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In honor of Israel’s 70th year, we asked our alumni in Israel to share their aliyah story.  Read Raichel Cohen Harazi (’02) story below. Click here to return to the whole page of olim who submitted responses.

What year did you make aliyah and how old were you?

2009 age 24

Did your experience in high school influence your decision to make aliyah and if so, how?

Yes, my teachers encouraged me to visit Israel on a summer youth trip that gave me my first Israel experience.

What was your path to aliyah like?

I came to Israel and went back to North America several times before making aliyah because Israel didn’t feel like ‘home’ until I met my (Israeli) husband.  After we got married I knew I could make Israel my home.

What has been the most rewarding about living in Israel?

Feeling really satisfied with a much smaller scale amount of property. Distancing myself from the American cultural drive to have more, bigger, newer things.

What is the most challenging part of making aliyah?

Building a life that feels like “me” even though it’s so different from how I grew up and the things I subconsciously pictured about my future.

Where do you live now?

Kfar Tapuach

What do you do professionally?

I have a PhD in biology and work in a medical research institute for cancer drug development.

What is your advice for our students today?

Learn Hebrew! Get to know the culture: the slang, the music, the movies, your Israeli peers. That’s how you can make Israel feel like home.

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