Mossa'ei Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Mass'ei 5768
Jameel @ The Muqata wrote a piece on Aliyah which I thought was worth reading.
Attitude: The Oleh's Best Friend
Yet, I had a few thoughts, to add 10ag worth to be exact....
While attitude is important, and has certainly gotten me through more than a few scrapes, I believe that with a sense of community one can do anything. I used to be very much against English-speaking ghettos, and the idea of myself actually living in one highly disturbs me, the trendier, the more disturbing. However, if olim (immigrants) find a sense of community there, and support, then more power to them. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure how this affects ones development of the attitude Jameel is talking about. Nonetheless, a sense of community is crucial.
One obviously does not have to live in one of these ghettos to achieve a sense of community. (Sorry, but, no I do not intend to refrain from referring to them as ghettos anytime soon.) After all, I didn't. It may have been more difficult for me (I don't know), but I have survived outside of the ghetto for 11 years now (Aliyah date: 26 of the Fourth Month 5757/July 31, 1997).
While we're on the subject of aliyah, I wanted to offer a few additional helpful bits of information for your readers.
A rav from your neighborhood (For anyone who doesn't know, the Muqata is located in Ramallah), whom I respect and has much experience in these matters, said that studies show that an oleh's most difficult time is during the first year and fifth years. This information was received from the Amana Company.
I'm sure it's not written in stone, though, and there are many variables. Which years were most difficult for your readers?
The point is that if you have a difficult time during one of these years, you are not alone, and the knowledge that you are going through an expected rough patch may help to lower your anxiety. On the other hand, you may want to pick up your monitor and throw it at me. I suggest that instead of throwing your monitor at me, possibly costing you 100's of sheqqels, that you pick up the phone and call someone, and talk about whatever you're going through. Hopefully, you have been developing such a list of people, as part of your "surviving aliyah" pro-active strategy (See above regarding community).
Twelve years ago, when I first visited a shaliah (emissary) in the U. S., I was told that 50 percent of all olim from North America return "home" [to North America] within five years. So, if you have made it in Israel five years, then pat yourself on the back. You have accomplished what only half of North American olim have been able to do!
I would imagine that this statistic has changed after 12 years, and hopefully improved, but still, five years is still worth a pat on the back, or a special family meal, a barbecue, or sponsoring a qiddush in your beth kenesseth (synagogue).
Why wait five years? How about every year? I was turned onto this idea by a family in Beth El, by the way, who marks the occasion annually. I have no doubt you have already heard of this idea, and quite possibly apply it yourselves.
So, while attitude is important, don't forget the importance of building a sense of community. Find a shi'ur you enjoy, join a club related to your favorite sport or hobby, whether it be mountain biking, surfing, knitting, or chess. Join a club with native Hebrew speakers in it, too, and you'll be on your way to learning new vocabulary, you have the motivation to learn.
I wish it were as easy as it sounds. It's not. At least, it wasn't for me [and still isn't].
Persevere, and remember, Israel is the Homeland of the Jewish People. You belong here!
I mistakenly left Jameel off of my favorite blogs list. I felt bad afterwards, especially when I heard that Jameel was hurt that I stopped stocking him. Last Thursday, I started stocking him again, but felt that wasn't good enough.
Jameel, I hope this post [and the measly four or five hits it will generate you] makes up for my meta-blogging faux pas, and blogger networking suicide.
(Jameel wields enormous power in the JBlogosphere. I do not recommend crossing him, nor doing anything else to risk getting on his bad side.)