What could have prompted a family that lived in New Jersey all their lives to pick up and move 6,000 miles away? A family that was so happy living in Bergenfield, NJ with friends, family, neighbors, jobs, schools, a sense of community. A family that was by all definition HAPPY? What then prompted the change?
You see, in life we have to make choices. We have decisions that could change the path we’ve been on all along. My husband didn’t realize that uttering one sentence would be the impetus for a massive life change. All he said was, “Maybe we should think about building onto the house.”
That seems like a woman’s dream come true- a large house to decorate- more room to entertain- more bedrooms and bathrooms- a renovated kitchen.
But there was one problem. That house would forever be situated on our street in Bergenfield, NJ. And so I told my husband:
“I may not know all the words in Tanach (Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim- The Bible), but I do know that Bergenfield, NJ isn’t in there!”
I am not judging anyone for not moving to Israel- I am not saying that American Jewish communities aren’t wonderful, and flourishing, and Torah centers. I didn’t say that. What I am saying is that for my family, for my future, for my family’s future, I wanted us in Israel. Because, yes, to be honest, I feel this is the place for Am Yisrael.
He didn’t agree to it right away, he didn’t agree to it months later. I remember every Friday night meal, I’d drive him crazy talking about it. Until finally, he said OK. A little while later he had said to me, “Do you still want to move to Israel?” And I responded, “Of course, why?!” He said, “Because you haven’t said anything in a while.” I answered, “I don’t need to annoy you about it anymore, you said ‘Yes.'”
So many plans were underway- find schools, a community, an apartment, find renters to rent our home in NJ (another long story about why we didn’t want to sell right away), switch over the phones, PSEG, the mail.. all the nitty gritty things you wouldn’t think about. Had I been blogging all along, I’m sure there would have been a blog post for each one!
I can promise you this, I will keep blogging- how’d I not start this earlier?!
So as this is my first official blog post, I will leave you with this- keep looking towards the future.. you never know where it’ll take you!
10 thoughts on “The Decision to Move to Israel”
Tova – thank you for this. I’ve been trying to catch you on Meerkat whenever possible and I’ve been following your story since New Jersey, and this blog will help fill in the gaps.
Thanks, Tova. Always like catching up on the family. Xoxox
Hi Tova! Looking forward to reading about your journey.
Delightful article. Keep ’em coming.
I made aliyah 32 years ago from Minneapolis. Husband is native Israeli so it was somewhat easier…came with 2 kids & had 2 more here.
It took 10 years to become “happy” here, so be sure you give yourself time…lots of adjustments.
I live in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem. Where are you?
If I can help, let me know. We’ve all been where you are now.
Lovely , honest and inspiring
Thank you for inviting me to read your blog. I’m so glad we connected through meerkat & became friends. It was easy for me to catch your MK streams when you lived in NJ but now that you’re in Israel – plus my own schedule – it’s no longer easy to catch your MK streams. I am very glad you started this blog. I will look forward to reading your entries & keeping in touch. All the best to you & your family!
Thank you for inviting me to read your blog. I’m glad we became friends via meerkat although it was easier for me to catch your streams when you lived in NJ. I’m glad you started this blog. I am looking forward to reading your entries.
All the best to you & your family as you continue on this exciting journey -settling into your new life in Israel –
Wish the best for you in your journey
Welcome to Israel, welcome home.
I made aliyah 19 years ago – also from NJ. Of course there are ups and downs along the way, but with patience, a sense of humor, and always keeping your eyes on the big picture, it will be a wonderful experience. This is the place to raise Jewish kids.
All the best to you and your family… and remember: deep breaths, deep breaths.
Tova, I am so excited to hear more of your adventures in Israel. Taking such a big step in moving as your family did was amazing and brave. Not many would venture in such a move. Blessings to you and your family..Be strong, diligent and always proud of your beliefs ..as you travel through life’s magnificent roads. Love & prayers… Tammy