Olim are asked to write an essay when completing their Aliyah application. What comes out of these essays is truly inspiring. We selected some moving excerpts written by the individuals who arrived on the August charter flight, which provide a glimpse into the motivations behind their decision to make Aliyah.
I’ve wanted to make Aliyah for a long time. I always saw myself doing it at some point in my future. Recently, I realized this is not just something I want in the future; it’s what I want now. I love the feeling of being in Israel. I feel happy here. This is where I see myself living, and it’s where I believe I am supposed to be. This is where I want to create and raise a family.
Faigy Feiner, New York to Ramat Beit Shemesh
I am making Aliyah because I believe that all Jews have the responsibility to return to their home when they have the opportunity; the future of the Jewish people is in Israel and I want to be a part of it.
Shoshana Frend, California to Jerusalem
We have both wanted to make Aliyah since before we met. We were raised in Zionistic environments and have spent a lot of time in Israel on various shorter and longer visits – including one year at Midreshet HaRova and two years at Yeshivat Har Etzion, respectively. Over the years, our desire to settle in our nation’s homeland has only grown stronger and become solidified.
Tali & Jon Seligsohn, Pennsylvania to Ma’ale Adumim
We always wanted to make Aliyah but things just didn’t work out in our younger years. We have raised five children; 3 of whom already live in Israel and another is planning Aliyah this summer. We are looking forward to living in Israel, contributing to the country as best as we can, and learning Hebrew!
Zelda & Sheldon Goldsmith, New York to Ramat Beit Shemesh
I have always loved Israel. But when I came to Israel to study in seminary and began to become acquainted more fully with the land of Israel, I fell in love in a different way and wanted more than just loving it from afar. From the beginning of the year, I have wanted to make Aliyah, I was just unsure of exactly when: after college, when I’m married… But recently I have told myself that I need to do it now, otherwise I will keep pushing it off and have other things get in the way.
Rivka Schuss, New York to Jerusalem
As far back as I can remember, my household was full of artwork portraying Jerusalem and Israel, along with other Judaic items. I was sent to an Orthodox Jewish day school which, from Kindergarten on, instilled within me a love for Israel and the knowledge that regardless of where any Jew currently resides, Israel is indeed our homeland. My first visit to Israel, when I participated in the March of the Living in 1998, cemented my feeling of Israel as my true home. The moment I walked off the plane in Tel Aviv, I was engulfed by a feeling of peace and a sense of comfort. As I walked the streets of Israel, in various cities and towns, I felt a sense of unity with all the other citizens. It was literally emotionally painful to leave our Homeland. Over the past few years, my sister and I have been discussing the possibility of my making Aliyah. The time has now come.
Jennifer Stengel, Florida to Jerusalem
Aliyah has been something on my mind since I was about 4 years old, if not earlier. I’m the girl who no one will be surprised to hear decided to make Aliyah. Israel has always been the place that I not only want to be, but need to be. It’s where I want to raise a family, where I want to live my life, where I feel most connected to the Jewish people, and where I feel most at home. While it’s not without its worldly problems, it’s also the most gorgeous place on Earth and there’s nowhere I’d rather be.
Nediva Susman, New Jersey to Efrat