Orly Schlessinger (18)

Orly Schlessinger’s father and grandfather had always wanted to move to Israel and join the IDF, but were never able to. Surrounded by a strong sense of Zionism while growing up in Chicago, Schlessinger decided that when she was older, she would fulfill their dream. After graduating from high school, Schlessinger enrolled in Garin Tzabar, and joined other new Olim who will also be serving in the army and living in Regba, a moshav in Northern Israel.


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“When Operation Protective Edge started, people asked me, ‘Are you still going? Or will you wait until the conflict is over?’ But that wouldn’t keep me away. The reason I’m joining the army is to defend Israel and the Jewish people.”

Aaron Blady (22)
Having grown up in Solomon Schechter and Camp Ramah, Israel had always been a part of Aaron Blady’s life. But it was when Blady visited the concentration camps during his semester abroad in the Czech Republic that he realized he wanted to join the IDF and play his part in protecting the Jewish people. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Blady joined Garin Tzabar and moved to an absorption center in Ranaana with other new Olim who will also be serving in the army.
“Moving to Israel during this conflict reinforced the fact that I was making the right decision. Just seeing what was happening in Israel— and to Jews around the world—made me even more motivated to come.” 


Eitan (25) And Leah (24) Mosenkis


Even before they met, Eitan and Leah Mosenkis knew that they were each only interested in marrying someone who also wanted to make Aliyah. They both believed that Israel was the place where they wanted to create a life and raise their future children. With a 22-month-old and a six-month-old in tow, the Mosenkis family made Aliyah this summer. Eitan Mosenkis, who worked at Google in Boston has transferred his job to the Google offices in Haifa.
“Israel is where the Jewish family exists, and it’s the place where we will raise our own Jewish family. Especially now that we’re here, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” 


Amy Oppenheimer (28)
From working in a New York-based consulting firm to creating a documentary film focused on religion and state in Israel, Amy Oppenheimer comes to Israel with a diverse professional background. She has made Aliyah to take on the role of director of North America and overseas relations at Bat Melech, an organization that provides female victims of domestic violence with support, shelter, and legal services. Amy is also joining her parents and sisters in Israel, who all made Aliyah during the last decade, as well as her fiance, David.
“I know that there will definitely be challenges to living in Israel and the conflict is a part of that. It’s an important reality check. I’m not making Aliyah to Disneyland, but to be in a place where I can do meaningful work and live alongside my family.” 
Kalman (66) & Barbara (65) Feinberg 
Having lived in Teaneck, New Jersey for forty years, Barbara and Kalman Feinberg watched each of their children move to Israel. When their eldest child and his family made Aliyah two years ago, the Feinbergs decided that it was time for them to make the move and join their three children and thirteen grandchildren in Israel. Kalman, who had worked in consulting engineering, and Barbara, who had worked in real estate sales, retired and the couple found an apartment in Jerusalem. Having traveled to Israel many times before, the Feinbergs feel comfortable in their new home—and are especially happy that they will now be able to see their grandchildren grow up. 
“We always liked coming to visit Israel—whether to tour or see our family, but saying goodbye to our grandchildren at the end of each trip was difficult. Now, we’re here permanently, which means that we can get on the bus and be with our children in fifteen minutes. It’s wonderful to have our family reunited.” 


Ilana Barta (22)
Growing up in a Zionist home, Ilana Barta always knew she wanted to make Aliyah. It was just a matter of when. After becoming engaged to Akiva, an officer in the IDF’s paratroopers unit, who had been a counselor with Barta at Camp Moshava, she decided to make Aliyah this summer. Barta packed her bags after graduating from the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, and moved to Israel. Until the ground operation in Gaza ended, Barta was not able to speak to her fiance, but 25 days after making Aliyah, the couple got married. Barta will begin medical school at the Technion University in the fall. 
“When I made Aliyah, I said, I’m coming to be with Israel through thick and thin. I’m here to be a part of this country and this nation.” 


Jose Levkovich (88)
Jose Levkovich dreamed of making Aliyah for his whole life. Raised in the Hovevei Zion youth movement, Levkovich survived the Holocaust in his teenage years and later worked on helping orphan survivors reach Israel and on hunting Nazis and bringing them to court. After meeting his wife in Argentina and later relocating from Colombia to New York to Toronto, Levkovich decided that it was finally time for him to make Aliyah. He turned 88 on the Nefesh B’Nefesh flight to Israel. His grandson, who was then serving in Gaza, was allowed out in order to welcome his grandfather to Israel.
“People asked me to postpone my trip. But I believe that, as the Yiddish saying goes, whatever will happen to Klal Israel will happen to Reb Israel. I’m the wandering Jew and I have finally come home.” 




Thinking about your own Aliyah journey? Speak to an NBN Aliyah Advisor to get your questions answered. Contact prealiyah@nbn.org.il  




 

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To learn more about the Aliyah process or to start your application, contact 1-866-4-ALIYAH, email info@nbn.org.il or visit our website www.nbn.org.il.

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