Meet Kara, an inspiring mother and partner who found herself swept away by the invaluable opportunities that both parents and children have when being part of a young family in Israel. She has created a beautiful life for her family here and is proud to call Tel Aviv home.
We asked Kara 5 questions so you can get to know her a little better, too.
When and why did you move to Tel Aviv?
In 2017, my family and I arrived in Tel Aviv for a semester. My partner had received a Fulbright Award to teach at Tel Aviv University for a semester, and we wanted our kids to experience life in Israel, learn Hebrew, and get to know their family here. I stayed for a few weeks, and then returned to my job in New York, visiting whenever I could. Of course, one opportunity opens other doors and my partner found herself with an offer of a position at the University of Haifa. Without question, our children were experiencing a far higher quality of life than in the US, and so we made the decision to stay. I went back and forth for a while but that got old quickly, so I quit my job in order to be here full time with my family.
What was your welcome-to-Tel-Aviv moment?
My welcome-to-Tel-Aviv moment was taking my kids to a Static and Ben El concert in Luna Park. The concert was at 3pm. The tickets cost less than 50NIS. Like good New Yorkers, we arrived 15 minutes early, and so we were standing directly in front of the stage. The concert was so low-key, so wholesome, so fun, and so kid-friendly. It reaffirmed my impression that childhood is respected and valued here in a very special way.
What’s your best advice for internationals living in Tel Aviv?
If you’re an international with kids, my advice is to get to know the local pop culture! We watch the local reality TV shows, listen to local pop music on Galgalatz, watch Hadashot (news) on Channel 12. We even went to Eurovision! Even though I don’t understand what’s going on most the time, making a point of watching/listening has given me access to the culture and society in a way that feels authentic and that has certainly allowed my kids to engage with their classmates in ways that help them feel like they belong.
Where can we find you on a typical Thursday night?
On a typical Thursday night, you can find me teaching beginning English to adult refugees from Eritrea and Sudan, through a wonderful non-profit called The Schoolhouse. They are always looking for volunteers! Most Friday mornings, you can find me Shuk HaCarmel eating Shakshuka at “Shukshuka” [no typo there🙂] and doing the grocery shopping before I go home and bake challah. Saturdays are for outings — one of our favorites is to the Sachne.
What’s your favorite Hebrew word or phrase?
In the past couple of weeks at Citizen Cafe, I’ve learned such useful parenting expressions (like, clear the table and clean your room!). But most often, I find myself saying, אין לי מושג!״” (I have no idea!).