#Meet_the_Oleh Shai Goel
Updated: May 5
Aliyah Date: September 2015 Made Aliyah from Richmond, Virginia Currently living in Tel Aviv
Who would have thought that Shai who came to Israel on a high school program will end up staying, and serving in the IDF as a lone soldier? Shai is also the founder of the Facebook group "Human Support", which brings awareness to... Find out below!
Remember our Oleh Chaya Ticker who went on a program called #Naale? well, Shai Goel came to Israel on the same program.
Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Shai and his twin brother came to the program at the end of 10th grade. They loved it so much in Israel, that they couldn't leave. They returned briefly for a few months before making Aliyah in 2015 and drafting into the IDF in 2016.
Shai joined a basic infantry unit at first, then after finishing basic training he completed a sniper course. He finished his service as Staff Seargent of the Sniper Company.
It almost seemed natural for Shai to make Aliyah, because his dad is Israeli and his sister was already here. It seemed like the next logical step after they had such a positive experience at Na'ale. He couldn't see himself doing anything else.
After the army, Shai traveled a bit with his girlfriend and traveled with his family. He has been working in Tel Aviv at iClimb, and soon he will start studying business management and entrepreneurship at IDC.
The main project Shai has been working on is a group called "Human Support." It's a Facebook group created to bring awareness to childhood cancer. He and his friends from the lone soldier community noticed that cancer research is being defunded, and they said, let's open a Facebook page to try to get people involved in this cause.
They wanted to make an active difference, and have been talking to different organizations about this issue. His girlfriend's father works with children who suffer from cancer, and Shai was talking to him about the issue. Usually, there are many donations, but there has been a large decrease in donations as funds have been diverted to help learn more about the Coronavirus. Statistically, cancer research funding is being cut tremendously, and Shai didn't want to stand idly by. Check out Human Support. His main goal is really to create a community around cancer awareness.
And speaking of community, Shai says that the highlight of his Aliyah so far is the community -- not just the community of Israel but the community he has been welcomed into and the atmosphere day-to-day. His niche community of lone soldiers in Tel Aviv makes him feel really welcome, not like an outsider.
His main tip for those making Aliyah is that you have to try to partake in the culture. It can be hard to blend into society, but he found it was only hard because he wasn't trying. Enter the Israeli mindset!