Considering Aliyah? Some Tips from the Pros

14 Jul 2015

Aliyah is in the air.


On Tuesday, Nefesh B’Nefesh brought 221 new olim to their new homes in the Jewish homeland. The 53rd Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight included 32 families, 95 children, 53 singles, and 12 IDF Lone Soldiers ready to make Aliyah.

“Am I officially Israeli when I get on the plane at JFK or when I step off at Ben Gurion?” someone wondered at JFK airport.

“There will be challenges, but it will be the best decision you ever made,” encouraged one of many facebook posters on Nefesh B’Nefesh’s wall, wishing the newcomers a hearty mazal tov.

Moving to Israel is hard, yet there seems to be a vast network of support from the thought of Aliyah through the actual transition.

“What few discuss, however, is the difficulties in the weeks leading up to the move,” reflected Romi Sussman in her blog post “I’ll Carry Your Bags” published on the Times of Israel. “Once we arrived on the ground, put our feet on the soil and started to connect to our surroundings, my fears and worries evaporated. We were here. We had things to do and offices to go to.”

In a hilarious and moving piece “Bring Ziplocs,” Jessica Levine Kupferberg, who made Aliyah last July, reflects on things you should remember in your move.

“Bring Ziplocs.

And a plethora of patience, a resevoir of resilience, a serious sense of humor. And of course, proper documentation.

Bring your old yearbooks, your favorite face cream, some good English books.”

Though she concludes movingly:

“You will climb mountains and traverse valleys. And you will see the birds nesting in the old stones of the Kotel, and when you touch the Wall for the first time after your flight here you will whisper to God: I did it. I’m here. I am home,” she encourages in the midst of everything.

So whether Aliyah is just a dream, or Aliyah is the gameplan, there’s a lot of wisdom out there from those who have been there before.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.