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

1974 (but made aliya in ’72 at age 16)

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

I was in Bnei Akiva, which had a great influence on me. We came on aliyah as a whole family.

What was your path to aliyah like?

It was not easy at age 16 to leave what you know and go to the unknown. It’s not a good age to make aliyah during high school.

Did you serve in the IDF? 

I did shnat sherut in a developing city. It was difficult but fulfilling.
What is the most challenging part of making aliyah?
Leaving family and friends behind

What do you do professionally?

Registered dietitian

What is your advice for our students today?

Finish high school and then come for a year and decide what you want to do–stay in Israel or go back and get a degree and then make aliyah.

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