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In honor of Israel’s 70th year, we asked our alumni in Israel to share their aliyah story. Read Jonathan (Yoni) Ben-Ari (Katzoff) (’60) 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?

1960 at 17 yrs old

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

I was more influenced by my experience at Hillel Torah and the shlichim there and Rabbi B. Also by my participation in high school in the Israeli summer chetz vakeshet program.

What was your path to aliyah like?

Relatively easy, as my mother was born in Israel and Hebrew was my mother tongue.
Did you serve in the IDF or in sheirut leumi? If so, what was that like?
Yes. I enlisted into the IDF after receiving a B.A. I went through officers training pretty early and served for 12 years in the army.

What has been the most rewarding about living in Israel?

Finding a life partner who had a very similar background as myself.

What is the most challenging part of making aliyah?

Probably the disconnection from family and friends.

Where do you live now?

What do you do professionally?

A government (and army) retiree. Work as a Kibbutz driver in Kibbuts Migdal Oz, Gush Etzion

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