to Bnei Akiva (instead of B’nos where the others went).

I was thrilled to make Aliyah! Throughout my whole childhood I had heard that we are making Aliyah soon. The only thing difficult to leave behind was my family – grandparents and cousins we were very close with who all lived within a block of our house.

The Mann Family of Efrat (photo courtesy Dina Mann)

The Mann Family of Efrat (photo courtesy Dina Mann)

V: How well did you speak Hebrew when you came to Israel? Where did you go to school? What was difficult for you? What helped make things easier?

Dina: I didn’t speak any Hebrew when we came to Israel. Well, maybe a few symbolic words like Shalom, Banana . . . At first, while living in Jerusalem, I went to Noam elementary school for a year, and then Horev for almost a year before moving to Efrat. I don’t remember any difficulties. I seemed to master the language very quickly.

I think what helped with that were two things:

A) I was happy and eager to learn the language and communicate with my new and supportive environment!

B) I was thrust into a Hebrew-speaking environment. Only one other girl in the grade spoke English. So I was forced to speak Hebrew right away. And I remember all the girls being very accepting and helpful, and never making fun of me at all for my poor language skills. The result – within 3 months I understood everything in class.

I think even my private 2-hours-a-week Hebrew tutoring classes in school were stopped then, because I was already getting more IN class than on my own out of class. I’m sure it took awhile before I was speaking fluently and without an accent, but I don’t remember the difficulty, so it seems it was very smooth and quick.

The other obvious area of difficulty would be social. Here too, my transition was amazingly smooth. My parents found and introduced me to neighborhood girls my age and had them take me along to Bnei Akiva almost from day one. I thought I was in heaven. I was hooked as a die-hard Bnei Akivanik from then on. Here I finally found my place socially, and the surrounding I found myself in was in line with my upbringing at home.

V: Tell us about your current life: when did you marry? What do the two of you do for a living? How many kids, ages?

About the Author: Blogger and mother of 12 Varda Meyers Epstein is a third-generation Pittsburgher who made aliyah at age 18 and never looked back. A proud settler who lives in the biblical Judean heartland, Varda serves as the communications writer for the nonprofit car donation program Kars for Kids

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “Aliyah in the National Religious Path”

  1. Yechiel Baum says:

    When the Jewish Agency unified all Zionist organziations, Aliyah rates by religious Zionists such as Bnei Akiva was relevant. Now the only religious olehs are those who come to live on Israeli welfare and not serve the country and its holy army, hiding behind a wealthy rebbe in a fake yeshiva.

  2. Wow. That's a nasty comment.

  3. Drora Bat Melech says:

    Yechiel, I don't really know where you get your information about new olim … I am a toshevet chozeret while my husband and kids are Olim Chadashim. My oldest came just a year ago to Israel with no Hebrew and now he is serving in a special tactical unit in Givaati .We do not hide behind any wealthy rebbe since most are pretty poor.. ….my other son (15) goes to yeshiva and works as a gardener, dog walker, snow shoveller and a kidsitter, in his spare time.

  4. Drora Bat Melech you go, Girl. When are we gonna have that coffee?

  5. Drora Bat Melech says:

    Varda Epstein soon… now that the snow is melting… :)

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
ISIS leads captured Egyptian Copts in death march.
Analysis: ISIS Will Go Down to Defeat in Egypt
Latest Blogs Stories
Malachi Rosenfeld HY"D

Israel & world Jewry are under attack and in grave danger but UN’s focus is denouncing Israel

Doug Goldstein

What is human chess? How easy is it to predict the actions of others?

Rethink UN bias against Israel

It’s time to stand up against the bias & no longer accept the constant UN prejudice against Israel.

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, one of four injured in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, north of Ramallah, has died (HYD)

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, injured in a terror attack in Samaria, has died (HYD)

Allah is NOT merciful: Stabbing, beheading, shooting innocents is barbaric & cowardly acts of terror

How could the Jerusalem Post think the attack could have been other than a terrorist act?

Going to Mt of Olives cemetery was like visiting Jurassic Park in a jeep with dinosaurs rampaging

Hanan Porat z”l, teary-eyed said ” We returned to the Gush(Etzion)we shall return to the Gush(Katif)

“Mispachology”: Theory you share a common link with someone you’ve never met or been in contact with

It seems that Pres. Rivlin has joined all other so-called Right politicians and now is trending Left

Dear Muslims, Happy Ramadan. It’s clear from the news that your people are having a “bang-up” month

The President was right, every Jew should have a gun. He just asked the wrong person about it.

Everybody knows that during Ramadan Arab Muslim terror attacks increase.

UN says Hamas tried to warn us of rocket attacks? I was here. Not once did those…I want to scream

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah} The inevitable finally happened. Rabbi Avi Weiss has dispensed with his prior refusal to call his female ordainees ‘rabbis’.  I challenged him to stop dancing around that title with made up titles  (like Raba and Maharat) and he finally rose to the challenge. His motivation in not […]

How can you transform thinking to action? What are the mountains you need to climb to reach goals?

More Articles from Varda Meyers Epstein
Menachem Zivotofsky sued the U.S. government because the U.S. refused to include "Israel" alongside "Jerusalem" as the place of his birth on his passport. So far the courts have sided with the government.

The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State

Antique Bible
Perhaps Pope needs to Peruse?

If Obama read the Bible he’d accept & respect that Jews ARE the indigenous people of Judea & Samaria

For coexistence, Jews (& everyone) must draw a line in the sand showing “This is where we part ways”

How do you put a love of Judaism into a middle-aged man when it was never there in the first place?

Only Bibi has the sort of leadership qualities we need to get us through this perilous time.

Come live in Israel-make us stronger and live unashamedly JEWISH in our God-given land. We need you.

“I don’t think my kids have any difficulties that are specific to the Israeli school system.”

The universities and the local progressive culture make Pacific Northwest a hotbed of Israel hatred.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/ear-to-the-ground/aliyah-in-the-national-religious-path/2013/12/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: