Articles by Bracha Shugarman

Dreams Come True : Journey to Rechavia : The Aliyah of the Even-Israel Family


rechavias

When I think of Rechavia, my mind conjures up an upscale neighborhood in the heart of Yerushalayim with tree-lined streets, green parks, and beautiful, often palatial, buildings surrounded by neat gardens. Although but a few minutes walk to shops, hotels, and restaurants on Keren Kayemet Street, Rechavia is almost purely residential, with a mixture of both secular and religious Israelis as well as chutznikim (immigrants) interspersed throughout the neighborhood. Meni and Liza Even-Israel and their four children are one of the many families living in Rechavia, and Liza graciously agrees to share her story of how they landed there.

Liza Ferszt Even-Israel was born and raised in Los Angeles until age eleven, when her parents decided to move to Israel. Intending to make their move open ended, they did not sell their house or their business immediately. A few years later that they actually made aliyah. Since they had come in 1986, before the first intifada, Liza has happy memories of life in Israel.


Read More:Dreams Come True : Journey to Rechavia : The Aliyah of the Even-Israel Family

Dreams Come True: Journey to Nachlaot: The Aliyah of the Deutsch Family


nachalot

Meandering the quaint, winding alleyways of Nachlaot, I feel transported to an earlier era. This intriguing enclave in central Jerusalem is sandwiched between the busy thoroughfare of Rechov Yaffo, Machane Yehuda shuk, the quieter residential neighborhood of Sha’arei Chesed, and the expansive, grassy Sacher Park. Nachlaot’s various neighborhoods date back to the late 1870s, when overcrowding in the Old City caused a notable portion of its population to relocate. Many artists as well as colorful residents of all types and stripes live here create a mystique and vibe of diversity and inclusion. My curiosity is piqued. I want to know more about Nachlaot and meet its residents.

I head toward the home of Tzvi and Shaindel Deutsch and chat with Shaindel about her aliyah journey over a cup of tea. Shaindel Siskind Deutsch was born and raised in Baltimore until age 12, when she relocated to Israel with her parents and two brothers. The year was 2001, and Shaindel’s parents, Mark and Paula Siskind, had been contemplating aliyah for several years before deciding on the right time to make a go for it. The Siskind children did not make official aliyah together with their parents, so that they would be able to get their own aliyah benefits later on in life if they chose to remain in Israel.


Read More:Dreams Come True: Journey to Nachlaot: The Aliyah of the Deutsch Family

Dreams Come True : Journey to Be’er Sheva: The Aliyah of the Neuman Family


be'er sheva

“Wow,” I exclaimed to my friend as we walked the streets of Be’er Sheva, “this must be the greenest city I have seen in all of Israel!” We had traversed miles of beautiful fields and landscape to spend Shabbos with former Baltimoreans Rabbi Yaakov and Judy Neuman and to check out their community. Now we entertained ourselves exploring expansive areas of green grass among the lovely houses and apartment buildings that comprise this sprawling city in the Negev. I was soon to find other delights unique to Be’er Sheva.

We arrived early on Friday, and after we settled in, Judy kindly served us a light lunch and encouraged us to have some fun and walk to the largest Eco mall in the entire Middle East, only about five minutes from her home. An Eco mall, I learned is an environmentally-friendly mall, where, for example, the light is generated from solar panels, among other innovations. Be’er Sheva, we discovered, has malls and shopping centers galore, lots of culture, museums, as well as ancient archaeological sites.


Read More:Dreams Come True : Journey to Be’er Sheva: The Aliyah of the Neuman Family

Dreams Come True: Journey to Bayit Vegan: The Aliyah of the Epstein Family


bayit

I hop on the bus heading for Bayit Vegan in southwest Jerusalem, only a short ride from my home. As we pass the Yefei Nof neighborhood, with its beautiful scenery, I reflect on a thought I heard this past Shabbos: Heroic figures are not always the best barometer to measure greatness in life. It is the attainment of goodness, often achieved and known only in the depths of one’s self, that defines real greatness. Little did I know that I was about to meet one such person, who traversed seemingly ordinary chapters in her life, but with the faith and outlook that defines greatness.


Read More:Dreams Come True: Journey to Bayit Vegan: The Aliyah of the Epstein Family

Dreams Come True, Journey to Neve Yaakov, The Aliyah of the Hersh Family


neve yaakov

Surrounded by majestic desert mountains, Neve Yaakov lies just north of Pisgat Ze’ev at the very edge of northeastern Yerushalayim. With its warm, friendly, out-of-town atmosphere and its acceptance of variety amidst its chareidi population, it’s no surprise that the growing community attracts many Baltimore families.

Back in the days when Neve Yaakov had fewer residents, Chaim and Ruthy Hersh joined its close-knit community. Raised in Baltimore, Ruthy, whose maiden name is Engles, forged a path for herself as a young adult, and years later merited to plant roots in Eretz Hakodesha. I listen as Ruthy happily shares her story with me.


Read More:Dreams Come True, Journey to Neve Yaakov, The Aliyah of the Hersh Family

Dreams Come True - Journey to Ma’ale Amos : The Aliyah of the Weinberg Family


maale amos

by Bracha Shugarman

Over 20 years ago, Aryeh and Shoshana (Suzanne) Weinberg were a typical young Baltimore family living on Fallstaff Road. What a surprise it was when they picked up and moved to Israel in 1996 with their six children, aged one to almost sixteen. Aliyah, uncommon today, was a rarity then. Shoshana chronicled the family’s experiences at the time in a series of Where What When articles. I now spend a beautiful Shabbos with the Weinbergs in their desert home and find out what has happened to them over the years.


Read More:Dreams Come True - Journey to Ma’ale Amos : The Aliyah of the Weinberg Family