The Eisenberg’s Long Journey Home

This Thanksgiving, Daniel and Chavi Eisenberg are thankful to have finally made it to Israel.

The Eisenberg’s Long Journey Home 758 (photo credit: NEFESH B'NEFESH)
The Eisenberg’s Long Journey Home 758
(photo credit: NEFESH B'NEFESH)
After years of planning, and with many obstacles to overcome along the way, the Eisenbergs are thrilled with their new life in Israel.
This is their story.
When Daniel and Chavi first got married, they agreed to a seven-year plan. They would graduate from college, work for a few years, and then make Aliyah.
Daniel knew he wanted to make his life in Israel since he was 14, and after spending his gap year in Israel, he felt more sure than ever. “I saw how the people were building the land, and it confirmed that that was what I was going to do with my life,” he said.
Before then, Daniel and Chavi focused on serving the American Jewish community. As a college student, Chavi worked for Tehilla, an organization that sought to inspire American Jews to make Aliyah. The couple traveled across North America, meeting with people who were considering the move. On one trip to Boca Raton, they met Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, who shared his vision for an Aliyah organization that would later become Nefesh B’Nefesh.
After they graduated from college, Chavi and Daniel became the kollel couple in Mount Vernon and New Rochelle, teaching Jewish classes and hosting community members for Shabbat, before settling in Riverdale. There, Chavi was named the executive director of Nishmat, a women’s learning institution, and Daniel worked as a chiropractor. The couple had one child, and Chavi was pregnant with her second. They purchased a home in Neve Daniel, and were all set for their move when Daniel was hit by a school bus.
Suddenly, their plans were put on hold indefinitely, as Daniel needed to focus on his recovery and to rethink his career path. Having suffered multiple injuries, Daniel became permanently disabled. He could no longer work as a chiropractor, and was hired to work in business development at his clinic.
Though Daniel and Chavi had to postpone their dream, they continued to think about Aliyah. At home, they spoke Hebrew a few times a week and played Hebrew games with their children. “There are so many distractions in life, so using Hebrew at home helped us stay focused on our dream,” said Daniel.
A few years later, Daniel and Chavi were ready to start planning their Aliyah again–this time, with different considerations in mind.
“I had to think a lot more about my physical environments and make modifications on our house,” said Daniel. “I also had to make sure I’d be able to have continuing care in Israel.” With the help of Nefesh B’Nefesh and his own network, Daniel was able to find doctors who would be able to treat his specific conditions.
Three months ago, Daniel, Chavi, and their three children fulfilled their longtime dream of Aliyah, joining Chavi’s parents and siblings in Israel. They moved into their home in Neve Daniel, where they quickly began meeting their new neighbors. At one Shabbat meal, only a month into their Aliyah, Daniel was telling another guest about his old job. It turned out that the person’s company, Isratransfer, was looking for someone to do business development as well. Soon after, Daniel was hired.
“Once I got the job, I asked my new bosses, ‘What were you thinking hiring someone right off the boat?’” he said. “They told me that there was a certain drive that Olim Chadashim have and that translates to profit for businesses. They weren’t just doing me a chesed [good deed]–they actually see value in new Olim.”
Daniel and Chavi are “ecstatic” about their new life in Israel because there is so much to be thankful for. Not only was Daniel able to find a job in his field within the first month of living in Israel, but his family is living in a bigger home than they had in Riverdale and his children are doing well in school. In fact, his oldest son earned 100 on his first Hebrew spelling test.
Getting to Israel has not been a straight path, but Daniel says that what kept his family committed was that they kept their eye on the prize. “We knew that Israel was where our family belonged. So instead of taking big steps, we took baby steps,” said Daniel. “By doing that, we were able to keep our dream achievable.”