Articles by Bracha Shugarman

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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Dreams Come True: Journey to Bnei Brak: The Aliyah of the Friedman Family


bnei barak

In this time of terrorism, hatred, and incitement against Jewry worldwide, a sense of security is very much lacking in a majority of people’s lives. Where can one turn and receive reassurance? A corner of security however, can be found in the city of Bnei Brak. Known as “a city of Torah,” its great number of giants in Torah grant protection to the city’s inhabitants. As the Chazon Ish promised a few generations ago, “A missile won’t fall in Bnei Brak.”

Located on Israel’s central Mediterranean coastal plain, Bnei Brak has seen much change from its agricultural start in 1924. Over the years, an urban shape took form, and today, there is even a large Coca-Cola bottling factory at its entrance. Bnei Brak also contains a frum hospital, Memayanai Hayeshua.


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Dreams Come True : Journey to Netanya, The Aliyah of the Lehman Family


beach

When I think of Netanya, my mind’s eye goes straight to its beautiful beach. The blue sky, warm sand, sparkling water, and, of course, the waves – crashing against the shore one after the other, each one in harmony with the next but coming in at a different angle. Recently, I had the privilege of spending Shabbos with a most incredible family in Netanya. Similar to the waves of the ocean, the Lehman family has found a home in the welcoming community of Netanya, yet remain distinct.

I meet Dina Lehman by the boardwalk on erev Shabbos. I assume she frequents the beach quite often, but she laughs and says, “People have to bring me out.” When the grandchildren visit, she enjoys the ocean’s beauty with them, but life is busy, and she doesn’t always have the time to relax by the beach. As we sit on a shaded bench next to the boardwalk, with paragliders cruising along the cliff line like giant kites, Dina shares her aliyah story.

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Read More:Dreams Come True : Journey to Netanya, The Aliyah of the Lehman Family