(photo credit: ALAN ROSENBAUM)
At first glance, New Jersey native Garrett Davis, 23, embodies the typical American aliya success story. His aliya resumé ticks all the boxes: a Birthright participant who “fell in love with Israel,” a Masa Teaching Fellow who taught English to Israeli youngsters in southern Israel, and a new immigrant who is striving to master the intricacies of the Hebrew language. Upon further examination, however, his story is framed with personal trials and a family tragedy, all of which make his aliya saga even more remarkable.Davis grew up in Cresskill, New Jersey. He attended Hebrew school, but his feelings for Judaism were somewhere between neutral and positive.