Fact - our Aliyah would never be happening without the support and guidance of friends, family and various organisations. Throughout our whole planning process to date, we have had offers of help in all shapes and sizes. From looking after the kids when packing up to actually helping with the packing – we are REALLY going to miss our support network!
In terms of quashing our worries of ‘what do we do when we actually arrive in Israel?’, the Jewish Agency provided us with all of that information including step by step instructions of where EXACTLY you go from when you step off the plane until you are at your first night’s accommodation. They even factor in contingency plans – for example, if someone is not waiting for you, walk a bit further until you see a phone just before passport control and pick up the handset and wait for someone to pick up. All a bit ‘secret agent-esque’ but this definitely eased our minds about the logistical process.
In the months before our Aliya plans were even a reality, a group of our friends who are equally keen to make the move met regularly in order to discuss different aspects of Aliya such as schools, property, communities etc. This was organised by Habayta and we took it in turns to host these meetings. This was a great way to focus on different aspects of Aliya and gathering useful information about all these incredibly important factors – plus there was always an amazing free dinner (shwarma or pizza – we took it in turns!)
After all the build-up, the planning, the clearing out, the moving, our last couple of weeks in London have finally arrived. Even if we wanted to just slip off quietly, there is no way our family and friends would have let us. The goodbyes are probably the thing that worries us the most as this is the wake-up call that this is happening. It is no longer just an idea in our minds but it is in fact our next step in life.
A combination of a small Kiddush, a British/Israeli themed party and a final drink in the pub made sure we were off on our journey in the appropriate way. Our final shabbatot were spent with our respective families where there were a lot of tears and a few not so hushed whispers of ‘Adina and Rafi can go but they should leave the children’.
A few l’chaims to wish us well on our travels, a few tears from everyone and a lot of everyone getting their diaries out to see when we would be seeing each other next and therefore officially starting the countdown, we are now packed up and ready to go. Bring it on!