Coming ‘Home’ to Israel
Aaron Friedman (’03), documented his family’s aliyah this past summer in such great detail that anyone who knows him felt almost as if he or she were tagging along. He, his wife, Ariella, and their two children, Dovid and Danya, moved from Aaron’s hometown of Chicago to Efrat, Israel. On social media platforms, Aaron documented the very beginnings of their emotional journey, from their decision to move through their arrival in Israel. Their story came alive in Aaron’s hundreds of Facebook posts, pictures or questions about daily living in Israel. When asked about publicizing their story via social media, Aaron remarked, “I wanted my family and friends to be a part of this really awesome experience.”
It’s not so surprising that Aaron chose this outlet to broadcast his experience, as he currently works at Kahena Digital Marketing, a digital marketing agency in Jerusalem. There, he serves as the Director of SEO, better known as Search Engine Optimization. He works closely with his clients to build their online presence. More specifically, he helps promote their brand and visibility on search engines like Google or Yahoo. Aaron is always keeping up with new social media platforms and trends. He recently received the “Aimclear wants to clone you” award, given by Aimclear, an online ad agency based in Minnesota.
Aaron feels fortunate to work for an Israel-based agency that employs recent olim. He admits his Hebrew is still in need of improvement, working in an exclusively English-speaking environment, however, he is repeatedly amazed by his children’s ability to speak Hebrew. He laughs when he gets home at night and hears his two-year-old daughter from inside the house shout, “shniya, mee zeh (one minute, whose there)?” He appreciates all of the chagim spent there, how all of the customs and tradition he experienced for a lifetime have now taken on new meaning in Israel. Many cultural elements have been particularly impactful for Aaron – he explains that the sense of community is unique. Everyone has a responsibility in the community; at shul on Shabbat, he sits next to his son’s school bus driver.
When speaking about his desire to make aliyah, Aaron believes his education at Ida Crown and summers spent at Camp Moshava are all responsible for shaping his heart-felt passion to be in Eretz Yisrael. His family has a long-standing legacy at Ida Crown, beginning with his great grandmother, Mrs. Ida Rosen, who was involved in the early years of the school board. His Zaide, Mr. Moishe Rosen and his mother, a board member and past board president, Michelle Friedman, are both alumni.
Aaron graduated proud to say he is a fourth generation alum. Though it’s extremely hard to be away from family, his whole life has led him to this moment. His love for Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael is truly expressed when living the experience. On his last pilot trip to Israel before the big move, Aaron posted on Facebook, “Usually when I leave Ben Gurion airport, I get a little depressed…This time is TOTALLY different. I leave now to get my family and bring them home.”