Finding Your Place in a New Community

Those of us who have made aliyah to Israel from western countries experience both a sense of loss and a huge cultural adjustment. In a guest post at An Englishman in New Jersey, I talk about the things that helped me feel at home.


  1. MII, thanks for giving me a mention but I can’t really take all the credit. Your late aunt knew me from our shul and she was the one who put me in contact with you in the first place, otherwise I’d never have met you. It was her idea to bring you into our Emunah group too. Thus began a great friendship. And our committee would not work half as efficiently without you!

    I made Aliya on my own straight after school and I remember how hard it was to make friends initially, even though I spoke Hebrew fluently. I had had a lot of friends back in London and I felt completely lost when I got to Israel – something that I really had not prepared for. What saved me was my work place in a large Jerusalem hospital, where everyone in my office was young, most of them single and English speaking. They became my social life at first and I even met my husband indirectly through my workmates.

  2. While we were planning our Aliyah, I kept telling myself how hard it was going to be. But telling myself didn’t prepare me for going through it. There are times when I miss my people back in the states so much that I just want to throw in the towel and go back. But I know why I came (for the right reasons, not just to save on tuition!); most the time I’m happy to be here.

  3. I want to publicly thank you in front of your own audience for a)agreeing to write a guest post for my blog, and b)doing such a darned fine job of it!

    It gave me, and I hope my readers too, a sense of some of the challenges you have faced, and how you met them.

    I know precious little about the Jewish culture, especially about the culture in Israel, but I know a little more since your post.

  4. I’ve just read your post MiI; it’s a great one!