My husband and I celebrated our 50th birthdays by making Aliyah. We didn’t plan on leaving the United States at that stage of our lives. We had kids still in school, a new granddaughter, parents we couldn’t imagine leaving and fulfilling and meaningful careers in life coaching and Jewish education. Things were going just fine, and our goal was to retire in our homeland. It was most certainly a dream, but a distant one and one we comfortably tucked away and put on a shelf called “someday”.
Then Covid hit. Many of us immediately understood on a deep and intuitive level that life is precious, fragile and uncertain. Dreams can’t be tucked away on shelves. We needed to take the leap and activate what we had always said we wanted. Who knew what the future held? It was time to make Aliyah.
Like most olim, we left a great deal behind. Family, work, community, identity, the comfort zone. I felt tremendous guilt leaving my parents, children, and my very first grandchild. I questioned my priorities and ruminated over the decision we had made.
After the move, my restlessness remained. Not only did I feel guilty, but I now felt like a 50-year-old little girl as well! I muddled through the language, dreaded making appointments, and was overwhelmed by the bureaucracy, the Israeli mentality, even the litter on the streets! I pretty much stayed home and laid low. I felt lonely yet didn’t have much desire to get out there and make friends. My inner negative voice was on overdrive. And I was deeply frustrated with myself because, as a veteran life coach, shouldn’t I “know better”?
At the same time, I felt tremendous pride in the choice we had made. Proud American Jews know we’re meant to live in our homeland, but we actually did it. I discovered my backyard – the beautiful Ramot Forest. I hiked and contemplated the awesomeness of being an active player in the great drama of Jewish history. I joined a full-time Ulpan. I coached myself and hired a wonderful coach. I started attending some classes, going to synagogue on Shabbat, and meeting women in the community. I began to understand that while all my feelings were normal, only I was responsible for my own happiness and success in this next chapter of my life.
And the moment I made this subtle shift, I knew it was time to get back into my greatest passion of all – life coaching.
It’s an incredible honor to reestablish my coaching career here in Jerusalem and connect to amazing women who have made the monumental decision to leave the familiar and choose Aliyah. My mission is to support you as you move beyond what’s keeping you stuck, tap into your natural confidence, and realize your full potential in the land you’re truly meant to live in.