Ali from MITF Tel Aviv + Beit Shean writes about how her experience has impacted her perspective on life and where she'll go next.
“You and you alone are the only person who can live the life that writes the story that you were meant to tell.” – Kerry Washington
10 months ago I packed my bags and moved across the globe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to be a part of something bigger and more meaningful than myself.
This decision, to go on this roller coaster of an adventure, has been the most rewarding, impactful, and challenging thing I have ever done. It takes me back to June of 2020 when I decided I wanted to go to Israel. My friends kept asking me questions, like if I was excited or nervous. I told them I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t allow myself to think too much about it. Oftentimes, I find that our own thoughts can be the thing holding us back from the greatness we are destined to achieve. Just like that, I found myself on a 17 hour flight to a foreign land filled with people who were just like me, Jewish. I was always told that coming to Israel felt like coming back home for the Jewish people. I was skeptical, to say the least. I am someone who had little to no connection to Judaism and did not have many Jewish friends. Whether it’s something in the air, or the magical ambiance that surrounds Israel, I can assure that it really did feel like stepping back home.
From living in Tel Aviv, one of the most booming cities in the world, to Beit Shean, a quaint town engulfed by nature, this past year has brought me so much. For one, teaching children has been such a gift. The ability to create such deep connections with kids who cannot even speak the same language as me, has shown me how powerful love for other human beings can be. Secondly, I have gained so much insight of who I am as a person, how I respond to situations, and even gained professional clarity on what I want to do next. Most significantly, I was able to meet so many amazing people from all different walks of life, learn a new language, go on adventures I never even dreamed of, and met some people who will be at my wedding one day. All of this has been made possible by BINA: Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, and especially the program staff Pnina Ezra, Lin Raveh, and Yarden Rapoport who have been nothing less than supportive and kind throughout this journey.
What’s next for me? This I’m not too sure about. As this year proved, literally anything can happen. But what I do know is that being on this program has sparked my spontaneity and going with the flow nature. I have plans to travel the world and then would ideally like to move to Tel Aviv for a bit to pursue a career in digital marketing. With whatever happens though, I know everything will turn out fine because of how much confidence I’ve gained from being on the program this year.
10 months ago I came to Israel with no friends or family, but merely the aspiration to make connections, help out a community in need, and to evolve as a person. In 1 month I will be closing this chapter of my life and partaking on a new adventure, another new beginning. Whichever or wherever that may be, I know this year has prepared me for whatever life throws at me. The biggest piece of advice I have is that if you ever had any thought of moving across the world to do something, like teach English, just do it. At the end of our lives, we will always regret the things we did not do over the things that we did.
// Ali Goldberg: MITF TLV + Bet Shean