Independence is a strange concept. We human beings tend to crave it, and one of the signs of healthy maturing is a child’s increasing quest for independence.
And yet …
Last night my twenty-something firstborn paid me a visit. This son of mine has been happily living on his own, with roommates, for the past year. Now he’d like to move, but there are a few loose ends to be tied up first. It’s not easy for him to communicate with his current landlord, who speaks French almost exclusively. In addition, he wasn’t sure how to show that he had paid his share of the bills. Plus, he’d been too busy with packing up his belongings to eat anything yesterday. So my son — who was educated in Israel and laughs at my stumbling Hebrew as he casually peppers his conversation with slang like “achi” and “sababa” — turned to French-speaking, bill-paying, home-cooking Mom for some assistance.
We all want to be independent, but sometimes each of us needs a helping hand, especially as olim in this beautiful, yet often baffling, country. That’s where AACI comes into the picture. AACI can act as our protekzia, explaining rules and opening doors for us as we learn to live in Israeli society. In the beginning, we may rely heavily on counseling to assist us with housing, jobs, legal issues and so on. As we move from being olim chadashim and enter the more independent vatikim category, AACI can become a home base, a social network that we use to relax and connect with other English speakers.
Independent, but connected. That’s a good place to be as we prepare to celebrate the State of Israel’s 64th anniversary of independence.
Enjoy Yom HaAtzma’ut!
YOM HAZIKARON: On Yom HaZikaron, the eve of Yom HaAtzma’ut, we at AACI honor the memory of Israel’s fallen, and pray for a time when there will be no more victims of war or terrorism.
Yom HaAtzma’ut – Independence Day
Achi – lit. “my brother,” similar to English “man” or “dude”
Sababa – awesome
Protekzia – connections, influence
Olim – immigrants to Israel
Chadashim – new (plural)
Vatikim – veteran (plural)
Yom HaZikaron – Memorial Day
AACI Jerusalem – Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center, Pierre Koenig 37, corner of Poalei Tzedek 2, Talpiot MAP
Buses # 21 & 49 stop on Pierre Koenig across from AACI; 71, 72, 74 & 75 stop at Tzomet Habankim, a 10-minute walk away.