Inside Israel 3:56 AM
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Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.) Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching. She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:
One of the great myths weakening aliyah for decades has been:
"It's better to get your education and some professional experience and save money abroad, first."
Chutz L'Aretz, Not-Israel, Jewish Communities are full of good Jews who listened to their parents, teachers and rabbis, too. Most gave up their youthful, naive, idealistic dreams of aliyah. A few even tried and ended up coming back.
Make aliyah now!
For various reasons, we were in a rush to get to Israel, right after our 1970 wedding. We didn't buy any American furniture, didn't even use our entire "shipping allowance." We brought some books, clothes, non-electric kitchen supplies--like pots, dishes and cutlery, sheets, towels and that was it. My husband was a recent college graduate and I was a dropout.
Within a year of docking at Haifa Port, we were apartment owners. A simple apartment was within the budget of our immigrant mortgage and the wedding gifts, my mother told everybody to give us checks--"No tshatshkes, they're moving to Israel." We were also parents; I went straight from the hospital to our apartment with our firstborn.
We were lucky that our parents covered whatever loans we had for our education. In those days they were in the parents' names.
We became Israeli, picking up Hebrew and only knowing the Israeli ways of doing things.
Yes it was as easy as it sounds.
Friends who stayed abroad found their expenses competing with their savings, while inflation here in Israel made mockery of the little they could squirrel away. It's not all that cheap to live in America (or wherever), and you get used to "the American way."
Doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants and nurses etc who are trained abroad still have to pass various exams here in Israel, learn Hebrew terminology and the language itself. Studying in Israel may be a little harder in the beginning, but once you get over the hump, it's lots easier than aliyah ten years or more later when you're dealing with a spouse and kids, who have their own problems.
And what about the great money myth? Today's American university students frequently finish their education owing tens of thousands of dollars. It used to be that banks were very tight with their money, only lending it to those with sufficient collateral. Now, lending is a business, big business, one of the causes for the present American recession. Telemarketers encourage loans to anyone. Credit cards offer lots of credit. Many college graduates need years to pay it all back, and some even find themselves bankrupt, because a college diploma doesn't guarantee prosperity.
If you really dream of living here in the Holy Land. If you're willing to be frugal, you can have an easier time in Israel. You'll learn Hebrew, get relevant training. You'll be part of society. Check it out!
Make aliyah now!