Friends in Israel
We have a number of them. I spoke to one today, a friend born and raised in Israel but who lived in the US for many years with her husband, also Israeli. He's a 'commuter' -- an Israeli who lives in Israel but commutes back to the States to work. A lot of olim do this but he is the only Israeli I know who does this. It isn't unusual to find someone in hi-tech or medicine or dentistry who works 3-4 days a week in New York and returns home to Israel on the weekends, or who works one week in Boston and spends the next week in Tel Aviv. It's tough on the families, but it gives them the best of both worlds.
Our friend was excited to find out Yona was coming in March, and surprised to hear how close we are to aliyah. She told me the adjustment back to Israeli life was tough, and Israelis themselves are tough, and the kids are tough. She is concerned (as many are) about the rising violence in Israeli schools among the children who have grown up PTSD'd by Arab mass murder and calls for genocide (my turn of phrase not hers). But contrary to the local community rumor, she is NOT leaving Israel--as a matter of fact, she told me that they are moving to the Buchman area of Modi'in, an area the Husband and myself have eyed. Modi'in isn't practical right now with the commute to Josh's school in Jerusalem (who wants their kid on a school bus for an hour?) but its close enough to visit and hang out with friends.
But she has her reservations about where Israeli society is going. While thrilled with the Jewish learning, the sense of closeness and community, and the sense of Home-ness that so many of us have, the brashness, rudeness, abruptness and chutzpadik of everyday Israeli life is wearing, she warned me. Even having grown up there, the adjustment is hard to make after years in America.I could only tell her what everyone has told me -- the first year SUCKS! Just acknowledge that, and you'll find that everything starts to come together after that year. I got her to laugh -- I pointed out that at least she didn't have to spend three hours on her first shopping trip trying to decipher the labels.