Over two hundred new olim arrive on flight of IFCJ aliya initiative.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
IT HASN’T been long since our family touched down in Tel Aviv as new olim (immigrants) from South Africa, and with increasing regularity, I find myself saying, “It’s such a small world.” I keep on messaging my twin sister in Cape Town, saying, “You’ll never guess who we bumped into today!” In this short space of time, we’ve met up with our first friend from nursery school in Durban, a fabulous Johannesburg woman who stayed at our house during a netball tour when we were teenagers and a married couple we first met when we were all students at the University of Cape Town. Today, they all live in Ra’anana. They’re all within walking distance from our home.Bumping into a familiar face while walking down the main road of the city – Ahuza St. – is always a great feeling when you’re new in town. It’s also incredible to see so many familiar new faces, too. That’s because the community here wastes no time welcoming new families to town. People arrive at your flat with homemade meals and gifts. WhatsApp messages are sent from mothers at the school, with their contact details in case there is anything you need. People are eager to help, advise and share experiences. There’s a strong, genuine group of men and women who go out of their way for you, and that certainly helps one feel at home in your first few weeks in a new country.