Alan Gross, now an American ״עולה״ (new immigrant) living in Tel Aviv, was accused of bringing illegal technology from the United States into Cuba, charged with threatening Cuba’s territorial security, and sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban prison.
After serving fives years in Villa Marista, a notorious prison in Havana known for its detention of political prisoners, he was set free following lengthy negotiations between the Obama administration and the Castros.
After returning home to the United States, Alan decided to move to Tel Aviv to start a new chapter. We’re honored that he has decided to share his incredible, one-of-a kind journey with us. Join us on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 to hear his incredible story and road to freedom.
In the meantime, get to know Alan a little better.
When and why did you move to Tel Aviv?
My wife and I moved into our apartment in Tel Aviv last May. The date of our aliyah is May 3rd, 2017 (Golda Meir’s birthday). Why? A million reasons – I have been working and visiting Israel and surrounding countries for 40 years. I guess I had a Moses moment . . . after 40 years (in the desert) I finally arrived! Besides, our granddaughter is in Jerusalem, and we many friends in Tel Aviv and throughout Israel.
What was your welcome-to-Tel-Aviv moment?
Realizing that I could stumble out of my apartment and find anything I need within a two-minute walk. I’m at the beach in 10 minutes, a cigar store in seven minutes, a wine store in five minutes. In other words, in addition to family and friends, everything I could possibly need is right here.
What’s your best advice for internationals living in Tel Aviv?
A close friend made aliyah 27 years ago. His only advice was, “Don’t look for logic in anything and you’ll be fine.” That was great advice.
Where can we find you on a typical Thursday night?
Anywhere. There is absolutely no shortage of good dining and drinking establishments. I’m not the night-owl type, but if I’m not cooking, I enjoy walking, smoking cigars and drinking single-malt whiskey (not necessarily in that order).
What’s your favorite Hebrew word or phrase?
לָמָה (“why”) and the transliterated version of Citizen Café, of course.