MembersWhy Thousands of Jews Make Aliyah Every Year

An honest conversation about the hardships of immigration

By Oriel Moran | | Topics: Aliyah
New immigrants from North America arrive on a special "Aliyah Flight."
New immigrants from North America arrive on a special "Aliyah Flight." Photo: Flash90

I remember my Aliyah (immigration) experience as a nine-year-old in December of 1999. My family and I packed our double-wide Texan trailer and waved goodbye to our Y2K crazed neighbors, who were busy stocking up on canned food and digging a well.

Leaving the vast ranches of the ‘land of the free’ to a war-stricken country just 3.24% the size of Texas, with small parking spaces, small houses and small everything, was a culture shock. My parents were determined to make it work, together with almost 74,000 Jews who made Aliyah that year.

Although my mother is a sabra (Israeli-born and raised), nothing could prepare me for the loud, Middle Eastern children I encountered as a blue-eyed, white-skinned, non-Hebrew speaking girl with southern manners on my first day of school. Ridding myself of my American accent and developing Israeli chutzpah was a priority on my ‘How to make it in Israel’ survival guide.


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