Thursday, 12 March 2015

How Well Are You Integrating Into Life in Israel?

Do you ever stop to wonder if your Aliyah is successful? What kind of indicators do you have or have you thought of as to whether you have integrated into life in Israel?

For some it might be, did they manage to purchase a house. Well that is something pretty major. Yes, that could be a sign that you have made it living in Israel. However, there are some who manage to purchase an apartment or house in Israel and yet hardly ever live here. Hm, what else can we use as a measure as to whether you are integrating successfully into life in Israel?

Last night I had an inkling into what being accepted here is about. For a while now I have wanted to have a group of women in my home learning together, reciting Brachot and Amen together, giving each other some Chizuk. On two occassions, I did manage to invite some kids in the area on a Shabbat day to recite Tehillim and them some Brachot. But it's not quite the same as women your age with whom you can interact. I had tried inviting English speakers and somehow it did not quite happen.

Then a few days ago I was speaking to a neighbour a few buildings away and she offered to bring some of her friends around. Here we had the start of what I wanted, not with English speakers though but with Hebrew speakers.

The time arrived, I had prepared what was necessary and the women slowly arrived. While those who arrived early and I sat waiting, we chatted a bit to get to know each other. Suddenly I pinched myself. Here I was with 6 other women of my age, chatting away and planning the evening together all in Hebrew. They had accepted me enough to chat like a friend and I was understanding what they said and answering sometimes in a manner like an Israel, such as the way I answered "כן, כן" as in "yes, certainly."

If you would like one tip as to how to make your integration into living in Israel successful it would be learn Hebrew and get to know the Israeli's. While it is good to interact with English speakers, get to know your Israeli neighbours. When you can chat with a group of Israeli's in Hebrew just as easily as you would with English speakers, then you have mastered something great.

For some reason they say, "when in Rome do as the Romans do!" Well, I say when in Israel, speak Hebrew with the Israeli's. 

What do you do to help your integration to be successful? Have you taken time to learn Hebrew? Have you met your neighbours? Have you invited them over for tea, coffee or any other time to chat and have some nosh?

Try it, you might be pleasantly surprised as to how friendly and welcoming they can be.

 This post is prepared for you by Shoshanah Shear of Chessed Ve'Emet

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