Israel Planning and Feelings

I want to be successful when I make aliyah to Israel. One of the groups  I joined is “Keep Olim” and seriously there re so many people whining. It makes me think about how arrogant we are as Americans. I mean we are super quick to get on immigrants who come to this country and cannot speak the language and “take our jobs”. Yet we never think about what it means to make aliyah to Israel (essentially immigrating) and having to learn hebrew. I find it comical that people complain about the cost of living in Israel and the low pay but when I think about my life here in the bay area, the cost of living is high and the salaries are low (in comparison). I feel like what people are missing when they complain is the little details and intricacies that go into making your life successful.

As an American growing up in California and living here my whole life I understand the little minute details.When applying for a job I know what I should and should not write on a cover letter and a resume. I speak english and can navigate the internet in English to find what I need. Phone, addresses, information about the organization. When I’m apartment hunting I know what to look for online and when to smell a scam. I know what neighborhoods I like and how long approximately it takes to get from point A to point B, at any given time on any day. I know that although SF is about a 15 minute drive depending on traffic it can take up to a full hour to get to the city. I also know that when I say I’m going to the city I’m talking about SF. I know the culture of the bay area and how to navigate the ins and outs. I know whats appropriate dress and what is not. I know what stores have the cheapest goods and which gas station has the cheapest gas. I also know that these things fluctuate spending on the city you are in and how far you are away from the highway. 

I know what it takes to be successful in America, because I know all of the above. 

But I’m immigrating to Israel. What do I know about Israel? What schemas do I have and experiences do I have to give me any indication about how to be successful in Israel. I know its my homeland as a jew. I know that I get shabbat off and things do not run. I look forward to that. Here in the states I live my life like that. I don’t spend money and I try hard not to drive. But what about this 6 day work week I’ve been reading about? What about my job as a therapist? I understand I’ll make less money but how does that really translate. I want to have my private practice there and I’m dreaming of my beautiful office and my clients and yet I do not know how to make that happen in Israel. I am afraid to fail. 

But then I remember that this year I dedicated to taking risks. I have quit my job and started a new one. I have submitted my application to make aliyah and I’m just waiting for them to receive my passport photos, for my rabbi to submit his letter and then my interview with the schliach. I become excited listening to Israeli radio on a beautiful sunny day and imagining walking down the streets of Tel Aviv Jerusalem  with my Autumn. I become excited about finding my first apartment in Israel and decorating it. I dream of having new friends over, playing games and eating shabbat dinner. I dream of finding my jewish husband, getting married and starting a family. I dream of one day living in Jerusalem  and sending my children to the Hand in Hand school.

So what does success look like? More importantly how do I reconcile my fears and my dreams? I don’t have the answers, but once I do I’ll let you know. 

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