By Maayan Jaffe/JNS.org
Susan Friedman proves that it’s never too late to be a pioneer. At the ripe age of 90, she made aliyah Monday on a charter flight through the Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) agency.
“I am going home,” she told JNS.org.
Friedman said she wanted to move to Israel from the time she was 13, when her parents left Germany for a better and safer life in the United States. Her father told her to start in America, and eventually she could move to the Jewish homeland. In 1938, the State of Israel had not yet been established, and her father was worried she would struggle.
Five children, 18 grandchildren, and 37 great-grandchildren later, she is moving to Ra’anana, where she will live in an independent living facility. She has traveled to Israel at least once annually over the last 50 years, including spending time there with her late husband, Prof. Gerald M. Friedman. Today, she has two daughters and their families living in Israel, including her granddaughter Member of Knesset Rachel Azaria (Kulanu).
Friedman said she knows “some Hebrew,” having studied Hebrew grammar in Germany. Her daughter, Judith Friedman Rosen, who was in tears of emotion watching her mother prepare to board the plane, will be in Israel around Passover time for a bar mitzvah and to visit her mother.
“I am ready to go,” Friedman said at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport before departing on NBN’s 53rd charter flight.