Where Are They Now? The Olim of the July 2014 Charter Flight

In honor of the July 2015 charter flight, we checked in with four Olim from last year’s flight – and found them thriving with their family, building successful careers and giving back to the country.

Where Are They Now? The Olim of the July 2014 Charter Flight (photo credit: NEFESH B'NEFESH)
Where Are They Now? The Olim of the July 2014 Charter Flight
(photo credit: NEFESH B'NEFESH)
Eitan and Leah Mosenkis + 2 Kids
Eitan Mosenkis had a plan. He graduated from Brandeis University, got a job as a Software Engineer at Google and was looking for love. He was a Zionist at heart and when he met Leah, his future wife, he made sure to share his desire to move to Israel. Luckily, she agreed. The pair got married, had two children and made Aliyah about a year ago. Eitan transferred to Google in Haifa, and Leah is a full-time mom who is dabbling with the thought of returning to school to study neuroscience. The family of four has no regrets about coming to Israel and is happy with almost everything about the transition. “There is no such thing as an easy Aliyah,” Eitan noted, “but having a job from the get-go made a huge difference, especially combined with dealing with a new language and the culture shock.” The Mosenkis kids are still toddlers and barely noticed the holy move. The family currently lives in Zichron Yaakov with possible plans to move in the future.
David and Jessica Kupferberg + 5 Kids
David and Jessica Kupferberg dreamt of living in Israel, but were uncertain when that dream would become reality. When the pair left their home in San Diego, California to travel to Hawaii for a medical conference on intensive care, the field in which David worked, he was singled out for one reason – his kippah. A stranger was inspired to strike up a conversation with David and invite him to Israel to explore the burgeoning field of telemedicine. Four years later, the Kupferbergs arrived in Israel to fulfill their dream. Since making Aliyah last year, David works to steadily advance the field of telemedicine, while Jessica learns Hebrew in Ulpan and shares her Aliyah stories on her Times of Israel blog. This year, four of their kids will attend the same middle school, and they look forward to welcoming their 18 old year son home when he makes Aliyah. The family lives in Efrat, an active city which has given the Kupferbergs a “warm and wonderful welcome,” and has helped the children thrive thanks to the countless options and activities within their new religious community. Jessica feels “so blessed that we get to live here and be in the heart of the Jewish story.” Wise beyond her years, she also states that “the most important thing you can bring with you is a good attitude.”
Orly S.
Orly Schlessinger was 8 years old when she decided she wanted to make Aliyah. She recalls the exact moment during a visit to Israel with her parents when she saw two strong and beautiful female IDF soldiers walking by, carrying huge automatic rifles. She knew she wanted in. She came to Israel just over a year ago with Garin Tzabar and spent her first three months learning Hebrew. Orly has since completed nine months of army service and is training to become an officer in the Air Force. With an energetic and fresh perspective on Israel, she speaks about how meaningful her service is, not only for herself and her family, but for the Jewish community and its history. There is no doubt she’s seen some difficult times, but her optimistic and all-encompassing attitude towards Israel makes Orly a promising Zionist role model. She recently moved to Tel Aviv and is looking forward to starting officers’ school next month.
Kalman and Barbara Feinberg
There’s one clear reason why retirees Kalman and Barbara Feinberg made the move from comfortable New Jersey to incredible Israel – their grandchildren. The Feinbergs arrived over a year ago with the desire to become more active in their family life and see their kids and grandkids grow up. As retirees, they faced similar challenges as any new Olim. They got their driver’s licenses, overcame medical issues, and Barbara took a year of Ulpan. They spend their time exploring the country, enjoying life, and most importantly, attending all of the family highlights and events. Soon the entire family will gather to celebrate the bubbly pair’s one year Aliyahversary. Barbara mentions that “in spite of the challenges all Olim face, we’ve overcome and acclimated well and are overall happy. We go with the flow.” Kalman offers his piece of advice for any new Oleh – “Come with the mindset that you’re moving to a different country. The culture is different here and you must be willing to accept it.”