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#Meet_the_Oleh- Yonina Sakols Friedman

Aliyah Date: August 2012 Made Aliyah from Chicago, Illinois Currently living in Givat Shmuel


If you love iKonnect, then you can thank our very own Yonina Sakols Friedman! Yonina deals with website management and QA. AND she is an Olah. How did she find herself at iKonnect? Scroll down to find out!


Yonina made Aliyah just over eight years ago. She was studying in seminary when she realized that going back to America was not an option. She didn't see meaning to being back in America--it was just the feeling that she had to be in Israel.


When she finished her national service in the Israel Museum, she decided to go to university. She enrolled at Bar Ilan University and studied Communications with a minor in Political Science. Coolest job you ever had? I joined iKonnect at the beginning of 2019, before then I worked at two breweries, Oak & Ash, and the Dancing Camel. Yeah, she made BEER!

What started as a part-time job ended up being a full-time job for 6-7 months. "I really liked it -- I got to do the brewing, deliveries, and more, but ultimately I decided to change up my career. "

How did you meet your husband, Yoni? We were on a group camping trip organized by mutual friends. I rented a car with four people, and Yoni, my future husband, was one of the four! I didn't really know him well, but we chatted on the drive to Mitzpe Ramon. I realized then that I liked him -- it was because we had the same taste in music -- hard rock and metal music!

The whole trip, we were talking and learned that he also lived in Givat Shmuel. Because of our mutual friends, we would end up at Shabbat meals together and got to know each other better.

I asked him out first and we had our first date but in the end, it wasn't the right time for us.

But then just three weeks later he asked me out again. By the end of January, we were officially dating, and we got engaged on Tu B'Av that year! Yoni proposed to me at Mitzpe Ramon where we had first met...so romantic!

The world is such a small place. Yoni's grandfather lived one building over from Yonina's National service apartment-- but they never met! To think they could have met 7-8 years before their first encounter. Crazy!

Goes to show that timing is everything!

How did you get to iKonnect? I joined iKonnect last year, and while I dabbled in content writing and QA, mainly I deal with website management! What is your biggest tip for new Olim?

Maybe this won't be original since I saw many of the Olim we have interviewed here say this-- but I couldn't agree more, learn the language when you come here! Other tips ♦ Everyone learns at their own pace, take your time. ♦ Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. ♦ Situations can get out of hand if you don’t deal with them. ♦ In Israel, there are so many amazing and kind people and everyone wants to help, just find out who you can ask (Facebook groups, neighbors, and other Olim).

Coming to Israel you become very independent--you grow up quickly. This helps you be more confident in your choices and you really learn how to handle life. Yes, it is harder in a different language, but so many people managed to immerse themselves fully, and I am amazed and so proud to be in Israel.


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