Thursday, June 3, 2010

When Yeridah Happens to Good People

We can't believe its almost been a month since launch! Things have been very, very busy here at Diramates HQ. Our webmaster Karen has been working overtime on improving the site as we welcome more new members. So, first, welcome everyone! We hope you have been enjoying your experience so far on the site and - as always - we appreciate all feedback!

A couple of weeks ago, I got an e-mail from my friend Jesse. He made Aliyah with Nefesh B'Nefesh back in January 2010. He was so happy to be here! He was full of enthusiasm and excitement about his Aliyah. You talk to him and you just felt his love for Israel. Granted, he missed things about his life in the States, particularly his girlfriend and his family, but he was a Zionist, living out the Zionist dream, and he was going to stick it out here in Israel!

And then, slowly, that excitement faded away to frustrations. Seemingly, at every turn, he faced more and more challenges. First, he was placed in a class at his Ulpan that wasn't appropriate for him. While he probably was placed correctly, given his Hebrew skills, he felt that he was above the class. He tried to get his placement changed to a higher level class but the school refused to move him and so, daily, he felt frustrated with his Ulpan.

When it came time for employment, he energetically went on many interviews. His dream job - to work in communications for the State of Israel - was not within his reach. And so, as he saw his money dwindling with no employment available to him other than waitering at a restaurant in Tel Aviv, he became very anxious. Life isn't cheap in Israel and - just the basics such as rent, bills, health insurance payments, food, transportation, etc - adds up. He started worrying about how he was going to make his next cell phone bill payment, or where he was going to find the money to pay for his rent and utilities. Quickly, his Sal Klita fund was getting dangerously low, and he became really anxious about making ends meet.

If that wasn't enough of a stresser - Jesse ended up finding roommates in Tel Aviv who were not compatible. While looking for a place to live he answered an ad he found online, met with two native Israeli's living in a three room apartment, and after an hour conversation, decided to move in. It just didn't click. There were personality issues, lifestyle issues and cultural issues that he just couldn't overcome.

And so, frustrated with his financial situation and his living situation, Jesse decided it was time to move back to the States. Four months after his Aliyah, Jesse made Yeridah, and is now picking up the pieces of his life back in America.

I was very sad to hear that he moved back to the States, and I know how much he is missing Israel. We miss him too and were really upset that his Aliyah experience didn't turn out the way he had dreamed it would.

Jesse's story is the reason why we work so hard on Diramates. Aliyah is very difficult, it's important that everyone who is getting ready to make the move, to realize that things will be challenging when you get to the Holy Land. But, with the right support network, anyone can make it here! And, at the very least, we hope to help take the weight off of your shoulders when it comes to your living arrangements.

Our goal is to help you find the most compatible roommates for you, so that you have that support system when you go home at night. When a day of pounding the pavements searching for a job yields nothing but sweat stains and disappointments, that your home here in Israel is a haven. That the people you choose to live with will help pick you up when you're feeling down. That you're not surprised when your landlord asks for the Arnona payment, or ups the Vaad Bayit because the winter month's have arrived.

We hope you'll turn to us with your frustrations and your finds - let us know how we can help you! If you're having a bad day, e-mail us! We're here to help you! And, if you're having a wonderful experience - either with the apartment or roommate you found through Diramates - make sure you also let us know!

Have you made Aliyah already? If so, how are you finding the experience? Are you planning on making Aliyah? What are your concerns!

Post a message and let us know!

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