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  • Writer's pictureiKonnect

#Meet_the_Oleh Rosie Tourgeman

Aliyah Date: October 2019

Made Aliyah from Miami Beach, Florida

Currently living in Rishon Lezion

Rosie made Aliyah after stumbling upon the exact Master's program she wanted and has been here figuring out life ever since. Keep reading to hear Rosie's unique positive perspective on Israel, and what she is up to now!

Olah Rosie Tourgeman wearing a graduation cap

Originally from Miami Beach, Florida, Rosie decided to move here after doing an internship in Israel right after completing her degree in Public Relations, she came here to pursue an internship for a few weeks in the summer. It really gave her a taste of Israel and living here, and of course, by the end of the internship, she didn't want to leave.

Rosie's Aliyah experience is what she calls "a work in progress." For each part of the story, she was in the right place at the right time. From her Birthright trip to her internship to getting her degree here, it all unraveled.

She had planned to return to America to get her Master's degree in International Relations with a focus in Globalization after her internship in Israel. Randomly, she attended a Cyber Week conference at Tel Aviv University, and there she saw the EXACT degree that she wanted to get from a University in Florida was available at Tel Aviv University, for half the price and half the time, and all in English! Talk about destiny!

Olah Rosie Tourgeman leaning on a fence overlooking the Mount of Olives cemetery

Rosie applied for the program and was accepted. An advisor from Nefesh B'Nefesh recommended that she make Aliyah so she could get aid and support. She never thought that she would make Aliyah, but when she found the exact program she wanted here; it just made sense.

The cool part about her program was getting to connect with students all over the world. She just finished her Master's in Security and Diplomacy and is looking for a job that would merge her interests together. She'd love to work in PR for International companies, or something that connects Israel and America together -- for example, AIPAC, JNF, and the like.

Another factor was that Rosie was dating her Israeli boyfriend long distance beforehand, and once she made Aliyah, they could finally be together. She has been living with him and his family for the last two months in Rishon Lezion. It's a super unique situation to enter -- she has a foundation and a family base here. There are nearly eight people living in the house, so there is never a dull moment!

Olah Rosie Tourgeman standing with her boyfriends family for a selfie

As far as the challenges of Aliyah go, the adjustment of letting go of some things you had in America but might not have in Israel is major. You just have to let go and accept that this is the situation. Another barrier is of course the language, but Rosie is now working on her Hebrew so that makes things easier!

Rosie says that there are lots of best parts of her Aliyah. Of course, having cheaper health insurance or health insurance at all is major! That and the phone bill here is cheaper. Besides those things, she likes that Israel is more practical in certain ways. For example, people don't leave the air conditioner all day, they just use it in the room they're in. And there is a "dud shemesh" to heat hot water. It's more environmentally conscientious.

She says, "Israel is such a small country everyone is so helpful and this is one of the best things. I've reached out to so many people online during COVID times just to get advice in relevant fields. People from all over the country have made time to speak to me, from the North to the South. They’ve given me incredible tips to succeed as an Olah, and finding jobs in the market."

Rosie loves human connection, meeting people, and seeing new perspectives. She explains, "In the USA we can meet people from other places but they're mostly American. Here there are a plethora of cultures. The beauty of this country is lively and pulsating and energetic and it offers something to everyone no matter where you're from, what your cultural background."

She also enjoys that there is a spiritual component in Israel. In America, you can seek out a Jewish community if you want to. But you can see this shining out of everywhere you are in Israel. People of all faiths are demonstrating how they can bring that spiritual aspect into everyday life, and it's incredible. And the history here is incredible! Just the fact that we can make Aliyah and come live in Israel is incredible to Rosie.

As for difficulties? Rosie says that of course, the bureaucracy can be difficult if you're alone. Try to bring a friend or acquaintance with you to these appointments in order to understand everything clearly! The bank, Misrad Haklita, wherever.

Also, if you want to live in Israel -- try it out first. There are so many MASA programs or internships where you can come here for a year and see if it suits you. It's great for your resume, fun to get out of the country, and if you like it, it's a great preparation to live here.

Rosie concludes, "You should plant yourself here, and bloom. You want to make the best out of it. Ask everyone for help, and the worst thing that can happen is that they say no. There is always room to grow."


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