#Meet_the_Oleh Hailey Geltman
Updated: May 4
Aliyah Date: October 2020
Made Aliyah from Long Island, NY
Currently living in Haifa
Hailey got her Master's degree in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa, and then decided to stay and make her life in Israel! Keep reading to hear more about her journey so far.
Originally from Syosset on Long Island in New York, Hailey made Aliyah recently in October 2020! She now lives in Haifa, in the beautiful north of Israel.
She initially came here for her Master's degree, and then her student visa was expiring, so she decided to make Aliyah! In the beginning, Hailey never intended to make Aliyah. She figured she would come here, study, and then go back to America and work at a museum. She says, "It's so cliché, but I fell in love with Israel. I fell in love with Haifa, it is such a welcoming city. It's beautiful, not just in terms of Judaism but there are Druze, Christian Arabs, Muslims, and the experience at the university were so interesting." At the end of her program, Hailey was not ready to leave!
She studied Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa, and so she figured there must be opportunities here in Israel to teach about such a vital part of our history as a country.
Hailey goes on, "In New York, you live to work. Here I feel like you live to be with your family, you work to be with your family. For the time off." Hailey feels that the culture in Israel appreciates life more.
The fact that we have the Jewish holidays off, and that there are opportunities to be at home with family is special to Israel.
Hailey has her Master's Degree in Holocaust studies. While she was studying last year, she also taught English in schools through the Masa Israel Teaching Fellowship. She really loved it, her students were the sweetest kids. She is working at the University of Haifa International School, doing marketing for potential students for their Master's program! She also studies Hebrew in Ulpan. She wants to focus on her Hebrew and work for now -- and Corona is the perfect time for that!
Hailey advises that you should know what you're getting into before applying to jobs here --oftentimes fields don't pay as much in Israel as they do in America. But people don't come here for the money--they come for the lifestyle.
In terms of the challenges of Aliyah, Hailey thinks the hardest part is just being away from family and loved ones. It doesn't get easier, but you don't make Aliyah for these reasons. You have to accept that you might see your family only once or twice a year. Still, she talks to her parents all day, every day.
And the best part of Aliyah? Hailey loves that she learns something new every single day.
About culture, language, religions. She never knew there was so much to learn about Jewish cultures -- her boyfriend is Iraqi and Moroccan, and that opened up a whole new world of Judaism!
"It's going to be really hard, but it's worth it." That's life in Israel!