“Try it, you’ll like it” went the famous 1971 commercial for Alka Selzer. Gary and Rose Scharlat, who made Aliyah in 2015, put this advice to the test.
Three years ago, Gary and Rose were living a wonderful and meaningful life in West Orange, NJ, enjoying their careers, deeply involved in their community, well respected, and planning their next trips to Israel to visit their children and grandchildren. With retirement looming and the next chapter of life waiting to be written, Gary was convinced that the time was ripe to make Aliyah. Rose didn’t see Aliyah as part of the plan. The cultural and practical changes involved in moving to Israel, as well as her lack of Hebrew skills, made the idea of Aliyah daunting and, in her mind, unfeasible.
Gary persuaded Rose to adopt a “try it, you’ll like it” approach. In the fall of 2014, Gary and Rose arrived in Israel for an extended stay designed to give the couple a firsthand experience of what daily life and living in Israel is like. After spending several weeks in Modi’in engaging with other couples with similar stories, the prospect of Aliyah became realistic, desirable and achievable. They returned to NJ, packed up their home, said their tearful goodbyes to a loving community and, in March 2015, Gary and Rose became Olim, joining their two married children, fourteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
When describing this current chapter in their lives, Gary and Rose radiate adjectives such as “enriched”, “full and fulfilling”, “exciting and fun”, “international”. Together they have found a warm and social community, making friends of all ages from around the world, and enjoying classes, cultural events, tiyulim and finally being an integral part of their grandchildren’s daily lives. Rose making her imprint by running local charity fundraising events. Gary followed a lifelong passion and is farming land on an organic community garden plot in the area. The fruits of his labor are being enjoyed by family, friends and neighbors.
Rose and Gary tried it and liked it. But, at the time, they couldn’t have even begun to imagine just how much.
Are you a retiree considering Aliyah and want to hear more about Rose and Gary’s experience? Feel free to contact them at:
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