#Meet_The_Oleh: Raquella Raiz
Aliyah Date: July 2007
Immigrated from: Teaneck, NJ
Currently living in Efrat
Raquella started out volunteering at a Haredi dance studio during her national service and then found her calling when she founded her video content agency, Qreative Edge. Read about her journey below!
Raquella Raiz made Aliyah from New Jersey, from a home with strong Jewish and Zionist values. That being said…not in her wildest dreams did she think she would make Aliyah!
It started when she came to study in Israel for one year at a seminary. There, along with her deep love for Israel, sparked her passion for dance as well. Before coming to Israel, she studied dance in New York- it was a hobby of hers, and she taught it in summer camps. So what could she do with dance in Israel?
Her parents wanted her to come back to attend college in America. She was able to negotiate to stay in Israel for half a year doing Sherut Leumi during the day and seminary at night. And she found the perfect national service opportunity – volunteering in a Haredi dance studio! Most people who serve in Sherut Leumi work in hospitals and schools – but this path seemed to be perfect for Raquella! This was also a learning opportunity for Raquella in the art of asking.
She went to the owner, and said “I’m looking for a place to do Sherut Leumi, would you take me? And she said yes.” Raquella advice for those in Israel, “If you ask, and ask the right way, you most likely will get what you want.”
his was a pivotal moment in her career. Shortly after, she went to Orot Israel college and got her B.Ed in Dance Education and a teaching certificate from the Ministry of Education. From then on she was teaching hip hop dance – but she realized she had hit the "glass Mehitza" It all came down to visibility. She knew her ambitions were not being met. There was no way to promote herself – but because she was so engrained in the Haredi market, it was difficult to do so. Women are not so visible in Haredi communities – they couldn’t promote their shows with flyers, advertisements, or on social media. If, for example, one of their shows had a standing ovation, there was no way to share this outside of the four walls of the theater!
It was then she had an epiphany – she realized social media is one of her strengths. She understands how to communicate with the world and niche markets through social media. That, along with entertaining people, are her strengths.
She had been dabbling in vlogging about travel and park reviews from her neighborhood, and now was the time to put the experience to the test. She got a job in video marketing and then got fired. But being fired only ignited the flame for her to open her own business.
Raquella opened her own video content agency called Qreative Edge in December 2019. They are always looking for new talent in content creation, graphics, and scriptwriting. She is looking to build something big, driven by creating rockstar content for clients.
Surprisingly, Covid-19 has been kind to her business, because everyone needed to go digital, and her business offers those tools. When the lockdown first began, Raquella stayed quiet and watched what happened. She saw that large companies like Zoom and other leading companies would offer their services for free under certain circumstances. Through that, she started a campaign which was "free video edit". Every Sunday, they gave away a free video editing job for 9 weeks. This lead to many people reaching out to her, and ultimately becoming paying clients.
Raquella says the best part of this adventure has been stepping out of her comfort zone. Learning a new language. She came to a brand new country, learned Hebrew, and worked so hard to learn the culture! Raquella also learned how to ask which ultimately led to her success!
To those making Aliyah, she says, "Immerse yourself in the culture, step out of your comfort zone. Speak the language. Speak the culture. Understand how to not stand in line at the mall. If you come from the culture where you stand there, and the locals don’t, you're going to get real mad real quick. The language of the culture is important."
Raquella has a motto. "Just go!" She says, "Sometimes we overthink and hold ourselves back. If you have an idea that you are confident in, try it. Just go."