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Keren Hayesod’s Support for Aliyah is Transforming Lives – Javier and Dafne’s Story

For Javier and his wife, Dafne, who made Aliyah from Argentina in August 2021, living in a Keren Hayesod-supported Jewish Agency Absorption Center in Israel has been ‘incredible.’

It took just eight months for Javier, 32, and his wife, Dafne, to file their paperwork, pack up their lives, and land in Israel after they decided to make Aliyah from Tucumán, Argentina. Upon their arrival in Israel in August 2021, they spent a week in quarantine in Tel Aviv and then settled into the Absorption Center in Raanana.

“I came to Israel looking for a brighter future, and there’s no better way to be the best version of yourself than by being true to your essence and connecting with your roots,” Javier explained.  “Every stone in this country has a story and we have spent generations speaking about and remembering each of them. America may be the land of opportunities, Europe may be the land of art and culture, but Israel is more than that: Israel is home.”

Located throughout the country, Absorption Centers are temporary living quarters that provide a soft landing and supportive framework for new olim (immigrants) as they acclimate to Israel.

“Living at the Raanana Absorption Center has been tremendously helpful, from the weekly Hebrew lessons on Zoom to the webinars they provided with different professionals,” shared Javier. “For every step we took along the way, The Jewish Agency was there to provide information and support.”

From the moment they decided to make Aliyah, Javier had set his mind on enforcing a “no English-speaking” rule so that he’d practice Hebrew more often; still, there’s more to learn.

“The one thing I’d tell other people thinking about making Aliyah would be to learn as much Hebrew as possible before you come as it’ll make everything so much easier,” advised Javier.

At the Absorption Center, beyond learning Hebrew and accessing various resources to ease their transition, the couple is enjoying getting to meet fellow olim from around the world, developing relationships that make them feel like they are truly building a community.

“Our experience here has been incredible and we’ve met so many people from so many different countries; every day has been an opportunity to meet new friends, and so far it has been a blast,” said Javier. “The people are definitely the best thing about the Raanana Absorption Center, though the location is hard to beat too!”

As for where they’ll live after their time in the Absorption Center, Javier said they’ve yet to make up their mind but it will depend on where they find employment.

“I’m a public accountant and my wife is a rheumatologist so where we get jobs will influence where we live. Close to Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, or Givatayim sounds awesome, as that would put us close to the beach, and those cities are full of young people,” mused Javier. “But nothing has been decided yet since we’ve fallen in love with Raanana as well. We’re just excited to soon be putting down real roots here and making our home in the Jewish homeland.”

Photo provided by Javier