Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Pre-Aliyah nerves

As I sit down to write, my brother and sister-in-law are waiting to board their plane at Heathrow Airport. My brother will have visited World of Whiskies and will have a decent Single Malt or two in his flight bag, my sister-in-law will probably have perfume and trashy magazines for the flight as they make their way to the gate.

This time it's a very different flight however - they have Aliyah visas stamped into their passports and their first stop upon arriving in the country will not be at the baggage carousel but at the office of the Ministry of Absorption.

As they come through to arrivals, we'll be there to meet them - I haven't seen them for over a year and I expect they'll be waterworks - especially from me and the girls - he's a bit more like my Dad who wasn't into men showing emotions.

I haven't lived in the same city as my bro since 1992 and suddenly I'm going to have him around the corner - a great flat, 7 minutes away by foot. I'm incredibly excited for them both to get to know Mrs G better - the few days when we were in England for our engagement and their visit for the wedding were nowhere near enough. They'll be close to several other really good friends which should make the adjustment far easier for them, but yet I'm really nervous.

My aliyah was a straightforward affair; coming straight out of University with little in the way of responsibility meant that I had it relatively easy. I left behind life as a University student for life as an Ulpan student. As a married couple, used to the UK lifestyle and London salaries, their adjustment is bound to be very different - and I think that they'll do well - they're both capable professional people who will find work and earn decent salaries (in Israeli terms), settle into a sun soaked lifestyle (although they're getting a mean welcome in terms of weather) and start producing little sabras.

But what if they don't? What if they fail their licensing exams (they're both medical professionals) and can't earn a living? What of the potential frustrations to which that might lead? Will they find work which is appropriate to their skills and how will they deal with a drop in income? They will be far from their previous home and in particular, my sister in law won't have her family nearby. I've been building on their success leading to the rest of the family following on - but if they end up back in London then I've no chance of having Mum round the corner to babysit.

I'm almost certain that my fears lack foundation and that they'll settle in beautifully - they are confident, come with all the appropriate skills, a few quid saved in the bank, an established crowd of friends to welcome them and good senses of humour. There is no reason why they shouldn't be further examples of successful British Aliyah (which will reach almost 500 by the end of the year).

A new chapter awaits them - I'm excited to be there at the start....


1 comment:

Jeru Guru said...

What a wonderful post.

Hope it all goes well.