by Shana Pogrow, MSW – Director of Parental Guidance Center
Making Aliyah is a dream cherished by many, but for the Cohen family, it was a long-held desire that finally transformed into reality. Their journey, filled with ups and downs, was made possible with the invaluable guidance and support of EPIC Family.
For Mr. Cohen, the dream of returning to Israel had been brewing since his days as a young bochur. Those three transformative years in Israel left an indelible mark, and he yearned to return someday. However, as life unfolded, the dream seemed distant, overshadowed by marriage and the joys of raising a large family.
Mrs. Cohen, on the other hand, was content and settled in their American life. The idea of uprooting the family from their comfortable home was less appealing to her. Over the years, their family grew, and they faced various challenges, including academic and mental health issues among their children.
Two years ago, a significant shift occurred. The political climate in America began pushing the family to reconsider their options. Their older children had settled into their own lives, and Mr. Cohen, who had been battling depression, felt that a move to Israel would bring him the peace and connection he had missed for years. His therapist agreed, and Mrs. Cohen gradually warmed up to the idea, realizing that Israel was where she wanted to raise the rest of her children.
Their journey took a pivotal turn when friends recommended EPIC Family for guidance. The Cohens had numerous questions to address. What type of community would be best for them? Which schools could cater to their children’s unique needs?
A meeting with an EPIC Family team member marked the beginning of their transformational journey. A social worker helped them delve into their motivations, ensuring that this move was in the best interests of both parents and children. The next step was to understand each child individually, considering their academic, emotional, and social needs.
Two of the Cohen children faced specific challenges. One son had academic difficulties, while a daughter had been diagnosed with ASD. EPIC Family’s support was instrumental in deciphering the differences in educational systems and identifying communities that aligned with their values and outlooks.
Fast forward a year, and the Cohen family has successfully settled in Israel. Challenges were inevitable, and some children took longer to adjust than others. However, one thing remained clear: as Mrs. Cohen attests, “This move would have been catastrophic without the support and guidance of EPIC Family.”
Aliyah isn’t just about logistical details like finances and lodging; it’s about navigating the emotional journey. EPIC Family understands this and is committed to helping families find environments that nurture and support while promoting growth and adjustment.
The Cohens’ journey reminds us that dreams of Aliyah can come true with the right guidance and support. EPIC Family continues its mission to empower families like the Cohens to make informed decisions and embrace new beginnings in the land of Israel.