I am on a journey, to make Aliyah, and want to share my journey with my family, friends and anyone that is interested. I made the decision to make Aliyah in December 2002 and now I am actually doing it. This blog will chronicle my story and adventures leading up to getting on the plane and then the continuing story of the beginning of my new life in Israel and what I experience once there.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sobering Moment

Even though I know my departure date is rapidly approaching, I know it's close since I can now see the long term forcast for that date. While it has been in the upper 90's here in Columbia with a heat index of over 105. It'l be nice and cool in Washington/Philadelphian next weekend around 84 and downright cold in New York at 80.

Well it's time to get to work on the Garage Sale

Last Shabbat in Columbia is over

I just finished my last Shabbat in Columbia before leaving to head to New York to catch my plane home. My mother is visiting from California. My office relocated this week and getting ready to move personally has truly worn me out.

I led services last night and took a little indulgement and concluded the service with Hatikvah. I also read Haftorah today at services and Kaitlin and Emily led the Torah service. I got to schmooze with lots of my shul friends and reminded them of my open invitation to come visit me in Israel.

Tonight was spent putting the final touches on the preparations for our Garage sale that will start in the early morning, so I will keep this short as I am exhausted and need to go to sleep...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Videos coming soon....Absorption Center Conformation, General comments

I decided to move up from just typing and the occasional still shot. I ordered a digital video camera so I can capture events and more easily put them up on the web. Once on the web I'll be able to easily put them on this blog. So, now you'll get to see more of what happens in greater detail.

Today I received a PDF file with the written confirmation of my reservation at the Absorption Center. I had received confirmation from the shaliach both in e-mail and verbally, but it still a good feeling to see it with a JAFI logo, my name, date of arrival, etc...

I have been selling things that are not going with me or that the kids want or need. Ebay and Craigslist are wonderful things. I am down to just a few bigger thing and all the "chachkies" that I'll try to sell at a garage sale on Sunday. So making progress... Tick tock, tick tock

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A little slack, I know... Name Change

I was looking back over the last week and realized I had another blogable moment that I completely overlooked. Last week I received an e-mail from Nefesh b'Nefesh with a link to an additional part of the online registration. This choice is completely optional but they wanted to know if I was changing my name. Many people stick with their English names, some change to the Hebrew name they were given by their parents and some do a hybrid of a Hebrew first name and their English last (family) name, but written phonetically in Hebrew.

My English name is Matt(hew) Gottlieb
My Hebrew name given by my parents is משה רחמיאל בן גרשון Moshe Rachmiel ben Gershon

The ben Gershon part of my name means son of Gershon, my father's Hebrew first name. My children are ben Moshe, son of Moshe. So if one is good at keeping up with which children are from which father then you can keep this straight.

It is an American thing to have two names before the "ben Gershon", to be like English first and middle names. In Israel they do not have middle names, so the Rachmiel would be confusing in Israel.

So, I have chosen to change my first name to Moshe but keep my last name Gottlieb. All my Israeli documentation will have my Hebrew name as Moshe Gottlieb but all my American documentation will stay as it is now. I'll also have an Israeli document that links the two names so to help to avoid confusion, but in most cases people would only see one set of documentation so there wouldn't be confusion, unless they were looking at both passports or driver's licenses.

So I completed the online request and they will confirm on the plane and when I get my Israeli ID it will have my new hybrid name. Are you confused yet?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cell Phone and a Truck

Today I got an e-mail with my new Israeli cell phone number. It was like wow I'm almost really on the plane. I will also have a US number that forwards to my cell, but the e-mail told me I'd get another with that information.

I also arranged for the truck to move out of my place, two weeks from today! Another week after that I'll be in the air!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Recovering from my whirlwind trip to DC

Tuesday morning I was at the airport at 6:15am to fly to Washington. I flew into Reagan National Airport. I have never flown into that airport before. The experience of landing was amazing. The view of the city was amazing. I could almost reach out and touch the Washington Monument. I can't even imagine how they ever decided to reopen that airport, one small deviation and you are in the city or on top of the pentagon.

I then made my way to a kosher deli near Dupont Circle, Eli's Deli. They had a broad menu and while I was looking for the hot brisket sandwich, I saw the steak fajitas... hmm.... I can make a brisket sandwich, I've never made fajitas. They were very good and that hit the spot. Now to kill a little time before I could check into my hotel... I went to the National Zoo. It was hot and the animals were mostly hiding, but I saw the Elephants, orangutans, hippos, and the small mammals. Went to the hotel and got cleaned up.

Why am I in DC? I came to attend a celebration for the olim processed by the Washington Aliyah office. The event was cosponsored by the Jewish Agency, Nefesh B'Nefesh and the Israeli Embassy. It was held at the embassy and we weren't supposed to disseminate the details as that would be a security problem with the embassy. So about a hundred gathered at the embassy mostly from the DC area, a couple of families from Richmond and myself the lone attendee from SC. The shaliach asked in advance if I would speak at the event and I took the presentation that I presented at my shul, shortened it and modified it to meet the goal of my presentation to describe who I am, how I came to decide to make Aliyah and what am I going to do when I get to Israel.

I met several families that will be on the same flight that I'll be on. I met several young people who are on my flight as well who are going over to immediately join the IDF. I am honored to share my flight with people who put in all on the line to defend the country. I am honored to share the flight with the whole planeload as we are part of the present and future of Israel. Kol Ha'Kavod to us all!

I then went back to the hotel to get a little sleep before having to be in a cab at 4:45 to head to the airport to head home. The flight was delayed in Cincinnati but I was still in my office before noon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I Never Tire of being Inspired

I saw this on the Sussman's Blog (Thanks Romi) and had to make sure my blog readers got to see it as well.

All I can say is watch...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

If you're thinking of meeting me at the airport...

Nefesh b'Nefesh has opened registration for those readers that might be interested in coming to the airport on July 7th to partake in the festivities and greet me when I arrive. You would have to be at the airport by 6:45am, so those of you that can't get up early I guess I have no chance of seeing you at that hour. I would love to see each and every one of you. I have watched all the recorded ceremonies and each is full of ruach, I can hardly wait for my turn to participate!

If you are so inclined you can register at the Nefesh b'Nefesh website.