By Aaron Pomerantz & Emily Goldstein
Last Updated 5/22/2023 at 8:45 PM
Tel Aviv: Another chapter in Olim failing to acclimate to Israel has sadly just been written. Yulia the endangered seal came to our shores just weeks ago with high hopes. Yet she swam away yesterday, after an Aliyah process that those close to her describe as “difficult”.
Yulia began her journey with high hopes, with her own Instagram page dedicated to pictures of her “A-Ma-Zing” Israeli breakfast and cats that she befriended in Neve Tzedek. Yet almost immediately, things took a problematic turn. Her interactions with native Israelis proved difficult. At one point a local seal began pestering Yulia and lying about his military service, claiming he was “a Navy Seal“.
Trying to make sense of it all, The Daily Freier was able to reach out to some of Yulia’s friends. “This all happened so quickly. I just don’t understand.” lamented Yulia’s friend Jessica from Ulpan. “Is this because the French are coming next month?”
The Daily Freier also reached out to Yulia’s friend Zachary. “Yulia found a nice place on the beach and settled down. About an hour later, a realtor showed up and demanded 7,000 Shekels because he showed her the rocks.“
Yet there were many in the Community who reached out to Yulia and tried to “make it work” for her. The Daily Freier spoke with a Nefesh B’ Nefesh spokeswoman from their Jerusalem office named Bat Sheva or Elisheva or Just Sheva, and she described her efforts to find Yulia a nice beach on the Kinneret through their “Go North” program. In addition, two young ladies from Chabad stopped by Yulia’s beach every Friday and gave her Challah and some candles. Also, when some guy on the Aliyah Support Group “Keep Olim in Israel” made fun of Yulia’s Hebrew, Liami threatened to kick his ass.
Finally, The Daily Freier reached out to some other sea creatures who left Israel with broken dreams, Ethan and Shoshanna Jellyfish. “This doesn’t have to be the end.” explained Shoshanna. “Maybe Yulia can come back for a MASA program in the Fall.” Shoshanna thought for a moment and continued. “I bet MASA has a program for sea creatures. They have a program for everything!“