Off to Miluim

I think it’s best I introduce myself before going off to the reserves.

My name is Avi Zimmerman. I moved to Israel after high school, studied in yeshiva, served in the army, studied in yeshiva, became an Israeli citizen, served in the army, studied in yeshiva (sounds a bit redundant and disjointed – “ein mah la’asot”), studied to be an occupational therapist, worked as an occupational therapist and, as of about a month and a half ago, became the Director of Community Aliyah to Ariel from North America.   

Of course – those are all “techincal stats” of my personal aliyah process, and yet they don’t begin to tell the story of who I am and of what I’m doing in my new position. They don’t even include the most important and pivotal stages of my life – my marraige, the birth of our two children, our move to Ariel and our purchase of a home in Ariel. Strange how we tend to leave out the most important things when we try to describe ourselves. 

The point is that aliyah from North America is not new to me, my family (whose aliyah process is Thank G-d no less successful than my own) or to my friends (each at varying stages of their personal aliyah processes). What I mean to say is that I care. I really do. I’m happy to assist, discuss and, of course, learn.

I must admit – things are very busy here. I’ve really only started at this new aliyah absorption job and yet there’s alot happening. Today we hosted another delegation from Nefesh B’Nefesh. Mayor Ron Nachman dedicated the day to showing the delegates around Ariel – they were very impressed, our at least that’s what they told us. [If you want to hear their take give them a call – Avi Silverman (Education and Communities) and Kim Ephrat (Associate Director of Employment) at the Nefesh B’Nefesh offices.]  

Indeed, Nefesh B’Nefesh isn’t the only organization involved in the Ariel Aliyah scene. We’ve already hosted two delegations from Tehilla, and in two weeks we’re hosting the Jewish Agency. Everybody’s in on this.

As for me – tommorrow I’m off to miluim (reserve duty) for a little under a month. Don’t worry though – we’ve got a bunch of team members holding the fort – volunteers from Ariel who will keep the ball and the blog rolling.

Looking forward to looking forward,

Yours Truly,

Avi 

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