Every time I see a Nefesh b’Nefesh video of new olim taking their first steps in Israel, my eyes well up with tears.
All that time and planning, the emotional investment, the preparation, the worry, the inevitable panic – and then they’re here. Some come with families, others come alone, but all of them are making a huge leap of faith into a new life.
As immigrants, we all know that getting here is just the beginning of the journey. There are a few fortunate individuals who come with jobs (or specialized tech skills) but for most of us, becoming Israeli is also about acclimating to a new job market, a different culture, and new expectations. All of us are hoping to succeed, but in the beginning at least, it’s not always clear exactly how exactly we’ll pay the bills. Success can seem… elusive.
If you ask me, the definition of success is subjective. Over the years, I have advised a wide array of people and have learned that some want to live “the good life” of comfort, others are happy to get by, and still others see their lives in the Holy Land as a way of fulfilling lifelong dreams – a time to reboot and restart.
On these pages, we will highlight the stories of those who consider themselves successfully living in Israel – by whatever measure they use to define success.
Of course, the authors of our stories are living financially smarter by investing and planning for their futures. Perhaps more importantly, though, they are fulfilled with their choices; each of their selected paths have positioned them to raise healthy, productive, Israeli families.
I hope you can draw both inspiration and guidance from the challenges these immigrants faced and the victories they celebrated. As always, please let me know what you think. Enjoy!
When I was fourteen, I was staunchly fiscally conservative. I came from a family of placard-toting socialist activists (not social, rather socialist, think union rep,