Olimot Corner - Assaf

Shalom, my name is Assaf Rothman Berman, and I recently made Aliyah to Israel from New Zealand to join my Garin, Tof Miriam, in Hadera. Making Aliyah during the war was a tough decision and a hard dilemma I had to deal with. Originally, I had planned to make Aliyah in early October. Tof Miriam had a seminar scheduled, and most of us were in Israel, ready to discuss moving forward together as Tof Miriam.

A few weeks after October, with my Aliyah date postponed, I found myself at home, waiting for the right time to move to Israel. Making Aliyah to Israel this time had much more baggage, and I felt this weight on my shoulders. Who would move to a country during a war? Why would you leave a peaceful country like NZ? Is Israel a safe place for my future?

War and conflict shouldn't be a reality for anyone; however, for some of us, this is what we have been grappling with for most of our lives. If I had only been in Israel a few days earlier, would I have run and booked the next flight home? I hope not. Being with society in Israel during a hard time, I hope, is one of the many ways for me to connect more with Israel and the dilemmas of Israeli society. Tof Miriam needed some energy as we waited for the right time. I felt committing to Israel and my garin at a time like this would be one of many new waves of energy to help grow Tof Miriam. I was ready to book my flight to Israel—done. I was finally going to Israel. I felt ready.

Being here for a few weeks now, things feel like they are back and running after the initial shock of the outbreak of the war. However, I wouldn't be shocked if someone felt like crying. I feel very lucky to be part of the movement where I can speak to Israelis whose experiences can help me understand more and help me shape my own opinions. I am hopeful for my future and Israel's society in the future, and I hope I can be a shining light for those who are currently struggling to see any hope or a plan for where to go next. I look forward to searching and guiding this in the future with my Garin and movement partners.

Aleh Vehagshem.