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25.12.2023 | יג טבת התשפד

Miriam Krantz

Miriam made Aliyah 3 years ago, served in the IDF Mahal program, volunteers in babysitting evacuee children and shepherding, and dreams about building her future here in Israel

מרים קרנץ

“I grew up in Riverdale, and have been in Israel three years now. I served a year and a half in Mahal, a program in which Jewish youth from overseas volunteer for military service, in the Search and Rescue unit. It was meaningful, but hard physically, as I carried weight of around two thirds of my body; and mentally, as we had long guarding duties, and stayed on-base for long periods of time. It was the best way to learn Hebrew and ease into Israeli society. You don’t have time to think about things, and after a year and a half I suddenly realized I’d completed my service.

“I feel I’m a part of the country, and want to help people. It makes you feel less alone when you help and feel part of something, and it gives you hope. I take part in different activities – babysitting kids who were relocated to Central Israel, helping shepherds in the Shomron area, and driving around equipment. With the equipment, you don’t know exactly where it’s delivered, but with kids, you can see how it helps their parents, and farmers are really grateful.

“I live in Giv’at Shmuel with roommates who are also from the US, and I’m grateful, as we’re all in the same situation. We feel the same, and sometimes we’re a bit lost and alone. I’m not going to leave Israel, but it’s hard to be here without family or a partner.

“I study psychology. It’s a relevant field, no matter what you do, it’s interesting, especially now. I think everyone should learn psychology, even if they don’t want to work in the field.

“My family is happy that I’m at home here in Israel and I’m sure they’d like to join me. They’re also worried. I miss my family, but don’t miss living in the US. My friends from the US who were deliberating about whether to stay in Israel, are now determined to stay. The situation has made them love Israel more.

“In Israel, I feel the country is mine. It’s a strange, powerful feeling, to be connected to a land; when walk around you feel you have a relationship with the earth. My dream is to raise a family here and build a real home and my future here. I also hope that my kids speak better Hebrew than me”.