Updated: May 5, 2021
Aliyah Date: May 2020
Made Aliyah from Kyiv, Ukraine
Currently living in Haifa
He made Aliyah during a pandemic and is making the best of it! Scroll down to read Andrew's Aliyah story!
Andrew Pylypenko is one of our newest Olim; he just made Aliyah in May of this year! Originally from Kyiv, Andrew and his wife came in October for a one-year MASA program. His wife is a doctor, which led her to join the program "Masa Young Doctors by Israel Experience." They also viewed it as their trial period for Aliyah.
Andrew had been to Israel once before he met his wife Yana. He went with his mother to tour the country and to see the holy sites. He liked it then too, and turns out it was one of the first things he talked about when he met his wife! She had just returned from a Taglit trip, and they met in the street and got to talking. They never imagined that they would stay in Israel, but in early February, they decided they liked it in Israel and wanted to move their lives here. They ended up in Haifa, which they appreciate because of the "melting pot" feel there. Christians, Muslims, Jews, non-religious, religious, all living there together.
Because they still are new here, they still have on "rose-colored glasses". so they see each experience very positively. Many of the other people on their program for MASA were unsure about staying in Israel through the Corona pandemic. There have been challenges too. They made Aliyah during a global pandemic, and their cat is still in Ukraine. It's hard to be separated from friends and relatives. The climate is also hard for Andrew, as he grew up in chilly Ukraine! He says, "It's very hot, but the winter was easy for me. I was swimming in January!"
Andrew has an MA in Political Science and before coming here he was working as an analyst on several Ukrainian TV channels. He describes the experience during Corona as actually helping his work, stating, "Ukrainian channels were calling me asking what's going on here. There's also the topic of the Haredim going to Ukraine for Rosh Hashana to Umman. I tried to show the different points of view of Israel.
He's still looking for jobs in PR and journalism -- check out his Linkedin if you have any leads!
Andrew recommends learning Hebrew, of course, if you make Aliyah.
He also recommends keeping modest expectations when you up and move your life to another country. "Be as grounded as it is possible, about the climate, religion, food, transport. It's very easy to stay in your own world, but once you go out you will see all sorts of social groups. It's the reality, and you cannot just stay in your bubble".