Thursday, July 15, 2004

We Made It (Update 1)

Hi Everyone!!!We made it and are now official Israeli citizens. Whatan incredible few days. We drove over to our oldneighborhood to pick-up Jordan Frankl and his son Maxwho were gracious enough to drive us to NY. We droveup to their house to be greeted by a whole group ofpeople waving and holding a big Israeli flag...what asend-off. We made it to NY in good time with verylittle traffic and then were greeted by balloons andolim of all stripes at the airport. The flight waselectric and the time flew (even thought we barelyslept). The boys were well behaved and Nefesh b'Nefeshdid a great job ensuring that all was taken care of.What can I say, arrival at Ben Gurion was absolutelyamazing. Hundreds of people waving flags and balloonsand soldiers forming two lines from the plane to thehangar. Amazing!! Matan was so excited by thesoldiers that he 'adopted' a nice young air forceofficer named Nir who then held him in his arms andtalked for about 30 minutes!!! Matan was so happy hedidn't know what to do with himself.The opening ceremony was not too drawn out and we werewelcomed by PM Sharon, Bibi Netanyahu, Minister ofAbsorption and Housing Tzipi Livne and other notables. Incredible that these people take so much time awayfrom their jobs to meet a bunch of North Americans atthe airport. It was amazing (even if the kids bothslept through portions of it).Thanks go out to ItayZeman (who missed a lot of work to be with us), theRebibos (notably without Daniel) and Joey Bernstein whoall welcomed us at the airport. If you want to seepictures let me know and I will forward the picturesthat Itay took. For those of you who are interested I was interviewedby Israel National News (www.israelnationalnews.com)and you can probably catch it on-line. Special note tomy mom and Stella Frankl who both got up in the middleof the night to hear us live!!!!It took us a while to get from the airport to our newhome in Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion, but when we didarrive we were greeted by a big sign at the front gatewelcoming the Sussmans to town and more signs from theAbbos on our front gate and front door. The GushEtzion regional council had arranged for beds, linensand some basic kitchen stuff to be waiting for us(along with some food) so we were ready to go.Yehuda was so excited (and jet lagged) that he went tobe on time, but then woke up at 1:00am and stayed upuntil 6:00. When I left the house he was stillsleeping at almost 1:00pm. Oh well, that will all getworked out in the next few days. Turns out that the port workers started a strike todayso we will have to see when we get our stuff. Welcometo Israel!!!!

We hope you are all doing well and we look forward to hearing from you.Love, Romi, Josh, Matan and Yehuda

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