Yoni Taragin, 12, has just completed the sixth grade, but instead of planning for another year at RYNJ, this August he will be boarding a Nefesh B’Nefesh flight. Yoni; his parents, Sara and Dr. Benjamin Taragin; and his older brother, Hillel, 18, will be actualizing a lifelong dream by making aliyah, and moving to Beit Shemesh from the Beth Aaron community in Teaneck. They will be joining Yoni’s sister, Elisheva, 20, who made aliyah last summer, and has been doing Sherut Leumi at Beit Issie Shapiro in Ra’anana for the past year.
When his parents told him that they would be making aliyah, Yoni could not believe it. He said, “They had asked me, ‘What would you think if we moved to Israel?’ But I didn’t think they would actually do it.” He even thought it may have been a joke, “My mom does things like that sometimes,” Yoni said.
At first, Yoni was sad to be moving. He has lived in Teaneck his whole life, and he did not want to leave all of his friends. Now that he has had more time to get used to the idea, he will still miss his friends, but he is ready to start this new chapter in his life. He explained, “Once I found out that our new house is going to be much better than our house now, I got excited!”
Yoni is not just excited about his new house, he is also happy that he will be able to go to the Kotel much more often and that he will be living closer to so many of his cousins. When asked if he was also happy about being in the same country as his sister again, Yoni said, “Yeah, that too, I guess.”
After the move, Yoni will be going to school in the Beit Shemesh area. “I heard that everything is taught in Hebrew, but everyone speaks English,” he said. Yoni has been preparing for the language adjustment by practicing his Hebrew with the app Dualingo. He hopes to become more acclimated with the language once he is actually in Israel, and hearing it all around him.
Yoni’s family has always had a strong passion for Israel, and making aliyah gives them the opportunity to convert that love into a new life for themselves.
By Esti Ness
Esti Ness is a student at Queens College and a summer intern at The Jewish Link.