Joy of Aliyah - Welcome to Israel Episode

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Jamie Geller
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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

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