September 17, 2015 3:59 am at 3:59 am #616344
What are the challenges for American families making Aliyah? and how do you overcome these challenges?
Any Americans living in Israel- I definitely want to hear from you!September 17, 2015 4:27 am at 4:27 am #1100491Mashiach AgentMember
there are thousands of American families living in Israel today. some of them young couples staying to learn in Israel & getting support from their in-laws(hopefully) thousands of other older couples who have married all their children off & decided it was time for them to move up in life & make aliya.
making aliya comes with lots of pros & cons (as does everything)
BUT ALL CONS INVOLVED CAN BE SOLVED from nefesh b’nefesh helping you from a-z of finding a home to a school for your children & filling you in on all the programs & entitlements of the Israeli government etc…
the way to overcome these challenges is with bitachon & emunah in hashem & by looking at the positive of the situation. with Aliya you will now feel much closer to Hashem 24-7 IN SUCH A HOLY LAND. you will also feel much more at home with your brothers (even if you don’t know them) many other gains….
YOU ONLY HAVE WHAT TO GAIN & NOTHING TO LOSE BY MAKING ALIYA
anyone who has not made aliya yet should do so ASAP
I wish you lots of Hatzlacha & may Hashem always be with youSeptember 17, 2015 4:55 am at 4:55 am #1100492
thank you for your reply.
What about a family with school age children?September 17, 2015 5:04 am at 5:04 am #1100493american_yerushalmiParticipant
Do a great deal (and I mean great deal) of research before making any moves. Talk to as many people as possible. People who live here, AND people who moved back to the U.S. specifically about WHY they moved back. The Israeli govt. admits 6 out of 10 immigrants from North America leave after 5 years. The main wage earner in the family (who probably won’t be earning a great wage over here) should ideally come over and check out the work situation in his/her field. In general, it’s smart to come with at least some money (remember the “small fortune in Israel” joke?). Even more ideally, the family should, if possible, come for a period of time, say during summer vacation to “try things out.” Although this won’t give you an opportunity to test drive the biggest variable and question mark of all — the schools.
DO LOTS OF RESEARCH ON SCHOOLS. If your kids are nearing pre-teen or later, well, you’d better think it through very carefully if you want to risk moving here. Very many kids from good homes, children of parents who were moser nefesh for yiddishkeit to be frum, end up in the streets or worse. Except perhaps for the chassidishe educational institutions, the schools are generally ruthless and merciless when it comes to a kid who doesn’t fit exactly into the “accepted” mold. If I sound like someone who has some first-hand, bitter, personal knowledge and experience in this, it’s because I do. Many American families succeed here, but there are many who don’t. Do your homework first.September 17, 2015 5:23 am at 5:23 am #1100494
There are potentially very big frumkeit pitfalls for American children moving to Israel.September 17, 2015 9:03 am at 9:03 am #1100495
The OP, and the response from Mashiach Agent, both require serious replies.
[at the time, entering grade 10, grade 9, and grade 7], and Pepper the Wonder Dog. Your experience may be different.)
anyone who has not made aliya yet should do so ASAP
P.S. To Joseph, I would say please stop looking at the negative. Instead of saying “there are pitfalls,” why not extol the opportunities to learn and attend the world-class yeshivot and seminaries? I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that there are pitfalls in Lakewood, Boro Park, and Monsey as well.September 17, 2015 10:09 am at 10:09 am #1100496
Joseph: There are far more potentially very big frumkeit pitfalls for American children living in the U.S.
i said so: I know Frum people who were having lots of problems with their kids in the U.S. and made Aliyah. Their kids weren’t thrilled at first, but then, they made friends with very stable kids on the Yishuv and they thrived, by comparison to their former life.
There is an adjustment for everyone and any age, but at the end of the day, the quality of life is so far superior in Israel and has much more meaning. Kids have much more freedom, are far more mature and less materialistic than in Chutz La’Aretz.
My daughter made Aliyah with her husband and four children. The kids speak Hebrew like Israelis and are shocked when they see how their friends from the States are turning out.
Here, most everything around you is Jewish. Even the Egged buses wish you Shabbat Shalom or Chag Someach.
The trick to a successful Aliyah is to prepare yourself as much as possible, go with the flow and don’t have unreasonable expectations. You will make friends and everyone is willing to help you in any way possible. It help to live in a location most suitable for you and your family. Israelis often come across as rude or combative, but they have hearts of gold and best of all (most of the time), we are all family…in a good sense.
Economically, you will probably make less money, unless you are able to keep jobs in the States, but not having to pay exorbitant tuitions and health insurance far more than make up for the difference in income.
Nefesh B’ Nefesh is a phenomenal resource. Make use of them. Also, check out communities and schools. People are very happy to put you up. Spend a Shabbos in a community to really get the feel of it.
We made Aliyah three years ago. I can’t begin to tell you how it has enriched our lives in so many ways. It is our home. This is where Hashem wants us.
Best wishes for a successful Aliyah.September 17, 2015 10:28 am at 10:28 am #1100497YikesauParticipant
I agree with American-Yerushalmi 100%. I am currently living here and I think maybe American-Yerushalmi didn’t expound it clearly enough!!!
Double, triple even quad triple check what you going into check which schools they will be going to the lifestyle of the neighborhood etc.
There was an interview lately in Hamodia with the Kaliver Rebbi from America about the French Jewry who are making Aliyah hastily and don’t have a clear view what they going into. He says the situation is like the Yemenite Jews who made Aliyah in the 1950’s not knowing what they are getting into and sadly many of them leaving yiddishkeit.
Plan as carefully as you can, maybe consult with some Rov you trust and daven for the best as moving can have major impacts on everyone the children especially.September 17, 2015 11:11 am at 11:11 am #1100498
The biggest challenge is genarally poo-pooed, but it is serious. It will be your inability to speak Hebrew perfectly. No matter how well you think you will be able to speak Hebrew like a sabra, you probably wont be able to and this will impair your ability to get a good job as good jobs requires a mastery of Hebrew immigrants just cannot get.
No matter how much you think you can read hebrew or Ulpan you will never be good enough to get a good job. The best jobs in Tel Aviv and Heriliyah require a level of hebrew only a native born can get. And apartments in Israel are expensive, if you think they are expensive in Brooklyn or Monsey, they are exactly more expensive in Jerusalem and you make less moneySeptember 17, 2015 11:33 am at 11:33 am #1100499☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Kids often take moving to any new location very hard, and when we’re dealing with a radically different culture, it can be very emotionally unsettling and unhealthy.
Also, Joseph is right, because being emotionally unhealthy is bad for Yiddishkeit.September 17, 2015 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm #1100500
It depends on a lot of factors. People considering aliyah need to do two things: (1) make sure you speak passable Hebrew BEFORE coming so that ulpan has a chance of lifting you into at least basic fluency (if you come without significant Hebrew skills, you will be placed in ulpan aleph and you will come out not much more illiterate than you were to begin with), and (2) make sure you secure an American source of parnassah for at least the first years (whether commuting or preferably something you can do online).
Aside from high tech or physicians salaries, which may have potential as much as a third to half what they would be in the U.S., most jobs will be more like 1/4 the earning potential. With the cost of real estate (which is in many cases comparable to what you would pay in the tristate area–in Jerusalem for sure, you cannot purchase a three-bedroom apartment for less than half a million dollars for the smallest, simplest place), if you are not able to purchase an apartment upon arriving, you will probably never own one (we are here 12 years and have no hope of ever getting out of the unpleasant and expensive world of renting).
Keep in mind that the economic and communication challenges will be a shock and can put significant stress on your shalom bayis (if you cannot afford shoes or food for your kids, you can’t imagine what that does to you). It is true that in some ways a Jew feels “at home” here more than anywhere else, but there are other ways in which you will never ever feel at home here–there are significant cultural differences.
Note that most charedi schools will see your family as a liability. Unless you have serious yichus or serious money, chinuch atzmai schools may hesitate to bring in Americans who might taint their institution. In shidduchim as well, especially if you are baalei teshuvah, be aware an American family will likely be seen as damaged goods.
There are definitely amazing things about being here, and perhaps you will be lucky and your children will thrive (our oldest went off the derech and some of the younger ones are showing signs of following suit). One can never know how things would have turned out had one stayed in the “old country.” I will say my kids are not mired in pop culture like Americans are, they are not materialistic at all, and they have in many ways grown up in a very wholesome environment. They are also fully trilingual (Hebrew and Yiddish in addition to English), which is amazing.
Be aware however that while going through challenges such as being taken advantage of in financial transactions, falling afoul of the legal system in one way or another, and other things that are liable to happen to olim who do not have good Hebrew nor protektzia, it can be difficult to feel the full benefit of what is in many (but not necessarily all) ways a more wholesome spiritual environment.
Think long and hard. Seek daas Torah. It is not pashut.
Hatzlacha rabba.September 17, 2015 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm #1100501
I opened a user name just to reply to your post. This is a very difficult question and one which needs much forethought and of course a tremendous amount of siyata dishmaya.
Eretz Yisroel is a place where everything is black and white. Even the posters announcing funerals are pasted in black and white on billboards!
If in the United States you are a ‘baal habayis’ and your children are learning in Bais Yaakov and Yeshiva’s, it doesn’t mean that in Eretz Yisroel you can continue to live the same way.
If you don’t choose to specifically go more ‘black’ or more dati, your children will not fit into society. For better or for worse, the society in Eretz Yisroel is very segregating, and to fit in, you have to allow that.
It is a difficult challenge, and one you have to work out yourselves before making aliyah, however living in Eretz Yisroel is an amazing experience and one which we would not give up! Even with the fact that we miss many family simchos etc.
As others said, there are many pro’s and cons and speak to people from all wavelengths who have made aliya before making such a drastic change.
Much hatzlacha!September 17, 2015 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm #1100502
Zahavasdad, what is your definition of a “good job?” I’m curious.
Jerusalem reader, correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re writing about purchase prices in Yerushalayim. Why can’t you buy something outside of the city? Are you able to move? Other places and cities are less expensive. Have you looked in other places?September 17, 2015 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm #1100503
YWN reader brings up a very good point about the segregation: you definitely have to choose your “party affiliation” and there are not gray lines. But do be aware that no matter how “black” you go, you may still never be accepted. (Especially if you work, and especially if you are baalei teshuva: an American baal teshuva who works is just an am ha’aretz here, plain and simple, no matter how much you “shtell zu.”)September 17, 2015 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm #1100504
takahmamash: problem with going outside Yerushalayim is jobs and schools. If you have to send everyone on a bus to somewhere else for job/yeshiva, the extra transportation costs nullify the real estate savings…September 17, 2015 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #1100505
Israel real estate is very expensive, Unless you want to live in Arad , Ahskelon , The Middle of the Galil or some outpost on the West Bank you will pay alot of money for housing.
takahmamash ..I knew a neighbor who was a NYC public school teacher, he made Aliyah and the only job he could get in israel was a painter, he had to come back and did not return until he retired (with a NYC teachers pension). I know people who were Lawyers here and are barely surviving there because they cannot pass the Israel Bar Exam in Hebrew.September 17, 2015 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #1100506
takahmamash I also know someone who got a Master Degree in Computer Science here in the States, he made Aliyah and is doing Data Entry , he had a much better job here in the States.September 17, 2015 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm #1100507
The question wasn’t addressed to me, but I’ll throw in my two agurot on what a “good job” is: it’s one that you can live on. This has proved elusive for us: my husband and I both work multiple jobs and our health is suffering from lack of sleep because we often work 12-hour days until the wee hours. In the States only my husband worked, and earned more than we both do together now, and then I was able to be home with the kids and keep a decent home. (We both have master’s degrees, by the way.)September 17, 2015 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #1100508
We speak/understand hebrew… not very fluent but able to communicate and have relatives in Israel if that helps.
Whoever made aliyah did you put your kids into the Isreali school system? Are there schools for American children?September 17, 2015 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #1100509
If you live in Israel, you must put your kids in the Israeli school system. There are English speaking ganim for the English speaking kids in Yerushalayim, but the quicker you put your children in the regular system, the quicker they will adjust.
Relatives will help you adjust emotionally, but you need to speak to people that moved with children your ages, where they settled, how they managed, how the children are adjusting, etc.September 17, 2015 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #1100510
There are plenty of people who make it work. Some with jobs in Israel, others telecommute or periodically go back to the States.
The bottom line is why are we in Israel to begin with?
The world is collapsing. It is pretty obvious, or it should be by now, and that the Geulah process is under way. We all have choices to make about where we will be in this process and what side we will be on.
Change is never easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Not everyone can make Aliyah for various legitimate reasons, but at least want it.September 17, 2015 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #1100511
I work a full time job, and have a seasonal part time job. My wife works part time, as a virtual secretary for a doctor in the U.S. Yes, I make less than I did in the states, but our expenses are less as well. Our tuition was less (before the youngest graduated ulpana), our health insurance is less, our shule dues are less. A year in midrasha for an Israeli girl is certainly less money than a year in sem for an American girl.
Jobs are a matter of adjustment. Yes, you make less here, but the expenses are less – unless you have to buy each kid an apartment when s/he gets married, but that’s not my world. We manage.
As far as schools, yes, we had all three girls in a local ulpana. They received tutoring hours as olim, and I believe the two oldest were granted leniencies on their bagruyot because they came when they were 15 & 14 years old. I think the youngest also had some leniencies, but not as many as her sisters.September 17, 2015 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #1100512
I know people who communte back and forth to the states for a job, but is that really such a good idea, you will spend alot of time away from your family.September 17, 2015 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #1100513
takahmamash: The government provides new olim with free tutoring? and really works with you in regards to schooling? and lenient with the bagriot?
Never heard of any of these stuff!September 17, 2015 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #1100514
Our expenses are less than they were in the States–approximately 75%of what they were there. (Chinuch atzmai schools are not free, by the way–tuition eats up 1/3rd of our income.) But my husband’s income is 25% what it was in the States. I didn’t work there; with my work and his, together we earn about 50% what he did in the States. So our economic load is significantly higher, despite not having a home or vehicle. (During the lengthy time my husband was unemployed, our income was 25% what it had been in the States while our expenses were 75%–we may never pay off the debt we racked up in those years just to keep a little food on the table. Know what it feels like to have to walk across town because you literally do not have 6 shekels for bus fare? I do.)
My point is, NbN and others may give a very rosy picture (they told us my husband would have no trouble getting work here in his field–what a joke), but the reality is that poverty is seriously not fun, and I have seen about half of all my friends who made aliyah go back to the States for economic reasons.
It’s a great irony of our life that we made aliyah for the ruchnius, but all we have is the constant preoccupation with gashmius. Not shopping, folks, but just trying to ensure our kids are eating (not to mention trying to stay out of jail, which is a challenge when you are poor in Israel). That two people with master’s degrees working multiple jobs are under the poverty line is pretty pathetic.September 17, 2015 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #1100515
If parnassah is so hard there, what keeps you there?
If someone is motivated to work hard in order to live in Isreal, do you think that they’ll be able to succeed?
Another question, how much money does NbN really help with? do they help monthly at the beginning, give you a chunk of money to start off with?
Can one really believe all their promises to help?!September 17, 2015 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #1100516
(not to mention trying to stay out of jail, which is a challenge when you are poor in Israel)
Can you explain that point, Jerusalem reader? ThanksSeptember 17, 2015 5:17 pm at 5:17 pm #1100517
i said so: We never received free tutoring. It’s a different world in chinuch atzmai. In chinuch atzmai the boys do not do bagruyot, or any secular education past 7th grade. If you are looking at dati mamlachti schools, it would be a very different situation–you do need to speak to people in similar situations to what you anticipate for your family.September 17, 2015 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #1100518
We live out of Yerushalayim and one of us travel in every day for work. The children all learn in mosdos where we live, so travel (with public transportation) is a bit of an expense, but living in Yerushalayim was not affordable for us.
Although our salaries are less here, our expenses are less as well, however tuition (if you don’t send to the public school system) is very high and one of our largest expenses.
Eretz Yisroel niknes B’yisurim.
It is not easy when you first get here, and getting used to the Israeli mentality is something we will probably never do, but our children are Israeli.
Still, it is a decision that requires much fore-thought. There are many factors involved and you should speak to people who you know who have done it and have had hatzlacha/ have had issues specifically with their children.
Speaking hebrew, burocracy, etc. are all difficulties that you can live with (sometimes with much frustration), however the main concern should be how will your family fare – will they stay hashkafically at least where they are holding now. If not, I would reconsider your decision to make aliya. The parents and children’s emotional health is the most important. You don’t even want to say, if only I would have stayed in the States, my children would be more religious than what they are here. That is a heart-breaker.
Speak to a Rav you are close to, speak to people about their adjustment, daven for siyata dishmaya, and may you have much hatzlacha in your decision!September 17, 2015 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #1100519
Joseph: I refer to being arrested for being unable to pay your debts. This happened to a friend of ours: yes, there is debtor’s prison here. If you have debts you can also have a hold placed on your passport so that you cannot leave the country. We have personally never been arrested, baruch Hashem, but we have received notices from various places that we were on the verge of having a hotzaat hapoal action taken against us, which means in addition to having a freeze placed on your bank account the city sends licensed thugs to come into your home and steal anything you may own of value (including the means by which you earn your parnassah). I have seen this happen to several people as well. In our case we borrowed and went without food in order to pay the debts (some of which were extortion but that’s another story). We have also had a ridiculous falsified claim made against one of our kids for which he was indicted and we had to yet again borrow money to pay for a lawyer and go to court repeatedly. *Eretz* Yisroel is beautiful. *Medinat* Yisroel is not the government Americans are used to. You can get into all sorts of trouble here that you never imagined in the old country.September 17, 2015 6:35 pm at 6:35 pm #1100520
i said so: We were very motivated. It wasn’t enough. To be very honest, the only thing keeping us here anymore is that one of our sons is in the army (and not happy about it but he had no choice) and we are not going to abandon him. Not sure what the future holds but after 12 years I’d say making aliyah thoroughly ruined our life.September 17, 2015 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #1100521twistedParticipant
I will be sparse with the detail to maintain anonymity. I flipped my NY home for an apt in Jerusalem at the top of the NY bubble, and that at least according to the taxi drivers makes me a millionaire. I could not make that move today, but I suppose it give me a head start. I was able to transfer my business, a trade, but yes, at much less money, and serving in a poor (hareidi/kollel)area makes it even harder. Competition is fierce, but excellence sells. as does yashrus, and the american concept of customer service. I have found a niche of fixing other’s shoddy work.
You must have agile language skills. I had a vast vocabulary from my broad learning, and did not attend ulpan, sometimes I speak effortlessly and sometimes haltingly, I don’t feel ashamed, and I generally make myself understood. Because I am a hot commodity, most put up with it.
We felt education costs, healthcare cost (nothing drastic b”h), bituach leumi and taxes not as daunting, albeit with two local incomes at starting level and only city tax as our housing cost.
We did the very discouraged move, of coming with two pre- teens. They were both educationally challenges and “hard nuts to crack”. They both were bounced from school to school many times, today they are b’h almost well adjusted productive members of society. I suspect they inherited my exceptional resilience. The most slimy disgusting bureaucrats we’ve encountered were in the educational field.
Religion: My two youngest are not on the same page as I, but I think back two where they would might have fallen had we stayed in chu”l. My community there had a large tribe of seriously OTDed youth on parade in lurid detail. Did we save them? I don’t know, and I don’t know how they will ripen. I know that spiritual legacy goes missing, but it doesn’t hide well, and it doesnt hide for long.
I, as American Yeshivish, not living in Bet Shemesh, I did not fit in tightly anywhere. I hobnob among the DL and the kollel crowd, I crave intellectual company I find some approachable yechidim in the DL, less so in the Haredi.
Tachlis, it is up to:
emuna and bitachon,
a hard core belief that you belong here,
being able to bend and get along while holding fast to who you are
a plausible way to make a modest living. you can not too much research.
having some or all family here.
speak Ivrit now, and ramp it before or as you arrive. The farther you move from the major population centers, the more the language barrier will loom. though there are some small enclaves that are frum and somewhat english speaking, but for employment, you must have Ivrit, and some arabic is also helpful.
Prospective community and prospective housing. With children, the right schooling trumps community and housing. This is not such an issue in the cities.
Be open minded about changing profession. Academics and desk jobbers have dim prospects of continuing such careers. I know one professor doing janitorial work, he is deliriously happy here.
All the negative chatter, the real and the imagined. can be filtered through the idea that the comfort level in chu”l is likely to dip, as it has for our brothers in France. The level of French spoken on the street is increasing.
It may be that kibbutz galuyot will hybridize us to be what we should be. The wonderful eidlekiet of americans could be an essential ingredient. This is Eretz Hatvi, there is place for all of us, and ????? ???? ??? ?????September 17, 2015 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm #1100522
To I said so:
The government provides new olim with free tutoring?
As olim chadashim, the kids are entitled to a certain number of hours of tutoring, which is supposed to be provided by the school. Of course, getting the hours may depend on how familiar the school is with the requirements. If you live in Beit Shemesh, where new families are constantly coming, I’m sure the schools are quite familiar with the legal requirements. If you move to a place that’s really off the beaten track, they won’t be familiar with the requirements. Either way, it’s up to you to work with the school and make sure it gets done. (That’s actually the way the schools work here – the teacher will not contact you if there’s a problem concerning your kid. You’re expected to call the teacher.) Also, we provided an additional tutor to our kids outside of school at our own expense.
and lenient with the bagriot?
This depends on how old your kids are when you come. If they’re young, they’ll have been in school for a number of years by the time they begin taking the bagruyot, so they probably won’t get any leniencies. My 2 oldest kids were older; they were here only a year or two before the process started, so they ended up with more leniencies.
If parnassah is so hard there, what keeps you there?
Hashem wants his people here; who are we to disregard His will?
If someone is motivated to work hard in order to live in Isreal, do you think that they’ll be able to succeed?
If you come with the attitude that you will do what you have to do to succeed, then you will, with Hashem’s help.
Another question, how much money does NbN really help with? do they help monthly at the beginning, give you a chunk of money to start off with?
I don’t know how it works now. When we came 8 years ago, we had to submit a long financial form to NbN to get a grant. They gave us the grant, and we used it mostly for our lift. If I recall correctly, there were one or two deposits into our bank account. Unless things have changed (and they may well have), there was no monthly check. I don’t know how much the grants are for nowadays.
Again, please remember that our experiences were with dati leiumi schools. I have no experience with the chareidi schools.September 17, 2015 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #1100523
Thanks for the information about Israeli debtors prison and asset seizures, Jerusalem reader. What was your hashkafic affiliation in the US and what is it now in Israel?September 17, 2015 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #1100524Todros GimpelParticipant
Most of the issues written about in this thread are true but are usually not long-term issues.
You eventually get used to the (usually nutty) way things are over here. Even the financial issues usually work out in the end.
You can survive with broken Hebrew too. Most Israelis actually find it cute and endearing – and having English as a mother tongue often gives you points in finding a job – especially in the high-tech sector.
But there are other points to take into consideration.
I have been living in EY for well over 20 years.
As the years went by, one by one, most of my friends found some reason to move back.
I slowly started realizing that most chutzniks are never fully able to shake the feeling of “outsider”.
This is even for those who seemingly “fit in”; speak Hebrew perfectly (even down to the hard “L”amed), are surviving financially and don’t have too much difficulty with the children – many chutznikim do (either because the child is too Israeli and can’t relate to their parents or is too chutznik and doesn’t fit in well).
Living day after day with this “outsider” feeling slowly wears you down.
This is not something you can test by coming here for a summer.
Because of this, I’ve started advising people who want to do aliya to have a very good reason to do so.
Once you live here for many years and your children become Israelis, it will very difficult to leave and you may regret your original decision – with no way out.
With that said, perhaps the best place for chutznikim these days is Ramat Beit Shemesh. There is a strong “chutznik society” there and this should make it easier.September 17, 2015 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #1100525
Joseph: I do not wish to be very specific about our hashkafic affiliation because I have already given a lot of personal details, but in a nutshell, charedi in US and charedi here.September 17, 2015 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #1100526
Todros gimpel makes a very good point about the “wearing down” effect. In the early years of our aliyah we made many glowing statements about how wonderful it is and how everyone should come. After you have been here for some time, fatigue can set in. Also, when you start to get into shidduchim for the kids, you discover you are seen as an outsider no matter how hard you have worked to integrate. We have had recent bitter experiences that made it clear to us how the community views us, and frankly the more we have tried to get “in,” the more we feel we really are strangers who will never truly belong here. Even extreme poverty we were willing to endure, but with our oldest OTD and some others looking like they are heading that way also, we wonder what was the payoff for all this misery. It just plain doesn’t seem to have worked. Yet it is no longer simple to leave either.September 17, 2015 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #1100527
JR: What was the reason your son couldn’t get a yeshiva based draft deferment? Does the army draft 18 year olds soon after they emigrated from the US?September 17, 2015 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #1100528flatbusherParticipant
I admire people who go on aliyah and make it work. From the several times I have been to Israel, I know I wouldn’t be happy. Hatzlacha in whatever you decide. You need to have a passion to be there, and I think problems aside, that will keep you going.September 18, 2015 7:00 am at 7:00 am #1100529
Joseph: He’s OTD. He does not want to be in yeshiva. Yes, the army would draft 18-year-olds soon after emigration.September 18, 2015 1:45 pm at 1:45 pm #1100530
i said so: From personal experience, I found that when wanting it enough ( making Aliyah) for the right reasons, everything just seemed to fall into place. We make our efforts and necessary adjustments and Hashem helps us the rest of the way.
I only wish we had the sense to have done it many years ago.September 18, 2015 2:37 pm at 2:37 pm #1100531
Barry: We have some commentators on this very thread who made the move, and unfortunately everything just didn’t seem to fall into place.September 19, 2015 7:07 pm at 7:07 pm #1100532Shopping613 🌠Participant
I SERIOUSLY I have no time to sort through this mess. I, as I have mentioned before made aliyah with my family right before high school. We went by Nefesh Binefesh, that previous people mentioned were a big help.
There were-for the first year.
I don’t want to say any loshon hara, but l’toeles they weren’t very helpful after the first year at all. I don’t want to go into more detail, as it is loshon hara- but this is the truth and I want people making aliyah to hear our expirience a bit so they can decide for themselves.
Anothwr thing they did was push us up north. This was during their GO NORTH campaign as not many people make aliyah there and they wanted to up the population. The north is really nice but wasn’t for us. The people living up north they had put us in touch with sorta exaggerated on the “bustling community” in said city where they lived. That is not Nefesh Binefesh’s fault they exaggerated, but it put us through a lot of aggravation and in return we recieved no help from anyone moving to a place that better suited our family.
In the end though, 4 years later everything is much better. But if we hadn’t been told by all of our rabbanim to make the aliyah, and been told that we would make it better in Israel by daas torah, it would of prob. been a huge mistake.
We had older kids that made it, it is possible to make it. But every family should check if it is going to work for their kids and ask their rabbanim. Everyone is different.September 19, 2015 8:53 pm at 8:53 pm #1100533haifagirlParticipant
In order to have a successful aliya, the first step is education. Know what you are getting into.
The second step is attitude. You really have to want to be here. A man I know tells everyone, “If you are not prepared to clean toilets for a living, don’t come.” Not everyone has to take that kind of a job, but it is a possibility. I started out here as a cleaning lady.
I came on my own, so I really can’t address the issues that a family would face, but just coincidentally, Friday night I ate by a couple who made aliya 20-some years ago. I don’t remember exactly what she said the ages of her kids were, but the youngest was 8 and the oldest was already here in yeshiva. She was told one of her daughters would have the most difficult time (the 12-year-old, maybe?), so she gave her a lot of extra attention. It turned out that she was the child who adapted to Israel the best. If I had to give advice to someone with children, I would say give them lots and lots of attention.September 20, 2015 9:12 am at 9:12 am #1100534
Joseph: Neither one of us can comment on that because we don’t know Their circumstances and their decisions that may have impacted it.
I know of a very successful lawyer, who is very wealthy, who didn’t make it either and went back. Then you find out their spending habits and lifestyles and you see why they didn’t make it.
I also know people who couldn’t get a job in their profession in Israel, who adapted and are doing other things to make it work because they wanted it bad enough.
People make choices. I don’t see you disparaging people, nor should you, who choose a frugal lifestyle because they want to sit and learn Torah.
zahavasdad: There used to be this joke in NYC that their are more Phd’s driving taxi’s than working in their degreed professions. You adapt and do what’s necessary.September 20, 2015 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #1100535old manParticipant
I have been living in Israel for close to thirty years.
My message is simple and almost always true.
An Israeli who finds himself in the States learns English because otherwise he will fail. Your grandparents came from Poland and Lita , learned the language of the country and succeeded.
There it is. If you want to live here, put in the time and effort to learn Hebrew. Go to Ulpan. Forget about your American accent (I have a heavy one), it is an asset, not a liability. Read the Hebrew newspaper ONLY. Listen to the Hebrew news ONLY. Without it, you stand to fail. You know aleph bais? Read a siddur? A chumash? You are more than halfway there. If you don’t, you will forever feel alien, and aliens fail. Failed? Blame yourself.September 20, 2015 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #1100536👑RebYidd23Participant
It’s your choice, but don’t force your kids to come with you.September 20, 2015 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #1100537
BarryLS1: Don’t judge people about whom you know nothing. You want to talk frugal? When my husband was unemployed, for two years “meatloaf” in our home was made out of bread crusts. We eat meat twice a year, on Pesach and on Sukkos. I did not buy a new garment for myself for the first eight years we lived here. No car, no frills of any kind, and the two of us work like dogs just trying to keep food on the table for the kids. (By the way, my husband now works in a completely different field than he originally trained for–he did adapt, but the salary is less than he would make working in a fast food restaurant in the US.) You came here later in life and are presumably not employed here, not supporting children nor trying to navigate them through school; you probably own a home, too. Just because your first few years have been charmed does not mean you have made better choices. Your circumstances are different. You cannot generalize from your own (so far rather brief) experience to assume that anyone else who may be having difficulty is making bad choices. Gmar tov.September 21, 2015 5:30 am at 5:30 am #1100538american_yerushalmiParticipant
As a sort of follow up to Jerusalem reader: clearly, not everyone is coming from the same kind of situation in the States and is not trying to fit into the same societal position in E.Y. Hence, a newly married kollel couple without much financial means moving here to learn for a few years is not is the same league as someone who has worked in the U.S., owns a house that can be sold and the funds used toward purchasing an apartment in E.Y. Or, a couple whose kids are grown up, and in some cases not even moving with their parents, is not facing the same situation as a younger family with school age children. So, “this one is not like that one, and that one is not like this one.” (Begin. of Bava Kama). Similarly, if one subscribes to the notion that “Israel is (good) for every Jew,” etc., they are looking at things differently than someone who thinks “Eretz Yisroel is marvelous; the State somewhat less….,” and it doesn’t necessarily work out for every Jew. Bottom line: it works for some but not for all, and people should accept that reality.September 21, 2015 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #1100539
Jerusalem reader: I wasn’t judging anybody, just making an observation. Every situation is different. I do have three married children, with families, who made Aliyah. B”H, each made it work in their own way. I also know many people, with children who made Aliyah and they adapted and are making it work too.
There are also plenty of people in the States, who have not made Aliyah and aren’t really making it there either. You can’t blame making Aliyah for their struggles. Unfortunately, that happens no matter where you are.
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