Israel vs. America

February 16, 2009
By Esti Nof BRONZE, Stamford, Connecticut
Esti Nof BRONZE, Stamford, Connecticut
2 articles 4 photos 0 comments

I've been asked this question repeatedly ever since my three older siblings moved to Israel to join the army.
Today, I am faced with the most difficult and important question thus far in my life- To follow my heart and to join Israel and the army, or to stay and pursue my academic goals in the U.S. I am emotionally inclined to one place, but recognize the greater opportunities for me in the other. I am forced to dive into the split sea of my identity as an American-Israeli, and I am...stuck.
I was born in Israel but when we moved to the U.S. I grew up exposed to mostly American influences and am regarded (sometimes mockingly!) as the 'American' of the family. Despite this classification I still consider myself an Israeli. In my life I have been surrounded by Israeli culture and maintained an interest in anything Israel-related.
When my siblings tell me about their happiness in Israel, I can't help but yearn for a similar experience. But immediately, I ask myself: "Is it all worth giving up the American dream? If so, then why am I studying so hard now and striving to reach a competitive college here in America? The answer is simple: because living here in America offers me opportunities found in no other place in the world.
I cannot decide which path is "better," and mentally comparing these two countries only increases my love and loyalty for both.

The author's comments:
Writing this piece was very emotional. The issues it explores are still living inside- ready to be solved. An essay question asked me: Who Are You? This was my response.
Thank you.

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