Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 10 years ago

My parents are moving to Israel, ugh.?

I'm 19 and I've lived in the UK all my life. My parents have always been very religious and they've now decided that they're moving to Israel in September along with my younger sisters. They want me to go with them, but I'm torn.

I'm personally not massively religious - yes, being Jewish is a part of my identity, especially because there aren't many Jews where I live. Maybe that's why my parents want to move so badly. But anyway, I'm not a huge fan of religion, and I guess I'm an agnostic. I don't want to live somewhere where religion matters so much. I love the fact that the UK is so multicultural. I also have massive issues with the whole Israel/Palestine thing - my best friend is originally Palestinian and I have very different views from my parents, and probably most Jewish people, on the whole issue. And I love the UK so much... all my friends are here, I'm in my 3rd year of studying Architecture which I love. Next year is my year out, so the idea is that I'd work in an Israeli practice next year and then apply to an Israeli uni for my Part 2. But my whole life is here.

On the other hand, they're my family and I can't bear to see them go. I see my sister at least every other weekend, and my other sister's so young, I don't want her to grow up without me. I really don't know what to do and everyone's telling me different things.

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  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    What a truly difficult situation you're in. I can really see how torn you must be. I can't advise - there are arguments for and against whichever choice you make, and there will always be something to regret - but there's a few points I'd make that might be of some use in helping you come to a decision.

    1. Israel is not really a place where religion matters so much. I know what you mean, but a high proportion of Israelis are agnostic or atheist, even though of Jewish background and nominal allegiance. Of course, there are real issues with the places where religion DOES hold sway, particularly in marriage laws - only Orthodox Jewish marriages can be conducted in Israel, but the state recognises marriages and civil partnerships performed elsewhere.

    2. I imagine that your parents would help you visit regularly if you opted to stay in the UK, and you can stay in touch with your sisters using Skype or similar, so it wouldn't be nearly as tough as it might have been a decade ago. If you and they both have unlimited broadband usage, you can actually have them 'virtually' in the room with you on a laptop as you go around your house/flat, and chat in quite a normal way (takes some getting used to, but does work). And then you'd be really close to them despite being geographically distant.

    3. There are quite a number of Israelis who are working hard to support Palestinian rights, who have opposed government policy etc, and you would be very welcomed by such groups.

    I don't know if any of this will help, but don't rush your decision. It IS a big one, and although you can change your mind, it will obviously impact on your university and professional life.

    LIke you, I love the multiculturalism of the UK and although there are parts of Israel (especially Haifa) where there is a bit more communication between groups, it's true that Israel tends to be more divided (Druze, Arab Christian, Muslim, Jew) even though in most communities there is acceptance of the others.

    I hope you find a solution that feels reasonably OK - and you just need to know that there will be a loss as well as a gain, whichever route you choose. That's life....

  • 4 years ago

    I feel bad for you, but unfortunately there's nothing you can do until you're a legal adult. Your parents moved to Israel for whatever reason, and they are your parents - you need to respect their decision and give them a chance. You are homesick, and that's tough - especially at your age. You have a computer, so get busy and set up a myspace or facebook page and keep in touch with your friends that way. Maybe you can work out a deal with your parents to let you spend your summer vacation in the states if you quit bitchin' in the meantime. Whining isn't going to change their mind - moving across the world isn't exactly cheap, and they're not going to just move back because you're stomping your feet and throwing a tantrum everyday. That may have worked when you were a child, but right now you're probably just pissing them off. Cut your parents some slack and be grateful you still have both parents who aren't divorced or whatever else.

  • 10 years ago

    I really envy you! Israel is an amazing place with so much active archaeology and ancient architecture, I would think that you would be fascinated by it. I'd love to see Masada, the ancient synagogue at Sepphoris, the temple mount, and be able to float in the Dead Sea. Israel is as modern as the U.K. or the U. S., with plenty of secular Jews who are no more interested in fundamental Judaism than you are. What a fantastic opportunity! If you pass this bit of good fortune by, you will always regret it. You can study the architecture in the cradle of all western architecture--the Meditterranean. You'll make friends in no time. I've always wanted to see what kibbutz life was like as well. I've been studying Israel and Judaism for years and I'm not even Jewish! Go figure.

  • 10 years ago

    There are many multicultural places. Israel is one of them. And there are many places in Israel where religion is worn as lightly as it is in the UK. Why don't you give Israel a chance and try it out. As a temporary resident you would not be drafted (but might choose to go to the army to learn more about Israeli society) and could finish university before deciding whether to stay or to return to the UK. Even if you accept an Israeli passport you can still hold onto your British passport.

    Ask your parents about what sort of neighborhood in which they want to live. Tell them that you would prefer to live in a mixed neighborhood. There are many in Jerusalem, Haifa, and greater Tel Aviv.

    Good luck

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Shalom!

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  • Living in another country is one of the most interesting things we can do. Go and learn for yourself. Then decide where you want most to live.

    Source(s): U.S. expat now resident in Scotland
  • Caleb
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    If you like where you are, stay there.

    Also I've heard they have mandatory military service there, which means you could end up separated from your family for long periods of time anyway.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Then stay here! Because when the go there... the potential for them to not come back is like life and death what not.

  • Jess H
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    I know you love your family, and it's a hard position to be in to see them go...but frankly, Israel is a pit. Visiting there is fine, but living there is hell on Earth. You will be MISERABLE there.

    Let them go, and visit them on vacations.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    stay in the UK unless you want missiles landing in ur backyard

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