While my children and I did not attend shul this year (my husband attended a very small, very early morning minyan), we did manage to have a special davening experience.
While I generally had a lot of fun on these interviews, I still am embarrassed when I recall our first in-Hebrew television interview.
As I approached the school along with tens of other children and parents, the excitement was palpable. The principal stood at the gate of the school, greeting each child with an elbow bump and a smile.
There is actually a fantastic Facebook group – “LoveLoveIsrael-Tried and Tested” – where you can find everything you may want to know about visiting almost anywhere in Israel.
Before calling the municipality to arrange a special pickup of furniture or large appliances, residents often post pictures of these items on Facebook or WhatsApp groups with the simple message of "limisira b'ahava" (for donation with love).
We find daily excuses to run in to pick up just a loaf of bread, and leave with our hands laden with hot bourekas, pita, and lachmaniyot (rolls).
Here in Modi’in we have a wonderful Absorption Department, with olim coordinators that go above and beyond to help.
Admittedly, the lift included some items we had planned to leave behind and others that we had wanted on flight, but while packing had not gone as planned – a running theme in our aliyah – it would have to do.
While olim are offered a steep discount on taxes associated with purchasing a new car, it comes with many complicated strings attached.
As we’ve learned time and time again through this aliyah process, ultimately everything is in Hashem’s hands.
In New York, you can walk into a showroom and examine a range of models; here, most stores carry a few show pieces and otherwise direct you to look through their catalogue to see if you like anything.
I wish I could say it has been smooth sailing since then, but the banking system here is more complicated than I can do justice to here.
After days with no return call, I was desperate. My Israeli friends advised me to show up at the dental clinic as an “emergency case” and insist on being seen.
Her eyes, however, were wide open, taking it all in. She was fascinated by the surrounding babies after our long indoor confinement.
As I watched my family devouring their ice cream cones on the walk back to the car, one thing was clear. My family was really enjoying their time in Israel.
He advised us, though, that we didn’t need to be a “fryer” (a naive oleh) and accept the terms since everything in Israel is subject to negotiation.
Generally, orders arrive in a matter of weeks. Little did I realize that due to coronavirus-related postal delays, our lift would arrive weeks before the books I ordered from this site!
Neighbors congregated in the building hallway to commiserate. Apparently, like cats on patios, power outages are a common part of life here in Israel – especially in the summer.
I spent the rest of the day wondering how he was doing. When I arrived for pickup, I was relieved to see his smiling face.
Living for years in American apartments with either no laundry machine, or a shared laundry room, we had gotten used to planning our weekends around doing laundry.
Why did I stuff my life into 15 duffle bags and fly with my husband and kids amidst an international pandemic to live halfway across the world?
In an apparent effort to ensure both employee and public safety, only a limited number of people were being allowed into the building at a time.
We knew that making aliyah three weeks before Pesach would be a challenge...
Making aliyah is never easy, let alone in the age of coronavirus.