June 11, 2024
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Adena Goldman: Aliyah Provides ‘A Much Fuller Life’

Adena and Dov Goldman made aliyah from Bergenfield on December 30, 2020, with their daughters Shayna, 17, Leora,15, and Atara, 13. Their son Shmuel, 19, joined them a few months later. They enjoy calling Beit Shemesh their home.

Aviva: What schools did the kids go to and what shul did you daven at?

Adena: Shmuel learned at Yeshiva Gedolah of South Monsey, Shayna was in Ma’ayanot, and Leora and Atara were in RYNJ. We enjoyed being members and davening at Beth Abraham.

Aviva: Would you say you had a strong Zionist education?

Adena: Somewhat. The Jewish Federation of West Hartford, Connecticut hosted Israeli students from Afula—our twin city—who we then hosted in our home for Shabbat. I loved talking to the students and hearing about their lives in Israel. Similarly, my parents would always speak fondly of their summer volunteering in a dental clinic on a Kibbutz after they graduated from dental school.

Aviva: Did you take trips to Israel when you were younger?

Adena: The first trip I took to Israel was when I was 15 years old. My parents took us to Israel to celebrate my sister’s bat mitzvah and then I stayed on to explore Eretz Yisrael on Achva Israel. After my first year of college, I spent the summer learning at Midreshet Lindenbaum. It was a wonderful experience studying and living an Israeli lifestyle.

Aviva: Did you decide then to make aliyah?

Adena: No, when I was younger, I didn’t want to make aliyah. I am very close with my family and would never want to be that far from them.

But when our second grade son told us he was going to make aliyah after high school whether we were joining him or not, we had to reevaluate our feelings towards moving to Israel. We decided that we wanted to keep our family unit together, so we bought a home in Israel. It was hard for me to give up my orthodontic practice that I loved so much, our home, and our community, but we felt that if we didn’t make aliyah at this point in our children’s lives, we would not be successful in making Israel feel like home to them.

Aviva: How has the transition been?

Adena: We have been blessed to have had a relatively easy transition as our community is extremely special and has helped to make it a soft landing for us.

Aviva: What’s hard about living in Israel?

Adena: By far the hardest thing is proficiency in Hebrew. I highly recommend all those interested in making aliyah to immerse themselves as much as possible by watching Hebrew shows, participating in an ulpan program, or even using Duolingo.

Aviva: What is work like for you and what do you like to do in your spare time?

Adena: I feel blessed to practice orthodontics in Eretz Yisrael and enjoy working in a multi-specialty private office in Beit Shemesh two days a week. I am enjoying a nice balance between my work life and home life. I love being able to spend more time with my family and also enjoy exercising and hiking with friends.

Aviva: What do you love about living here?

Adena: I love being able to connect to our Jewish history every day, love that we live on Rechov Binyamin, love driving my kids to school and feeling such awe as I look out at the gorgeous Beit Shemesh hills, love the sense of gratitude I have that Hashem planted us here at a time when my children can really feel like they are growing up in Eretz Yisrael.

Aviva: Do you miss anything about living in New Jersey?

Adena: I miss our community, friends, and some of the conveniences of New Jersey but would never trade that for our life here. I have never looked back and just feel lucky to be living in Israel.

Aviva: Do you have a message for anyone who’s considering making aliyah with a family?

Adena: It is important to do your homework to choose the best community and school for your children. Ultimately, do not let the teenage years stop your family from making aliyah. If you feel it is best for your family, know that there is amazing support for you and your children from all those who made aliyah before you.

By Aviva Zacks

 

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