The difference direction makes.

The recipe for aliyah success is a complicated set of characterstics; not because what is required but because I think attaining what is required is seeded way before making aliyah.

I’ve mentioned creativity, open-mindedness and flexibility before. One other major ingredient in this recipe, I’ve discovered, is direction.

Now, direction is an ingredient for many successes: making the move from high school to college, making the move from college to being employed, independent and stable. Transitioning to the next stage of life, whichever that is, is a lot smoother if you know where you’re going, why you’re doing it and that you’re equipped.

Which is why, I find it funny when Israeli-borns are so impressed that in three years, I moved here, started a masters, got a steady job, got married, settled in a suburb, etc. They say, “Wow, I know tons of Israelis who haven’t gone that far…” Right. Because direction matters whether you’ve lived here all your life, or just for a few years.

A lot of people make aliyah because they lack direction. Some work it out, some don’t. Some people don’t make aliyah because they have direction and know it’s not in Israel; that’s not being anti-Israel, it’s honesty.

I also wonder if Israeli-borns view us as wealthy Anglos who obviously got this far because we had money coming into it. It couldn’t be more false; we were/are opportunists who are liberal when there is a knock at the door. Anyone can do that too, whether new oleh or vatik.

Opportunism, creativity, open-mindedness, direction, flexibility and honesty. It all works in hand-in-hand when you make it work that way.