“Who’s Who in Gabash?” Introducing Our Second Reporter
Simcha: Tell me a little about your background, such as where you grew up, and what brought you here.
Shana: I’m from Baltimore, Maryland, I made aliyah by myself 3 years ago when I was 19, and I’m studying Social Psychology at Bar Ilan University.
Simcha: What have you been doing since then?
Shana: My first year after aliyah I was in ulpan and working on kibbutz Tzuba, which is near Jerusalem. After that, I worked for a year in sales, and last year, I started at Bar Ilan University. I’m currently in my second year of university.
Simcha: Did you know anyone on kibbutz Tzuba going in at the same time? Did you feel alone in the crowd of incoming olim?
Shana: I did not know anyone on the kibbutz. I knew people in Israel, because there were a lot of my friends from high school who had moved here, so it wasn’t a difficult transition.
Simcha: Did you make aliyah straight out of high school?
Shana: No. I did a year of college before I made aliyah. I went to Stevenson College, which is a really small school.
Simcha: What do you see your role as in terms of social work with the olim community?
Shana: Actually I plan on going into communications and marketing, so I would be working with a lot of olim, but in the marketing world.
Simcha: What are tips you would give an oleh chadash looking for their first job?
Shana: It’s important to get a job in Hebrew, because further down the road, employers look for experience working in a Hebrew speaking environment. I work in English now, and I would say that the fact that I have only worked in English has negatively impacted me professionally. Also because it has made it harder for me to adapt and learn Hebrew.
Simcha: Were you in any youth groups in high school?
Shana: I participated in various student organizations. I was in NCSY, a Jewish youth group, and I also participated in student mock trials. I went to many different rallies in Washington DC with my school, for example I protested against a nuclear Iran. I also started a non-profit organization to put on an ice skating show for women only every year that has been going on for ten years now. The show was a fundraiser to help Jewish families in need.
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