“I grew up in a non-religious home on the East Coast. When I made Aliya , it wasn’t for religious reasons, but out of a sense of belonging. Instinctively, I knew that this is where I was meant to be.

“Very quickly, I grew disillusioned. I hadn’t planned it right, and suddenly, I found myself alone in a strange country, couldn’t speak the language and struggled to afford even the most basic necessities. At that point, I was ready to call it quits and move back home, but I had made a promise to some friends–If they stayed, then so would I.

“And I did. Slowly, I picked up the language, the cultural nuances, and even the trademark Israeli bluntness began to grow on me. Over time, I made a name for myself as a stand-up comedian, and things started looking up.

“I became imbued with a new sense of purpose–to help other newcomers through the challenges of starting over, to guide them as they acclimated to their new home. I created a Facebook group which has since become recognized as a non-profit organization that has helped thousands of Olim and is growing everyday. It’s amazing.

“Now, looking back, I am reminded of how far I’ve come, and I realize I wasn’t ever really alone. It just took me a while to discover my new family”.

Source: Humans of Jerusalem

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