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Up, Up And Away

Rachel Ginsberg

Ask anyone who's lived in Israel for at least twenty years, and he'll tell you two things: there has been a remarkable advancement in consumer efficiency and product availability, and everything else — you just get used to. But while the western immigrants of the seventies and eighties felt their aliyah was successful when they reached a level of integration — speaking the language, and reading the local papers, many of today’s olim are happy to stay just where they are.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The influx of western aliyah has certainly helped to spark a change in the combined mentality of the conglomerate of people from over 100 countries who built the state. But the new generation of Israelis themselves have become more sophisticated, better-traveled, and because of products and technologies that have brought them into contact with the global community, have lost some of that often aggravating Middle-Eastern-Socialist charm. Ask anyone who’s lived in Israel for at least twenty years, and he’ll tell you two things: there has been a remarkable advancement in consumer efficiency and product availability, and everything else — you just get used to.

And although relatives abroad no longer need to send cases of tuna, soft toilet paper, disposable diapers or aluminum foil because “you can get everything here,” a cultural barrier still exists. Will a chutznik ever really feel Israeli? The acclimation process is ongoing, affecting everything from employment to shopping to chinuch — even your own sense of identity, and your kids’ allegiance.

 

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