Jonathan Rulnick is a New England Ramahnik who also participated in Israel Seminar. He made aliyah in 2004.
He wrote to Ramah about his experience and decision to make aliyah. Pride in his Jewish identity, previous trips to Israel with family, and formative Israel experiences such as Ramah Seminar (participant and as staff) and junior year at Hebrew University were crucial factors in his decision to make aliyah, as was his “trailblazing sister (and Ramah alum) who made aliyah before me.”
“My wife is Israeli. We moved here after five years in the US and after the birth of our first son. To raise a family in Israel was a critical factor.
Ramah helped deepen the Jewish and Zionist identity fostered by my parents, and gave it a new social dimension as well–I gained from Ramah life-long Jewish friends of similar background and values.
Ramah Seminar was my first peer Israel trip, and paved the way for my year at Hebrew University. My entire Ramah experience (13 years total including 5 years on staff in New England and Israel) directed me towards a career in education. I had a connection with Ramah alumni (friends of my older brother) who adopted me during my junior year here, and a Ramah colleague and friend as a roommate when I lived here for a year before making aliyah. I am not sure that my Ramah friends made any impact on my absorption here, but it was nice to have friends who understood my aliyah at some level.”