• ג'ורדנה בראון בירושלים

    ג'ורדנה בראון בירושלים

    נתן רועי, נתן רועי ©
  • Ryan Alper, a recent oleh from Montreal

    Ryan Alper, a recent oleh from Montreal

    Nathan Roi, The Jewish Agency for Israel ©
  • Yoav Nassau, a recent oleh from Mexico City

    Yoav Nassau, a recent oleh from Mexico City

  • בונים סוכה

    בונים סוכה

    נתן רועי, נתן רועי ©
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Jerusalem: Jordana’s Sukkot Holiday

She made Aliyah to Israel from Queens, NY. And this is her first Sukkot in Israel as a new immigrant. Yes, she always dreamed of coming here. And now, as a student at the Ulpan Hebrew program, she’s celebrating Sukkot in the city she’s always loved: Jerusalem. An interview with Jordana Brown, a blogger at Jerusalem Post, who tells us how her Aliyah dream is coming true in the Ulpan Etzion sukkah in Jerusalem.

Until the last minute, as the holiday draws closer, new Olim at Ulpan Etzion in Jerusalem race to finish building and decorating a proper sukkah.


Shani Kalfa, 25, French-born immigrant from Montreal, remembers her sukkah in her Montreal neighborhood. She explains, in her Parisian French, that Montreal’s Jewish neighborhoods burst with sukkot at this time of the year, but in Israel, in the Jewish land, the atmosphere is different. “In every place that I am, in Jerusalem, there is a sukkah. Here, the atmosphere of Sukkot is everywhere,” she says.

Yoav Nassau, 25, of Mexico City, speaks fluent Hebrew. He came to Israel after five years spent in America, where he completed Boston University, studying economics and international relations. This holiday, Yoav is celebrating alone without a family, as a new immigrant in Israel, but he is determined that time will change that. “I feel connected to this land, and I truly believe this is our place. There’s lots of work to be done here. Life here is meaningful, there’s a sense of community, not just on Sukkot, and I wanted to be part of this atmosphere. My parents accepted this, even though it’s difficult for them – as it is for me,” he says. After years of being an active member of “Noar Hatzioni” Zionist youth movement, Yoav felt he was fulfilling a life-long dream by making Aliyah. For him, Sukkot is an especially meaningful holiday.


Ryan Alper, 29, came to Israel after completing his MBA. Originally from Montreal, he tells me in mixed English and Hebrew that his experience has been one of people and “social cohesion”. “When I studied here for a year, I felt a bit alone, because I didn’t know this place, but my second year in Tel Aviv, I was part of a club for Olim in the center of the city, and got involved with organizations like The Jewish Agency’s amazing Connect Tel-Aviv. Right away, it got more interesting and easier, too. Of course during the holidays it’s a bit sad, because my family is in Canada, but I look forward to when I build a family here, when it will become easier.”


Natalie Lacramo, 21, made Aliyah from Argentina – she’ll be spending the holiday with her parents, who had made Aliyah a year before her. She is hopeful that this Sukkot holiday will open a bright future for her in Israel. She studied hospitality, and she hopes to find work here within her profession and to build a life here in Israel.


Here in Ulpan Etzion, Sukkot for these Olim is a holiday of hope.


For Jordana Brown (Yardena, in Hebrew), this holiday is special. She decided to make Aliyah at the age of 31, alone, and in her eyes, you can see the sparkle of excitement to fulfill her dream of living in Israel. “I always felt that I wanted to be here, and it wasn’t easy, not easy at all, to make the decision. I have no close family in Israel, though distant cousins have quickly become close family here. For holidays I will be with friends and distant relations, that way I feel less alone.”


Jordana studied in a Bais Yaakov, an ultra-Orthodox girls’ school, but grew up in a Zionist family. She has staffed Taglit-Birthright twelve times, and she has been awarded in honor of her devotion and hard work. She insists that here, only in the Land of Israel, can one truly bear a sense of Jewish national pride without the fear of anti-Semitism. “I am saddened when people say that there is a Jerusalem in New York, when there is a Jerusalem for generations and generations in our homeland, the real Jerusalem. I thought that I would raise my children in New York as a passionate Zionist, and never thought that I’d actually move here, but after some further thought, I realized that this is the place for me and my family. I hope to find my life partner here, to build a family here. Sukkot has that deep meaning to it, as a family holiday, and I really hope and pray that it will be so.”


In her blog, published by The Jerusalem Post and The Jewish Press, Jordana writes about life in Israel. She receives letters from all over the world in response to her blogs about the Aliyah experience. “It’s inspiring,” she says with a determined smile. “I love what happens to me here, with all the ups and downs, because I believe this is a dream come true.”

07 Oct 2014 / 13 Tishrei 5775 0
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נתן רועי

נתן רועי נולד ביפו להורים שעלו ב"עליית גומולקה"; בעל השכלה וניסיון של למעלה משלושים וחמש שנות כתיבה תחקיר ועריכה עיתונאית הן בעיתונות הכתובה, בטלוויזיה הישראלית וברדיו (גל"צ); פרסם בישראל 18 ספרים בתחומי צבא ובטחון והחברה הישראלית; מרצה בנושאי תקשורת והיסטוריה הן ברמה אקדמית והן בפני קהל;מחבר תכניות חינוכיות הן בתחום ידיעת ארץ ישראל והן בתחום ההיסטוריה של ישראל; נמנה על צוות ההקמה של "תגלית" ומחבר תכנית היסוד של "תגלית" ב 1995; בעל שלושה תארים : משפטן Llb , היסטוריה ופילוסופיה,תואר ראשון ותואר שני Summa cum Laude; זכה בפרס של תנועת "סובלנות" (1987 ) בראשות נשיא המדינה אפרים קציר ומיכל זמורה-כהן על מאבקו העיתונאי למען חסידי אומות העולם בישראל ומתן מעמד מיוחד להם ולבני משפחותיהם במוסדות המדינה; זכה בפרס של מכון שכטר ( JTS ) בירושלים על הישגיו בלימודי התואר השני בהיסטוריה ופילוסופיה ובמלגה מטעם המכון בסיום לימודיו. נשוי באושר ואב לחמישה ילדים.