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My Aliyah Journal

Celebrating Rain?

Not a day goes by here in Israel that we don't think about water.

First Grade!

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.

Entertaining The Kids Under Lockdown

While I certainly don’t love giving my Adi too much screen time, I must admit that I found myself easily caving whenever he begged me to allow him to “review” the videos just one more time.

Hebrew Lingo

Think that despite it all, things are going fine? Perhaps you “chai b’seret,” live in a movie – i.e. not in reality. (Someone who is a drama queen is referred to oddly as “l’echol sratim,” someone who “eats movies.”)

Buying A Car In Israel

While olim are offered a steep discount on taxes associated with purchasing a new car, it comes with many complicated strings attached.

Sukkot – Sun Or Snow?

With Sukkot evenings as delightful as this, I no longer understand the age-old dvar Torah about why Sukkot is celebrated in the autumn instead of the spring.

Food In Israel

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).

Shopping In Israel

At a loss, I thrust my American credit card into her gloved hands and explained that we were new olim and did not understand. Could she please just charge us for the shoes?

Israelis’ Amazing Spirit

I know I will probably be processing this experience for a while to come, but one lesson that is already apparent to me is that Israelis are amazingly tough and resilient people.

Life Under Lockdown – Again

In true “Big Brother” fashion, the Shin Bet finds contact points between Covid-19 patients and others using cell phone tracking systems generally employed for counterterrorism operations.

Here Comes The Cold Weather

Those large panoramic windows that facilitate cool cross breezes on hot summer nights? Now they facilitate a less pleasant winter wind – even with the shutters tightly closed.

Thanksgiving In Israel

Growing up, I read Israeli papers to keep up on the matzav (situation) in Israel. These days, I find myself starting each day reading through the New York papers to keep up to date on what the matzav is there.

Our First Blackout

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.

My Visit To The Dentist

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.

Our Aliyah Anniversary

My husband Tzvi has settled into working remotely, and the kids love being able to drop in to supervise his work.

Doughnuts Galore

Every gift came with a personalized note, letting the recipient know that her Secret Maccabee was thinking of her.

The Ins And Outs Of Ulpan

While I generally had a lot of fun on these interviews, I still am embarrassed when I recall our first in-Hebrew television interview.

Yet Another Holiday Under Lockdown

Missing out on the candy bags? KDT had us covered. The shul set up a “pekalach swap” whereby every KDT family was tasked with delivering a candy bag to another family in the shul.

Electronics In Israel

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.

Olim Cholim

Unfamiliar with other parents in my daughter’s gan, we also didn’t have anyone to commiserate with during the long sleepless nights of my daughter’s illness.

Celebrating Shushan Purim On Masada

While the chag was still nice, it just wasn’t the Adar excitement we had expected. Reflecting on this over Shabbat, my husband and I decided we still had time to make this holiday special.

Why Did I Move To Israel?

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?

We Had 90 Seconds To Reach Our Safe Room

While we were cleared to leave the mamad 10 minutes after the siren ended, we continued to sit there long after, trying to process what had just occurred.

Unpacking 175 Boxes

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.

Holding History In His Hand

Throughout the city there are various historical and archeological sites connected to the Maccabee time period, and my husband and son were lucky enough to participate in a shul trip for the local kids to one of these sites.

Ordering Online In Israel

The items wouldn’t be replaced or refunded. I was informed that they had been delivered by their use-by date and that I could have frozen them.

Finding A Home In The Homeland

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.

Making Aliyah… During A Global Pandemic

Making aliyah is never easy, let alone in the age of coronavirus.

A New School

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.

Yet Another Lockdown

Despite the chaos, it's clear that the government is committed to trying to keep us safe while allowing life to continue as much as possible.


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