Real Life Stories and Experiences of Yidden Settling in Eretz Yisroel.
My life keeps on surprising me! Unpredictable turns are what led to my successful Aliyah, starting all the way back from my childhood. My earliest memories of Eretz Yisroel had the opposite effect of what might have been predicted. Unfortunately, the first time I came was a year after my father was niftar, I was only five years old at the time. Too young to understand a lot of things, but surprisingly, afterwards I was left with a positive connection.
I grew up in Monsey, I went to Yeshiva Spring Valley & Yeshiva Shaarei Torah. After high school I attended yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel and visited a few times. Somehow, I always liked it and felt connected, but did not really think seriously about living here.
When I began my professional career, I was living in the city, holding a regular 9-5 job in computers. Sounds totally standard. Although I thought I would find a wife quickly, I found myself dating without success. After a few years I felt I had to move on. I decided to come to Eretz Yisroel to visit a friend and I really liked what I saw – a nice atmosphere, friendly people, happiness. I thought if I move maybe my situation would improve. It was a time of major decision for me, I wasn’t certain it was a real option, if it was practical. I knew that as a programmer, it didn’t actually matter where I worked, so asked my boss if I could take my job and move to Eretz Yisroel. Happily, he agreed, although only with a steep salary cut; I was single so I agreed.
With my job settled I came to Eretz Yisroel, I found an apartment and then it was time to find a wife. I was hesitant when an Israeli girl who did not speak much English was suggested; my Ivrit was skimpy. How could that work out? But I liked what I heard – we met found ourselves to be quite compatible!
B”H, within a year of my arrival I was married. After the wedding we flew to the States for four months – I needed the time to reconnect with my job, catch up on different areas that had developed while I was away. I also was able to take on more responsibilities and thereby get the raise I needed. Upon our return we moved to Ramat Eshkol. At that point I was working from 4pm until midnight – US east coast hours – and sometimes I had to stay up even later to finish a project. As our family began to grow, it became very hard to keep those hours; I couldn’t help with kids, I could barely get to spend time with them. I knew I could not continue like that.
I decided to take on my own clients, work as a freelancer. I found work through Janglo and other online directories, but the most useful was outsourcingtoisrael.com, they were very helpful. At one point I joined a few others and we created an outsourcing company on our own, but it didn’t actually work out. Some clients thought we would work for peanuts since we were in Eretz Yisroel , other times it was close to Shabbos for me although not for them.
Then I got a surprise call. An invitation to join someone I had worked with before and B”H the project took off! At this point I coordinate daily with teams in India, US and Israel as we work on expanding the Israeli branch. My hours are mostly normal, with just some exceptions as needed.
The funny thing about my living here is that my Ivrit is still rather sketchy. My work, chavrusa, shul and community are all English speaking – to my regret, I just don’t have the time to invest in learning Ivrit! As we wanted our children to be fluent in both languages, my wife and I speak in English, as do our children when at home – when they speak Ivrit in the house I stop them! I can get away with it since my wife takes care of all Ivrit based needs, ranging from banking to school. I also feel very blessed to have an Israeli side to my family; my children get along very well with their cousins. This coming Shabbos two of my girls are going to Ofakim, I am sure they will have a blast.
Planning a move here? Although things worked out wonderfully for me, I still recommend to come prepared. It’s also better to make the effort to learn Ivrit, it’s a great asset when it comes to connecting with greater Israeli society. Either way IyH you will be glad you came.
– Y.A. Ramat Beit Shemesh
Written By Tova Younger
This article is part of our Haaretz Hatovah series featuring Yidden living in, settling, and building up Eretz Yisroel. For more info please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit naavakodesh.org/haaretz-hatovah