Always Listen to Your Jewish Mama
By Talia Kupferman
Aliyah doesn't always go as planned, especially during a pandemic. Talia Kupferman shares her story in the guest blog below!
June 15, 2017, "How can I be leaving Israel? After an amazing, unforgettable, and inspiring year at Midreshet Harova, I'm going back to America? How can I do this? I have learned so much from my teachers, peers, and family- how can I leave?" I wrote this in my Notes app on my phone and have kept it to remind myself of these emotions and feelings when needed.
This mentality and connection to the land of Israel, the people, and the culture has remained with me throughout my three years at Stern College until this day. I knew Aliyah was in my near future, but in order to be the most successful and best version of myself when I got here, I knew I needed to continue my education in the US before Aliyah. I had, what I thought, was a great 5-year plan: finish college, take a gap year in a fertility clinic while living in Washington Heights with friends, get into a Masters Program for Genetic Counseling and then finally make Aliyah. Well... God and COVID-19 had other plans for me. March 2020 brought me no job prospects, which meant no living with friends, no plans for the year, and a lack of motivation for the upcoming year.
However, it all changed when my mom insisted that I look into volunteer opportunities in genetics in Israel (because at that time Israel's COVID-19 situation was looking bright). I then did a mass Google search and emailed about 50 labs, doctors, and genetic counselors. It only took one kind and welcoming doctor who forwarded my resume to the Center for Clinical Genetics at Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem. Now that I had this exciting professional opportunity ahead, it led me to the school, Midreshet Moriah, where I am a madriha (counselor). This allowed me to live in a great location (two blocks away from my sisters might I add), have an income, work alongside three other fantastic and driven madrihot (counselors), and educate an incredible group of seminary girls. I could never have imagined that I would have ended up in Israel right after college, but sometimes life throws opportunities at you that you feel compelled, and honestly drawn like a magnet, to take. That is exactly how I felt about coming to Israel in the middle of a pandemic. This adventure has allowed me to truly envision my professional life in Israel as I have the ability to shadow English and Hebrew-speaking genetic counselors. I will be applying to Genetic Counseling Masters programs in the US for the Fall 2021 cycle, but I know that my connection and future life in Israel have never been stronger. So, when every Jewish mother says that you should listen to her...I would listen. She just might be guiding your life on a slightly different but brighter path than you may have thought.