It’s Been 3 Years Since Aliyah!

Lift had left a few days prior, this is what we travelled with and had for the next few weeks. (courtesy)

3 years ago we packed up our New York lives, our memories and took the leap as a family to fulfill our dream of Aliyah.

Thank G.d it was a pretty good Third year, even with Corona still very much part of daily life and, even unfortunately with the passing of my dear Father z”l.

Interestingly enough, I have learned a lot more about Israel when sitting Shiva.

In NY there is a clear separation between work and life; you wouldn’t expect everyone from your team to show up at the Shiva house. But here everyone came and that was so heartwarming. One might think it is because I am actually friends with the team but as it turns out, my husband’s team showed up as well. It is in moments like these that you realize what is important to people around here. Everyone is busy but yet people find it important to show up. To wish a long life. To count for the Minyan. That was so meaningful and eye opening.

Best part was when Snir who services our outdoor area came by to work with his staff, wished me well and offered to have some nosh that was put out, just to honor the moment; they then proceeded to put a hand on their head in lieu of a kippa and recite the bracha on the cake before partaking. That was an absolute #onlyinisrael moment if there ever was one.

Israel as a young country is constantly evolving and improving. Take for example the area of women learning Talmud, which has been accepted and certainly available in the Modern Orthodox world of the US, I sense a change in the last three years in Israel. One of my daughters is learning in Yeshivat Drisha for Women. A few years ago, the concept of a Yeshiva for women was foreign to Israel. Today it exists. There’s a long way to go still, before folks stop trying to correct me — “you mean Midrasha?” — but I’ll leave that to said daughter and all the fantastic women who, like her and many of us, don’t think high-level Torah learning should be restricted to the realm of the Men.

Some say you only become truly Israeli when your kid joins the IDF. Not sure how true that statement is, but one thing is for sure; you now have entered the Club of parents who are so proud and frightened at the same time. My daughter comes home accomplished, exhausted, and full of stories she will not share. Army rules.

It wasn’t easy keeping those emotions in check when she completed her basic training for Olim a few months back and at the ceremony they, we, all sang Hatikva together. Different accents, one voice.

Looking forward to pG a pandemic-free, mask-free, bidud-free fourth year.

And as we enter the week-end, I wish you all to be negative and stay positive .

About the Author
Valerie was born and raised in Paris, completed her BA (YU Stern) and MBA (NYU Stern) in NYC, was living in Riverdale NY with her husband and 4 kids before they moved to Raanana, Israel in January 2019. In NY Valerie worked in Marketing for various companies, owned and operated an online store, and taught "Global Marketing" and "Managing the Fashion Enterprise" at LIM College. She is now employed at the Raphael Recanati International School of Reichman University (previously IDC Herzliya).
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