Updated: May 5, 2021
Aliyah Date: June 2019 Made Aliyah from New York, NY Currently living in Ramat Gan
Anything can happen in Israel...and you never know where you might meet your soulmate! At a bar, at the beach -- or even in a taxi! Scroll down to read Aggie's story.
Aggie Benichou was born in France and moved to New York when she was seven years old. She's been in America long enough that she definitely feels more American than French, although almost all of her family is still in France.
In June 2019, she officially moved to Israel. Why Aliyah? In college, there were so many free trips to Israel, and Aggie went on them all. She always felt a contentedness that she just couldn't reach in the United States. She felt she needed to be there.
Before making Aliyah, she studied Computer Science and was a software engineer for two years. Now, she's working as a data engineer for 1touch.io.
And, Aggie found love in Israel.
She already had a job set up after graduating from University, but she wanted to take two months off before working and she chose to spend that time in Israel. Her days consisted of ulpan, hummus, beach, repeat. One day on the beach, she befriended a girl doing ulpan homework and they decided to go out to drink at Teder. Once the night was over, she called Gett, and you'll never believe how life-changing that taxi ride was for her.
She hit it off right away with the cab driver, who was an Israeli university student working part-time driving his dad's cab. At the end of the ride, she tipped him five shekels, and he asked Aggie for her number. Aggie had no idea that she was meeting her fiance that fateful night! Her fiance Daniel now jokes "it's the most expensive tip he ever received" given they're planning a wedding now! That's where it all started. They dated for the rest of her two months in Israel, and then she went back to the U.S., and they were still dating. At this point, she still hadn't decided to make Aliyah. She knew she wanted to...she just didn't know when. Meeting her boyfriend (now fiance) changed all her plans. She had a lease for the next 10 months after that in America, so she went back and worked in Boston as an engineer. She would see Daniel every three months -- they met up in Portugal, Israel, and America.
After those 10 months -- she made Aliyah! And they were engaged on Tu B'shvat in 2020.
Aggie's advice for those making Aliyah?
"Aliyah is so hard for everyone. With family, without family. With a job, without a job. With a partner, without a partner.
But a big indicator for me is I never regretted it. Even in the hard moments, I believed it would work out.