Meira E. Schneider-Atik
marching to the beat of my own drummer

A Letter to Aliyah Salespeople

Dear Aliyah salespeople,

You know who you are. You’re the ones who keep telling all of us to make Aliyah. You keep pointing out the dangers and the chaos of life in Chutz LaAretz. You keep telling us to not be foolish or naive. You keep telling us that you understand that we’re used to our lifestyles here in Chutz LaAretz but that it’s not worth it to stay here. 

We hear you. Many of you are our friends. We know that you’re worried about us. We know that there are people for whom Aliyah is not on the agenda and that you’re just trying to keep the idea going. We know that you want us there to be your neighbors. We also know that Eretz Yisrael is our homeland and that we belong there.  

The problem is that you’re going about this the wrong way. 

First, making as if any of us are being foolish or naive is NOT the way to sell us anything. We know what’s going on around us. As I write this, my head is still spinning over what happened in Washington DC. The rioting and violence from this past summer did not help either. But when you make as if we’re just being foolish or naive, it just makes you come off all wrong and it’s not going to sell anything. 

Second, instead of trying to sell Aliyah to those who just don’t want it, it’s better to find better ways to sell Aliyah to those of us who do want it. Which brings me to my next point…

Third, if you want to help us wannabe Olim, you have to stop with the tactics that you’ve been using. For us wannabe Olim, you’re preaching to the choir. Instead, I suggest that you come together and start brainstorming and coming up with ways to really help us get there. 

What are those ways? What we really need are ways around the obstacles.

I think the most common obstacle is money. There are wannabe Olim (including my family and many others) who have debts and very little money. And Nefesh B’Nefesh says that you need money. There are wannabe Olim who have serious health issues that do not allow for travel. There are wannabe Olim who are caring for relatives who have serious health issues that do not allow for travel. There are wannabe Olim who have adult children and grandchildren here and do not want to leave them behind. I’m sure that there are wannabe Olim who have other obstacles that I haven’t thought of and I can’t list here. 

And when it comes to money, please don’t give us the old ideas. I’ve had people tell me to live frugally and not buy that fancy car, flat-screen TV, or take that fancy vacation. My family and I don’t have any of those things.

Yes, there is the Nachshon ben Amminadav approach. That’s what my family and I are doing right now. We’ve started the process and we’re working on papers and trying to find out about communities and work. But the proverbial sea has not yet split. The obstacles are still there and they’re worrisome.  

If you really want to sell something to someone, you need to target their needs and wants. In this case, I’m asking all of you to focus on our needs and come up with workable ideas. We need ways around the obstacles so find ways to help us out there. You’ll be much more successful that way. 


A Jew who wants to come Home with her family. 

About the Author
Meira E. Schneider-Atik is a wardrobe stylist, personal shopper, and writer/blogger. Her goal is to help women feel good about themselves and to dispel the myths about tzniut and dressing well. Her heart is in Eretz Yisrael, but for now, she and her family live in Queens, NY.
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