I decided to make Tel Aviv my aliyah home when I land in 2017. Tel Aviv was not my favorite city when I arrived in Israel last summer (2015). I wasn’t a fan of the busyness, the graffiti, or it not quite feeling like shabbat the first shabbat I spent there. It reminded me of the city across the bay (San Francisco), Paris, Krakow and well just a number of other major urban cities that I visited. I felt even more disconnected when I returned after spending a whirlwind week in Jerusalem and the Negev. Those places felt old, vibrant with history. Even Jaffa, which is right next door to Tel Aviv felt very old and spiritual.
So why did I choose Tel Aviv. #1 I know people there. More importantly one of my most dear friends lives there which will def help me when I feel nostalgic and blue. #2 Yarkon Park I discovered this gorgeous park when I was there and I fell in love (Pictured above the beautiful lake there). #3 The beach. I think that goes without saying (Just look at the beautiful water I photographed above). . #4 The refuge population. I had the opportunity to visit Bina which is a volunteer organization which helps African asylum seekers in Tel Aviv. As I walked around the park near the Bus Terminal my heart ached for the people. My people. Not because they were asylum seekers or poor but because I felt like they were ignored. Furthermore I watched a documentary were people were just flat out racist and insulting towards the Africans in this area. White Tel Aviv natives who felt that their beloved city had gone to hell because of all the “africans” who were “criminals”. It’s the same stuff I hear here in the states which just drives me nuts. So I knew, as part of Tikkum Olam, that this was the place I wanted to be. #6 Shabbat. Yes, I complained that the whole city does not shut down like it does in Jerusalem but I think I will like that and most likely will need that. As a dog mommy, whose doggy was deathly ill with IMHA last August (2015), if there is an emergency with her I need to be able to take of that pronto. Since I wont have my car the first year it will be even more imperative that I am in a transportation friendly city.
So there are 6 reasons I chose Tel Aviv. I really struggled between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I went back and forth for weeks but I knew once I made a choice it would be ok. And it did. I so far have no regretted the choice to make Tel Aviv my aliyah home. I’ll let you know how it works out in 2017.