I make aliah. I receive my Israeli teudat zehut (i.d. card), I sign up for kupat cholim (health plan), go to ulpan and learn perfect Hebrew. I buy or rent an apartment and furnish it. I travel abroad using an Israeli passport.

Am I an Israeli yet? Do I feel like one?

I study at university. I serve in the army and in miluim (reserves). I marry an Israeli. My children are born here and serve in the army. We speak Hebrew at home.

Am I an Israeli yet? Do I feel like one?

I take part in a war. We spend time in bunkers during sirens and rocket attacks. We suffer while waiting for news from our children in the front.

Am I an Israeli yet? Do I feel like one?

I get a job for the Jewish Agency, they send me abroad for several years to represent Israel.

Am I an Israeli yet? Do I feel like one?

My foreign upbringing will always be a part of me. My foreign accent will never leave me. I still think and dream in my native language.

So yes, I’ve been an Israeli for many years already. But I only started to feel like an Israeli when I realized that most Israelis are people like me – people with a foreign accent who think and dream in a foreign language – who chose to make Israel their home and to participate in this adventure that is life in Israel.

Song by Shlomo Yidov – “At night I still dream in Spanish”