Updated: May 6, 2021
Aliyah Date: May 2019 Immigrated from: Paris, France Currently living in Tel Aviv
Hugo came to Israel on a #Masa program where he was supposed to learn Personal Training but instead ended up in a Professional Baking course for six months. When he made Aliyah, he started to work in his true field, osteopathy. His story is below!
Hugo Benigeri made Aliyah from Paris, France last year. He decided to come on a MASA program in order to discover the country. Before MASA, his parents had brought him to Israel many times. He had visited Israel but never for an extended period of time.
The process was complicated to start working in other countries, so he started to look into Israel and see if it was possible. Hugo is an osteopath --Osteopathy is a form of medicine that manipulates bones, joints, and tissues to treat the patient. There are osteopaths here in Israel, so it turns out it was not so hard to transfer his degree and to practice here.
Initially, Hugo explored Israel through a MASA program. The one he signed up for was in personal training, with Ulpan and lots of free time expected. Unfortunately, at the last minute, his program was canceled--and here's the twist. He was given the option to go home, or he could join a MASA program in professional baking for 6 months.
He decided to be spontaneous and take the risk. The risk paid off, he really enjoyed the 6 months of baking, and he got to experience Israel and begin to learn the language. The baking was just a bonus! Now he is able to use those skills for fun -- and make delicious sweets!
Before Hugo came to Israel, he worked in Osteopathy for three years. Osteopathy is to solving health issues by trying to get everything in the body to move and flow as well as possible. Joints, muscles, soft tissue, organs. People come for treatment for a lot of reasons. The most common is backache and shoulder pain, although they also come for digestive issues, migraine, and more. They try to cure ailments 100% with a manual technique. If not, they aim to get people to take care of their health before there is a problem. Exercising, sleeping, and eating right.
Hugo says, "People are often disassociated from their health. They want people to take care of it for them when it is often something they should be responsible for themselves."
Hugo was able to transfer over his credentials to Israel fairly easily. He is now practicing here. In addition to home visits, Hugo also works in Clalit clinics in Israel.
So what has been the best part of Aliyah?
Hugo says the best part of his Aliyah is the new circle of friends he has. He says it also stands out to him that "being Jewish is not a thing here." He's not religious, so in France, people couldn't tell that he was Jewish. He always got strange responses or comments for this there, but in Israel, no one cares because we all have this in common!
Hugo advises people living in Israel to work on their Hebrew! "I got lucky meeting my Israeli girlfriend because hanging out with her and her friends really helped me with my Hebrew. If you want to be a part of the country, not just the city, get out of Tel Aviv or find friends that don't speak English. Go for the Hebrew."