What a week it has been! After departing from Johannesburg, “Mystery Snert” and I along with 60 other Olim made our way to Israel. In true Israeli fashion, our plane was delayed and we eventually landed and were processed as new Olim by midnight Monday. Can you believe that in just a few hours after landing, we were Israeli citizens and had registered for our medical coverage! One Teuday Oleh (immigrant ID book) with a dodgy picture later, we bussed off to Jerusalem and the Ramada Hotel and collapsed exhausted into our beds.
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent organising our lives from our banking to our cells. Naturally I took advantage of a free month’s subscription to the Jerusalem Post. Being without the Blackberry and internet I was starting to have withdrawals for information. It has done wonders for my Blackberry thumb though….
Wednesday afternoon we had a very very moving ceremony at the Kotel (see pic) where we were given our teudat Zehut’s which are our Israeli ID cards. We are officially Israeli citizens. I am wondering if they will revoke mine when they see my driving ………….
I have to say that “Mystery Snert” and I were treated like absolute dignitaries. We have been shmoozed and feted and really have wanted for nothing. I found it highly amusing when I was quoted in Israel Hayom (one of the Hebrew daily newspapers) even though I did not speak to any journalists. I guess that is Israel!
We arrived in Modiin after taking the scenic route (and by scenic route I mean our bus driver had never been here nor did he have directions or a gps so we saw the mall and surrounds about 100 times) we arrived at our new apartment. It is gorgeous and we were so appreciative to see members of Telfed standing on our doorstep with supper and groceries for a few days.
I cannot express how hospitable, warm and fantastic the South Africans have been to us. They have rallied around us and we want for nothing. We have also managed to do a shop, deposit money and argue with the internet provider with our pidgeon hebrew. I have the vocab, Snert the grammar and together we can actually string a whole sentence together! Shabbat was made so special by the Shaff’s and the Tannenwald’s who hosted us last night and today for lunch.
I have to say an enormous thank you to Shimon and the Israel Centre in SA and the Jewish Agency, Misrad HaPnim and Misrad Ha Klita in Israel for rolling out the red carpet.
We miss our friends and family but carry you all with us everywhere we go.