By: Anna Kos
JNFU

As I look around my room, there is one thing that catches my eye: Herzl.

On my top shelf I have a small figurine of Herzl looking down on me. It is there to remind me why I am here, why I made it through one month and now onto the second.
I made Aliyah to fulfill my Zionist dream. A dream I only realized I had about 5 years ago when I started to work for JNF Canada. I was always proud to be a Zionist but I didn’t realize the passion I had until I started speaking on campuses across Canada. Whether I was introducing Pioneers like Hanni Arnon or Modern Israeli Heroes like Noam Gershony, talking about Israel and the work they do came easy.

Regardless if people in Israel realize it or not, they are also living the dream that Herzl had. They all are fighting for equality and a better life. You see it in the rallies for the LGBTQ or Druze communities. Hundreds of thousands of people would come together in Rabin Square for a common goal: equality. It is a beautiful thing. Israelis do think it is crazy when people make Aliyah – but I think underneath this, they are proud. The country has achieved so much in the last 70 years. Yes, there are many things that need to be improved but it will get there in time. I think in some ways they are ahead of countries who have had a democratic system for many more years. The care and desire to stand up for others is admirable.  As I write this now, I received two messages from Israelis I met only once offering to help me if I need it. When I receive these messages it feels like a blanket. I am reassured that I made the right choice when I started the process in December.

I will have hard days, but nothing in life comes easy.

In the words of Herzl,  “We believe that salvation is to be found in wholesome work in a beloved land. Work will provide our people with the bread of tomorrow, and moreover, with the honor of the tomorrow, the freedom of tomorrow.”

If you have a dream – work and strive for it. Don’t stop until you get there.