Moving to Israel vs. Making Aliyah

Ever since I came back from Israel as a Birthright participant two years ago I began asking myself, could I live in Israel? After diving deeper into Israeli culture and history, Zionism, and getting involved in the Jewish community, the question of whether or not I could live in Israel became so much more; it became a final destination, “sof haderech”. I’m not going to go over logistics and the ins and outs of making Aliyah, but rather explain to you the importance of having a “plan” in doing so, and the difference between moving to Israel versus making Aliyah.

For me, the past few years have been about getting back to Israel at any cost, at any moment, or for any reason… but the question is, why?  Is it just for pleasure or leisure? Obviously, Israel is a great place to have fun and trips there often result in life-changing experiences, but it never dawned on me that I could have “Israel changing experiences.”

One of the readings that I came across through my research and interest in making Aliyah was that of “how can I make a difference in Israel.” After taking part of Hagshama’s Young Zionist Leadership conference last weekend in Miami, I was blessed to hear North American Shaliach of Aliyah, Barry Spielman talk about making a plan of action for when one does make Aliyah. He asked the question, “what are you going to do when you make Aliyah?” I responded with, “Well I’m going to live here and study this.” He answered by asking something along the lines of, “ok…and how are you going to contribute?”

WOAH, wait a second, LIGHT BULB!

I finally got it. If you’re thinking about making Aliyah, tell yourself, I’m going to make Aliyah.  I’m not just going to move to Israel, I’m going to do something to better Israel for Israelis, for my children and for the Jewish people.

One of the great things about making Aliyah is that there are so many possibilities of ways to contribute to bettering Israel. You can choose from helping to populate the Negev, volunteering in a number of different communities, serving in the IDF or lending your expertise to help with Israel’s water issues. If you have a plan, life in Israel will be rewarding and action-filled…you will be living and not simply existing. If you are planning on making Aliyah, I challenge you to find your niche and start your personal and national growth.

“Aliyah is a call to the individual to arise, to assume a dramatic role in history, to participate in nation building.” ~McGill’s own Rabbi David Hartman.

Inspired? Interested in Aliyah? Want to talk about how you can make a difference once you are Home? Drop me a line anytime!

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Posted on February 2, 2011, in Community, Israel, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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