Na’ale is a unique educational program, initiated in 1992 by the Israeli government in cooperation with the Society for Advancement of Education. The program brings Jewish high school students worldwide to Israel without their parents in order to attain a high-quality Israeli matriculation certificate that will enable them to integrate fully into Israeli society.
Even in this Covid-19 affected year, Na’ale is continuing to recruit students and place them in welcoming Israeli high schools.
Einat Cohen-Nissan Glen is director of the Southeastern United States region in the Na’ale program. Even though the trip to Israel for new Na’ale students was delayed this year and Einat was unable to accompany them as she usually does, she shares her excitement and pride at being a key member of the Na’ale family..
By Einat Cohen-Nissan Glen
“Ein li eretz acheret gam im admati boeret…” (“I have no other country, even if my land is burning…”)
For the past eight years I’ve been working for the Na’ale program, or as I call it, the Na’ale family. My job as the Na’ale representative for the Southeastern United States has been one of my most meaningful jobs, in which I feel a sense of purpose in my day to day life.
Unfortunately, this year, due to Corona I am unable to accompany the new Na’ale students to Israel but my heart and spirit are with them the entire way. We, the regional managers, normally accompany the families and students, from the moment they contact us, until the moment the student lands in Israel, which, for me, is the highlight of the whole process.
The most exciting moment for a Na’ale regional manager is seeing the children as they land at Ben Gurion Airport and the spectacular welcome ceremonies the schools and dormitories prepare for them. This is something I don’t take for granted. Every year I am moved and shed tears of excitement at this momentous occasion.
This year has been especially challenging because of the situation worldwide. Given the many obstacles, quarantine, and last-minute government decisions, the students could not come to Israel at the beginning of the school year. But even that did not deter them and they stuck to their goal and waited patiently for the long-awaited moment when they would arrive.
I started out by quoting the words “I have no other country” because, despite all of the challenges and despite all of the difficulties, the State of Israel brings its children home and gives them the greatest experience – free high school in Israel with the possibility of free higher education.
I am proud to be a part of the Na’ale family, and there is no greater satisfaction than this, seeing our children move to Israel and be no less excited than we are despite the difficult global situation.
All of us North American representatives, and the entire Na’ale family, wish the new Na’ale students the best of luck with this incredible experience that they chose, and we are happy to say – “Bruchim Habaim Le’Yisrael – And how wonderful it is that you have come home!”