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Joy of Aliyah – Welcome to Israel Episode


This episode takes a look at our first 2 weeks in Israel.  We leave the airport, fried and crying (well at least me and my two youngest kiddies were cranky) and fall asleep on the 45 minute cab ride to our new home, Ramat Beit Shemesh.  As we pull up to our house for the first time I notice the beautiful tree lined street and the u-shaped complex of cottages around a parking lot-courtyard that will be my new address.

My sister-in law Devorah and her husband Rabbi Maslin and 6 kids are there to greet us (my other brother-in-law Greg and sister-in-law Chanie and their 6 gorgeous kids met us at the airport!).  Devorah was so considerate and set up a table with bagels (where’s the pita?!), cream cheese and fresh cut up veggies.  We all downed it, again while I was crying.  I was just so emotional, and overall completely drained.

I looked at my new space with such a mix of emotions — on one hand it was larger than I expected, clean and in nice shape.  On the other hand it just wasn’t where I came from.  Nothing about it, their were no little flourishes and special hand-picked details like the molding I had so carefully selected for my house in New York, here there was no molding.  The walls in Israel were painted a sterile hospital white not like the perfect shade of creamy warm off white almost bordering light yellow that I had chosen for my other house, forget the kitchen and the range hood which I special ordered in NY, here I couldn’t even find the stovetop!!! (Will share my oven story in another post).  The kids’ rooms felt nice and roomy but the master felt claustrophobic and we had NOTHING in it yet (well except for the 17 kids ky”h we have between us all :-) .  The kids’ bathroom was bigger than the one we had for them in the States — but getting into the master bath was a game of “your move”, “ok, now, your move”.  And then I looked out the windows all but 2 of the 10 windows in the house overlook the mountains and as I write this I am crying again (yes now I know you are not at all surprised), but I just find the view so spiritually uplifting and inspiring.

The first 2 weeks were filled with lots to do.  Your kids are not yet in school, everyone is getting adjusted to the heat, the move and the family and friends that come to greet you at all hours that trying to settle into a schedule is almost impossible.  We are all craving some sense of normalcy as we call and pray everyday for our lift with our stuff to arrive at our home.  Watch as we go to the NBN Teudat Zehut (Israel Identification Card) Fair, set up a bank account, register for health insurance, go to the ministry of absorption, grab yet another fast food lunch and pick up the girls from their first day at school.

filmed and directed by brian k. spector | vision palette creative

Did you miss any episodes? Want to see what is still to come? Keep up with our Episode Guide

The Announcement Teaser

Premiere Date: Tuesday June 26 7:00pm EST

The Announcement Episode

Premiere Date: Wednesday July 11 7:00pm EST

The US Lift Teaser

Premiere Date: Wednesday July 18 7:00pm EST

The US Lift Episode

Premiere Date: Wednesday July 25 7:00pm EST

Goodbye BBQ Teaser

Premiere Date: Wednesday August 8 7:00pm EST

Airport Teaser

Premiere Date: Wednesday August 15 7:00pm EST

Last 24/The Flight Episode

Premiere Date: Wednesday August 22 7:00pm EST

First 48/Welcome to Israel Episode

Premiere Date: Wednesday September 5 7:00pm EST

The Israel Lift Teaser

Premiere Date:Wednesday September 12 7:00pm EST

Happy New Year from Israel Episode

Premiere Date: Wednesday September 19 7:00pm EST

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22 Responses to Joy of Aliyah – Welcome to Israel Episode

  1. another great episode. I really hope you all have an easy transition. It’s definitely overwhelming but with time you’ll get used to it! Lots of hatzlacha!

  2. Good luck, this isnt going to be easy. BTW, I wrote about your aliya story on my blog, Times of Israel Carol Ungar. Best

  3. Gorgeous view, it will make the small space easier to deal with. How did you get a car so fast, did you bring one over?

  4. avatar says: orly


    How you are dealing with small space after you have a beautiful and big house in usa,
    wish you the best

    • actually it’s been pretty OK so far. I find myself wishing here and there that I could push out this wall or that wall and extend the house but I have to say I really have what I need, Thank G-d! — so the living and dining area is a bit cozy but cozy in a nice way. I got rid of a lot of stuff before I came here and I still feel like I have a bit too much for this space — and hope that I can unload a few more things — makes life simpler — it’s actually nice. Thanks so much for asking – this was a good question that forced me to think about the answer and how thankful I am for what I do have.

  5. avatar says: crose

    It has been wonderful to watch your journey. Mazel Tov to you and your family.

  6. Hi jamie. I was the fan who was SO EXCITED to see you at the NY wedding last week . I saw your last clip and it was unbelievable. I once again cried along with you as you peered out the window at the wonderful mountains. Im glad your girls like school. Keep the videos coming your fans love them. Bhatzlacha

    • It was so nice to meet you (and your beautiful daughter!) and dance with you at the simcha! Thank you thank you thank you SO much for taking the time to write. Today I was crying a little — I am so lost when it comes to school stuff and homework for my girls (thankfully for the younger ones I just have to worry about cleaning up all the sand they bring home from the playground)… so thanks for the support I actually need it!!!

  7. avatar says: raizel

    ive been loving your videos! totally cried throughout this one as we have been back a year now after living in israel for 7 wonderful years. i miss it so much and it DOES get easier. just find someone to ask all your school related questions to-and always send your child in a white shirt for a mesiba :)

    • avatar says: ItaAriela

      Hi, I would add that on Rosh Chodesh all the girls like to get dressed in their Shabbos clothes.. with all the trimmings..

    • Raizel and Ita Ariela for some reason the site is only allowing me to reply to Ita Ariella’s comment – so please let this response apply to the both of you — thanks for the tips!!! meanwhile I feel like I am asleep at the wheel a bit when it comes to school but luckily one of the English teachers is a neighbor and she came over yesterday and literally held my hand through the syllabus and school memos, book lists etc… thank G-d for (Morah) Tzippy!

  8. avatar says: ggredz

    Dear Jaime: I just discovered your website on braiding a six roped challah and then went into and actually created a user name and then, what is this? You have moved, and to Israel? I really enjoyed watching the video of your entry. They have quite an amazing system. You are SO brave that I am just overwhelmed with admiration. I lived overseas 20 years ago BUT we knew it was just for a three year tour. Congratulations on making aliyah. Now I must find your program so I can DVR it. I miss you already and I was just getting to know you!

    • hi Gigi!!!! what a lovely comment thank you so much for taking the time to write and for your incredible words of encouragement. No need to miss me, I am right here :-) I will continue posting and videoing and publishing the mag and the book and facebooking and tweeting — lol — so we can still be in touch and get to know eachother better. Where did you live when you were overseas?

  9. Hey Jamie,

    My name is Abby, I’m married with 2 kids (5 and 3). My husband and I are strongly considering making aliyah. Where do I start?


  10. avatar says: Leah Peji

    I’ve watched all your Joy of Aliyah and some of you Joy of Israel videos, love all of them. Also liked all the songs in your Joy of Aliyah videos. Could you tell me please, the names of the bands so I could look up their songs on the web? Thanks.

    • Hi Leah thanks so much for commenting and so so happy you love the videos!!! All the music we use is exclusively from the band called MOSHAV – I am such a fan – all their music is amazing. So happy for you to discover them through us.

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