May 26, 2024
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Rami Strosberg: ‘Begin Living the Dream’

Rami Strosberg, 42, made aliyah from White Plains in 2019, after spending a pilot year with his family in Beit Shemesh. He grew up in Schenectady, New York and credits his Zionist ideals to his family, his childhood shul and his school.

Aviva: Where did you daven in White Plains and where did your kids go to school?

Rami: We davened at Young Israel of White Plains and the kids went to Westchester Torah Academy.

Aviva: Who did you make aliyah with?

Rami: My wife Debbie and my four boys: Tani, 16; Leor, 13; Eliav, 10; and Moshe, 5.

Aviva: Can you tell me about one of your early trips to Israel?

Rami: My first trip to Israel was with my family, and it was the best trip we ever took. I’m the youngest of five kids, and I was probably eight or nine. We saw the Kotel for the first time, we ate at McDovid’s, we went to Eilat, and we kids went out on our own on Ben Yehuda.

Aviva: Would you say you were raised in a Zionistic environment?

Rami: I was in third grade when I got off the plane that first time and I kissed the ground when I landed here, so I definitely would say that I was raised to be a Zionist. My parents lived here for a year, and both feel deeply connected. My dad’s teen trip was in the `50s before they were allowed to go to the Kotel.

My parents talked about Israel a lot when we were growing up and made sure to put us in Zionistic environments, like shul, schools and youth groups. My parents, my siblings, my rabbis, and my teachers were all tremendous influences on my desire to live in Israel.

Aviva: Did you go on a summer tour and to Israel for the year?

Rami: Yes, I went on an NCSY program and to Yeshivat Hakotel for two years. I’m a musician, and I came back a lot to play for various occasions with Lenny Solomon and Schlock Rock. Lenny also was a major influence on my aliyah, both through his music and his friendship.

Aviva: What are you doing now?

Rami: I work for Yachad and I also play and teach music.

Aviva: When you were dating Debbie, was aliyah a major factor?

Rami: I didn’t think of it that way because it was so obvious. I didn’t ask if she wanted to keep Shabbat either. I assumed she knew we belonged in Israel. I still think if people don’t know yet, they will learn eventually and make aliyah.

Aviva: What was your experience coming for a year to try it out?

Rami: My wife felt it would be best to try it out initially. First, we came for a summer, then for another summer, and then my wife suggested we go for a whole year. As soon as we landed, I knew that we were staying.

No two people are identical or are on the exact same page for everything. When one person is more excited about coming, I tell that person not to give up. Just because you’re not coming today, tomorrow, this week, or this year, doesn’t mean you can give up. Keep talking about it and keep learning about it. Keep yearning.

Aviva: What do you love about living in Israel?

Rami: I love the Ruchniyus and the Gashmiyus. I love that the air is holy and that Torah and mitzvot and Jewish people are everywhere. I love the weather and the proximity to the Kotel. I love the Kineret, the Negev where my sister lives, so many kosher restaurants, the hikes, the way we celebrate, the culture, the music, the fast and furious pace of life, and the melting pot of Jewish brothers and sisters from all over the world.

Aviva: Is there anything you miss about living in New York?

Rami: I don’t want to speak lashon hara about Israel, but the corn on the cob is better in upstate New York.

Aviva: Do you have a message for anyone considering making aliyah?

Rami: Our people have been praying and dreaming about it for thousands of years. If Hashem can help you outside of His land, He can surely help you in His backyard. Living in Israel is like any other commitment in life. It requires work and effort and there are ups and downs, but it’s a long-term investment. Come join us. We will all help you, and you too can begin living the dream.

By Aviva Zacks

 

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