#Meet_the_Oleh- Avalon Siegel
Aliyah Date: August 2015
Made Aliyah from Queens, NY
Currently living in Madrid, Spain (also lives in Tel Aviv, Israel)
Avalon has worked in both the public and private sector in Israel, and has mastered the concept of remote working! Keep reading to see how her journey unfolds!
Avalon made Aliyah from Queens, New York just over 5 years ago. Right now during the Corona crisis, she's riding out the time with family in Madrid, but she'll be back in Tel Aviv soon!
Like so many others, Avalon first came to Israel on Taglit. She really enjoyed it and was about to get her Bachelor's from university, and decided she wanted to teach English. So she came back to Israel on a MASA program, and lived and taught English in Rishon LeZion for a year. That really solidified her love for Israel.
She went back home to a boring office job and wasn't happy with the situation. She went to India for a bit and worked for a social media marketing start-up. But she missed Israel, and she wanted to be here. Aliyah was the natural next step! After making Aliyah, she started a Master's in Political Science and Communications at Tel Aviv University.
During that time she learned Hebrew in a non-traditional way. Instead of Ulpan, she learned it from the streets and from a boyfriend and her friends. She now can speak Hebrew fluently and works in Hebrew. A major achievement considering she started from nothing!
When Avalon finished her Master's program, she started working for the very program that brought her to Israel, Taglit. She was a manager there for almost three years, organizing the Birthright Israel Plus trip. It's an extension program after the initial 10 days where you can stay and have a more specific learning experience about Israel. She was managing their flight extensions, recruitment, Latin American marketing, the website- it was a lot! While she loved working in the public sector, she wanted to shift her career into the private sector.
It was then she started working for the Israel Tech Challenge. Unfortunately, like many others during this crisis, she lost her job. She started to search for jobs and she posted to her network, to everyone she knew. A former colleague of hers from Taglit had just started at a company called Cubed Mobile. Through that connection, Avalon got her job as the lead project manager there. She met her goal of finding a job and switching into the private sector- but this is a difficult thing to do.
Avalon says, "People don't always know how to move on from one job to the next. You'll have to go outside your comfort zone. A lot of people in the private sector don’t see how people in the public sector are relatable. You have to know how to transfer your skills and market yourself. If you know how to market to students, you can also figure out how to market to a company. The skills transfer, and can be applicable to a different job!"
She started at Cubed Mobile in June of this year, and the team is all remote, which allows her to be in Madrid. Cubed Mobile itself allows companies to have mobile security for the workers. Through the Mobile Device Management system (MDM), workers' data and technology can be monitored and secured. There's an app for Cubed Mobile that when you open it, a whole separate telephone can be accessed. The same goes for Whatsapp and Facebook. This is super relevant given the work from home nature of the times!
Avalon's challenges of Aliyah differ from most. Only her father is Jewish, so it can be a challenge to be accepted in Israel. Jews from outside of Israel are more accepting of "mixed Jews". They're accustomed to a certain type of mix, Mizrahi, and Ashkenazi, but they're not so used to the idea of a Latina plus Jew. In Israel, there are different rights for people who don't have a Jewish mom. A lot of Avalon's friends have felt obliged to convert in order to "fit" in Israel. While this is a challenge, Avalon is confident in her identity and her place in Israel.
Along with the weather, great food, and beautiful people, the best part of Israel for Avalon is the Israeli attitude. Israelis can do things last minute and it can be annoying but they're able to think on their toes, be more honest, and more flexible.
Avalon's advice for those making Aliyah?
"It's easy to go into a bubble of being with people of the same background as you, but that can be your downfall. It's easy to stay with Americans if you're an American, but the beauty of Israel is the internationality. If you want to integrate into society here, push the boundaries of your friend groups and your Hebrew!"