For Reeni (Friedbauer) and Dr. Daniel Pollack, “all roads have led to Israel.” Both grew up in homes imbued with a deep love for Israel. Family vacations were spent in Israel, artwork from Israel adorned their homes, Israeli products were purchased whenever possible and the strongest message of all came when their siblings made aliyah.
The message was reinforced during their schooling and camping experiences. Daniel, hailing from Belle Harbor, New York, attended South Shore Yeshiva followed by two gap years at Yeshivat Hakotel that fostered his love for the land. After graduation from Yeshiva University, he attended the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, then completed a four-year surgical podiatric residency and currently practices in Queens, Fort Lee and Ringwood. Daniel has authored multiple publications in medical journals.
Reeni is a graduate of Yeshiva of North Jersey and Ma’ayanot High School. Her gap year was spent at Midreshet Moriah and, like Daniel, that time intensified her love for the land. After graduating from Stern College, she pursued a career in special education and currently works in Bergen County as a child development specialist focusing on early intervention. According to Reeni, her many summers at Camp Moshava were pivotal in leading up to her family’s momentous decision to make aliyah. Reeni has been nominated for Mother of the Decade by her family.
Married 13 years, the Pollacks live in Teaneck and daven at Congregation Shaare Tefillah. They are the very proud parents of four sons, whom they named with their big move in mind. Benzion, 11, and Nadiv, 8, are students at Yeshivat Ben Porat Yosef. Adiel, 5, and Itai, 3, attend the Chabad of Teaneck preschool. The first letter of their names together spells BNAI Yisrael.
According to Reeni, she and Daniel realized that in order to raise Israeli children, those children must spend their childhoods in Israel. Initially, the Pollacks will be renting in Chashmonaim where they will be surrounded by current and former Moshava-niks. The boys will be attending local schools that finish in the early afternoon. This will allow them to take advantage of the remaining afternoon hours to pursue and develop outside interests and develop new skill sets. Opportunities to pursue all types of sports, swimming, woodworking, karate and many other activities will be available to them. They are especially excited to be able to continue their ice- hockey playing in Holon and surfing in Eilat.
Reeni refers to her family’s move as a “leap of faith.” However, every so often during their frenetic activities leading up to their move, they experience “emotional moments” when the impact of their life-changing decision to make aliyah “hits home.” One such moment came when, after filling out the multiple forms, the children’s visas arrived in the mail. When Reeni saw her children’s pictures on these documents allowing them entry into Eretz Yisrael, she was truly overwhelmed. “Children, do you realize how many people gave up their lives so that we can live our dream? All we had to do was complete annoying paperwork for the ultimate privilege of living in our country.”
The Pollacks will be joining hundreds of others on the August 14 Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight. They are grateful to NBN for all of their valuable assistance. Daniel will be commuting back to the U.S. while preparing for the soon-to-be-offered podiatry licensing exam in Israel. Reeni will be busy settling the children into their new lives while figuring out her next career move. Joining Daniel’s two famous brothers and their families, as well as Reeni’s brother and family, will no doubt enhance their hopefully smooth and successful klita.
Reeni’s message to the community: “Talk Israel in your homes, visit often and make Israel a priority in your homes.” Daniel’s message is the same as Herzl: “Im tirtzu, ein zu agada…”
By Pearl Markovitz