In honor of Israel’s 70th year, we asked our alumni in Israel to share their aliyah story. Read Steve Braun’s (’73) 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?
1984 at 29 years old

Did your experience in high school influence your decision to make aliyah and if so, how?
Yes. The Academy made me more aware of who I was as a Jew and also instilled in me a love for Israel.

What was your path to aliyah like?
I dated and married a girl who also wanted to make aliyah so it made going on aliyah easier. There was no NBN so we were pretty much on our own and had to stand on our own 2 feet and adapt. It was difficult leaving family but we managed to raise a family with 5 kids and 10 grandchildren so far.

Did you serve in the IDF? 
Serving in the IDF made me feel like everyone else and made my aliyah complete.

What has been the most rewarding about living in Israel?
Loving the Zionist dream and literally making and living history.

What is the most challenging part of making aliyah?
Finding a job and housing and surviving a terrorist attack. Sixteen years ago I was in a suicide attack where I was lightly wounded in both of my legs but came very close to being struck by nails and screws. Baruch Hashem, Hashem was looking out for me on that Motzei Shabbat. Without going into details of what I experienced that night and afterwards there were many challenges. Coping with what happened physically and the psychological scars that remain to this day. Getting on with everyday life and not letting the incident get in the way of my relationship with my wife and kids. Yes, life in Israel is challenging but I am extremely grateful that My wife Chaviva and I made the decision to move to Israel. I am 100 percent positive that this was the right move. Israel is the home of the Jewish people and this is where we all belong and my kids have thanked us over the years for moving to Israel and not staying in Chutz L’aretz.

Where do you live now?
Karnei Shomron

What do you do professionally?
I am in marketing and sales.

What is your advice for our students today?
One can always find a good excuse of why you can’t make aliyah. If you live your dream , you too can have a successful aliyah.