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In honor of Israel’s 70th year, we asked our alumni in Israel to share their aliyah story. Read Tal Kohn’s (’05) 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?

2012 at the age of 24

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

Absolutely. My education was very much geared toward Zionism and עליה, and learning עברית בעברית made it much more of a realistic option.

What was your path to aliyah like?

I always thought I would live in the US and visit Israel every year until I won an inspirational weeklong tour in Israel. The tour guide took us all over the country, showed us all of the Jewish history from the תנ”ך, and generally did his עליה sales pitch. I bought in.

Did you serve in the IDF? 

The IDF was actually extremely disappointing and jading. I recommend doing the minimum service and just moving on to your normal life if you come after the age of 21.

What has been the most rewarding about living in Israel?

Knowing that after thousands of years of גלות, I have the extremely special זכות to come home and be an עבד השם in ארץ הקודש.

What do you do professionally?

Project Manager at a start-up

What is your advice for our students today?

Learn Hebrew, come visit, and learn about what Israel means to us as a nation. We have no other homeland anywhere. Think about that. השם wants you in ארץ הקודש. Do everything you can to get yourself ready for that, tell yourself that you’re going to do it, prepare yourself to do it, set a timeline for doing it, never let yourself get tempted to not do it, and come. Just come. Don’t be afraid – every one of your concerns is something someone else has been worried about before you, and there’s always a way to figure it out. You may need some transition time, but it’s short-lived. In the long-run, עליה is the best decision you can make.

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