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Wanna see something cool? (hint: it's a book, but it's not by me)

Welcome Home:  My First Six Months Living in Israel, by Akiva Teddy MacLeod

Know what this is?

It’s a book.  But more importantly, it’s OUR book.  Well… I will actually bow out here and admit that it’s my husband’s book.  All I did was edit the thing and write an intro. 

It’s like the difference between being a midwife and actually giving birth yourself.  The lines get blurred a little; you’re both exhausted and covered in goop by the end of the process, but ultimately, I must hand the credit back to him.

Here’s the book description:

How do you write a book about something as momentous as moving to Israel? One Facebook post, one bus ride, one limonana at a time.
In this remarkable journal of one family's transition to a new land, you'll see the daily side of the holy land revealed for all its laughter and tears.

"My wife is in the holy town of Shiloh tonight, no doubt praying and doing holy things. So that means one thing!
Not washing dishes or cleaning up in solitude. No, it means I can listen to my MP3 player in bed way past my bedtime!

Akiva Teddy MacLeod's journey home teeters precariously between the profound and the mundane, and between the banal and the "balagan," sharing the excitement and beauty of life in the Jewish homeland.

And this is the introduction that I wrote for the book, to give you a bit of background on who he is, and how he ended up writing the book.

I’m a writer. Akiva isn’t. He’s a graphic artist and illustrator with a background in animation.

I’d been dreaming about aliyah for over 20 years. Akiva… totally wasn’t. He had no Jewish background growing up (you may have guessed that from the name MacLeod).

So when we decided in 2009 to make aliyah to Israel with our family, he really had no idea what to expect. Sometimes, it turns out, that’s the best way to come: with an open mind and a sense of humour.

“Everybody moves to Israel and drops off the face of the earth,” Akiva said, somewhere over the Atlantic. He loved our family and friends too much to just disappear on them.

After a few months of daily Facebook updates, we realized that all those little posts—along with his own photos and doodles, and a whole heap of new material—added up to… a book.

That’s what you’re holding in your hands.

It's his story, and it's my story... but it may just be part of your story as well. Reading aliyah stories helped me a lot both before and after we made our decision.

Whether you're on the fence, or have already decided to come—for a visit, for a year, for a lifetime—or just wonder about the journey, I hope his book will be a beloved part of your aliyah bookshelf.

I mean it.  I really hope this book will be a special part of your aliyah journey, whether you’re planning to come next week, next month, next year or next lifetime.

Welcome Home:  My First Six Months Living in Israel is available now for Kindle and very, very soon in print. 

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


  1. Hi I'm Bat-el and I work in the Aliyah department in New York, I recently started a blog for our olim to keep them updated, informed, and some what calmer about their new journey to the holy land.

    wow I would love to find a copy of this book, it might be very relevent for our new olim who are planning on making aliyah or are interested in aliyah, is it on amazon?

    1. @Bat-el: It is indeed available on Amazon.
      I have a limited number of review copies to give out, so if you email me your address, I'd be happy to send one along for your own and your office's use / review, not to give out to prospective olim. You can reach me at

  2. Awesome. We just made Aliyah (coming up on one week). My wife and I have begun blogging our adventure ( for our sake and the sake of our family and friends so we do not have to update people with the same stories over and over.

    I find it incredibly helpful and inspiring for people to have stories like these to read while preparing. It certainly helped/inspired us to hear other stories about people. Keep it up you two!

    1. Thanks, Adam. Mazel tov on your aliyah! I agree that it's great to keep family in the loop. I highly recommend the book, even if you're already here. I can do that because I didn't write it. :-)
      p.s. Adding you to my aliyah blog roll (bottom of the page). If you have a blogroll, I'd love it if you could do the same. Reading blogs is also one thing that kept me sane.

    2. I don't have one now. But, maybe I will add one after Shabbat. Definitely plan to check out the book. I wish you and your husband much success with your books, and I hope they inspire lots of people.

  3. I can't wait to read the book!! and I see that I'm sort of mentioned in your "blurb."

    1. Yes, that's right but no specifics of where I stayed there, what we did, etc. It's weird getting a husband's-eye-view of the whole aliyah thing. His experience was apparently totally different from mine.
      (by the way, I did make him get verbal releases from everybody whose name we did use in the book)


I'd love to hear what you have to say.