web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



10 Years after Aliyah: a Reflection

At least 6-8 of my close friends left Israel over the course of the last seven years.
Shuk Rimon Merchant

Photo Credit: Yishai Fleisher

Share Button

The following was written by my good friend Michael Berezin:

MikeTen years ago in the fall of 2003 I officially became a citizen of the Modern State of Israel. For me it was merely a formality as I had already been living here since 2001. Since then much has transpired both in my personal life here in Israel and in the lives of my friends who I had met along the way. I was very fortunate right from the start to meet really good people when I arrived in Jerusalem. Quickly, I made friends with like-minded people who had come from America and other English speaking countries. We all had something strong in common, that is, we had all chosen to come to Israel and for that reason there was a sense of kinship in the shared mission of making our experience in Israel both worthwhile and fun.

Oh and fun we had. There were so many parties, camp-outs, trips and crazy memories, but nobody I knew was suffering as a result of their decision to make Aliyah. If anything, we all seemed to be having a great time. Sure there were bureaucratic annoyances, random terror attacks, and less than easy Israelis to deal with from time to time, but despite those challenges many of us were happy and going strong. I think as a group we were determined to focus on the positives. When necessary we would find support in our collective Anglo society, which served to keep the negative forces at bay. It was obvious we were all living in a bubble and it clashed with the value of integration into the larger Israeli world around us. Still, for those of us who wanted Hebrew and the opportunities which came with it, there was nothing standing in the way of the determined. For the rest of us we came to realize that retaining our English-speaking identity was just fine, as long as we were able to make it work both socially and financially.

With the passage of time many of us got married. With rare exception everyone married an English speaker or at the very least a partial Israeli with strong English speaking skills. This is around the time when perspectives began to change. For some of my friends, Israel started to become more of a drag. Not everything was great and sunny anymore. The choice to come here had now been repeatedly introduced to the day to day reality and challenges of Israeli life. Many of my friends had come to Israel with a similar religious based ideology to mine. But the passage of time would chip away at this belief system. Those who stayed in Israel despite that change in ideology migrated to Tel Aviv.

Another change of perspective occurred for my friends who married to girls with American family overseas. Now that they were starting their own family, the importance of being near their family had become a much stronger need and desire. So many left for this reason. The possibility of making more money and having a stronger feeling of material comfort was a bi-product of this choice. At least 6-8 of my close friends left Israel over the course of the last seven years.

My feelings about this have somewhat mellowed out over the years. At first, though, I felt hurt and betrayed. Not personally of course. Its not as if people were leaving to simply get away from me (well maybe one person). It was my belief system and priority of values which was being assailed. How could they just leave? What about the mission? What about the good times? Of course Israel was challenging, but couldn’t they stay and make it work? How was it ever going to get better if the possible positive forces of change were set on abandoning ship?

In time, my feelings would simmer down as they have with other aspects of living here. I guess its all part of the adaptive process. There is much truth to the saying “never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes”. I know that Israel is not always rosy. I also know that I was very lucky in how things unfolded for me here. Which is to say that it did not work out that way for many others. At least the friends who left tried to make it work in Israel, while many people I grew up with didn’t even come here to try. I just wish that the idea of coming here and staying no matter what, had been a more pervasive force than leaving it behind for theoretical greener pastures abroad.

Share Button

About the Author: Yishai Fleisher is the Contributing Editor and PR manager at the JewishPress.com, and Israel's only English language broadcast radio show host (Galey Yisrael 106.5FM). Yishai is an Israeli Paratrooper, a graduate of Cardozo Law School, and the founder of Kumah ("Arise" in Hebrew), an NGO dedicated to promoting Zionism and strengthening Israel's national character. Yishai is married to Malkah, they have two children, and they live on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

2 Responses to “10 Years after Aliyah: a Reflection”

  1. sad, i am here 29 years and dont regret a moment. people should remember why they came here in the first place and stay strong and comitted like you and i did.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
EyeOnZion_blog_470x330
Current Top Story
ancient skull discovered Gush Etzion
Hikers Find Human Skull and Bones in Gush Etzion Cave
Latest Blogs Stories
Baruch Mizrachi Funeral

When will the State of Israel decide the Palestinian Arabs are a hostile enemy and treat them as such?

Israeli troops guarding the northern border.

Like Hamas, Hezbollah also builds tunnels. Those tunnels pose a serious danger to IDF border patrols.

Firnas Hafzi, Egyptian journalist who luridly repeats Passover Blood Libel.

Visa has ads in an Egyptian magazine in which a story describes Jews as vampires. And worse.

Church of the Nativity, beseiged and desecrated by Arab Palestinian terrorists in the spring of 2002.

World Council of Churches expresses solidarity with “Palestinians” ‘languishing’ in Israeli prisons.

The Seder: We starve (during the sometimes endless recitations and discussions) and we feast.

The unique skills of people on the autistic spectrum adds great breadth to IDF intelligence work.

Passover is a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.

In Iran, 131 offenses are punishable by death, including blasphemy, adultery and homosexuality.

Women must eat Matzah on Pesach too but that is also a time bound positive commandment.

Pro-Israel leaders on campus are as important as the troops in the IDF and professional hasbaraniks.

The seder reminds us of our freedom now that we are home again in the land of the Nation of Israel

IDF helicopters are ready to act on a moment’s notice to defend the State of Israel.

The Samson Super Hercules aircraft ensures the IDF can safeguard Israel from far beyond her shores.

Rudoren and the Times are determined to go the extra mile to humanize Barghouti.

Gazans are among the principal victims of the terror-addicted Hamas Islamists.

More Articles from Yishai Fleisher
(Images borrowed from the crate labels of American grown oranges)

It is easy to spot Haman in today’s world, but who is this year’s Esther?

Ambassador Dermer’s thoughts on what is ahead in the coming years between Israel and the USA.

The date for the end of one fruit crop and the beginning of the next is the 15th day of Shvat.

Well, Subaru, you stood up to tyranny in the past, and this Chanukah you shine once again.

Tears come down as I ponder the history of the self-sacrifice that this place engenders in our people.

At least 6-8 of my close friends left Israel over the course of the last seven years.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/eye-on-zion/10-years-after-aliyah-a-reflection/2013/11/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: