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Will I ever feel like I belong?

My family and I made Aliya 3 years ago! I was 12 and now I am fifteen. It hasn't been easy and I still don't know Hebrew. I struggle in school and my parents aren't so good at helping with school. I have friends but I still don't feel like if I have something to say so someone will listen. I don't know any boys to make my life more exciting and my older brother makes me feel like dirt and he has sort of gone of the derech. My little brother has special needs but he brightens up my days. My parents have changed a lot and when I am older I really don't want to be like my mother is..


So here is my question - why is my brain against learning hebrew and

is it possible for me not to have my mother's awful attitude?

Hi Ashira.

I am so happy to get your question. It seems like you are a very clever girl and I am really glad to see that you are trying to make a change in your life.

So let's try to figure out the issues you brought up:

First, you describe a very complicated situation. On the one hand, you describe a new place and language that you still struggle with. On the other hand, you describe your frustration about your mom's behavior and your confusion about your older brother.


So first, let me calm you down. Making Aliya is one of the big life-changing events that someone can get through, especially at a young age like yours. Anyone you meet who made Aliya faces many difficulties. Some people say it loudly and some don't, but it doesn't mean they don't have some difficulties to deal with.


Every change in life takes time. When you move to a different city or just move to a different school, you usually need to wait some months or even longer until you are fine with the change, while moving to another country and feeling like you belong can even take years.


However, what can we do in the meantime?


So we can choose to make this process easier or even faster.


1. First, how to overcome your struggle with Hebrew?

You didn't write in your question about your school. Have you ever tried to talk to your teacher and tell her about your issues? I'm sure she will be able to help you with the Hebrew by tutorials, etc.


Another idea, do you read any Hebrew books?

This is the best way for learning language. If you have any favorite English books, go and try to find them in Hebrew in the library. It can help you a lot!

2. Second, do you have any good friends? One of the most important things that makes someone feel connected is the company. When you will find one or two good friends, you'll see that you feel more part of the society (I'm talking about Israeli friends, not Ameican). You don't really need to say smart things to them. You can talk about the last movie you just watched, a new dress that you just bought etc. Go and hang out together. I know it's a bit tough in the beginning but then it's so worth it.


3. If you have a youth group in your area, try to go there. Be very enthusiastic about it. It's a great chance to get to know new friends.


4. Try to find chances being with your little brother. You said he has special need, so I assume that he needs you and your help. Try making your relationship stronger. It will let you enjoy time with your family, while having him as your friend.


5. Have you ever told your older brother how you feel about his attitude? Unfortunately, we usually tend to keep our big problems inside our heart, and sometimes people around us don't even know what we feel about them. Try talking to him, find a good time to do it (snacks always make it work!) and tell him how you feel. You can tell him that it's not enjoyable for you and you would really appreciate a change in his behavior.


6. I got the impression that you enjoy being with kids with special needs. If so, you can find an organization to go and volunteer in. There are so many places like "Kav LeChayim", "Lehoshit Yad" (it's very similar to "Yachad" in the u.s). There are many teenagers who go to those places, and I'm sure you will find there great people and you will feel very meaningful.


7. Try finding a counselor/teacher/aunt to talk to her. When we share our problems, it always makes us feel much better. You can share with him/her your questions and let them know how you feel about school or family.


8. Last important thing, try to find more people in your situation. Get into Facebook groups of Olim Hadashim that tell their experiences. It might really help you.

I wish you a lot of luck, and I'm sure you will overcome all your challenges.


If somethings were unclear, feel free to talk to us again. We would love to help you.


All the best,



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