October 3, 2010 / 25 Tishrei 5771
For Moises Lemor, growing up Jewish in Lima, Peru, meant one thing: Israel. "I came from a really Zionist family," says Moises. "Since I was a little boy I listened to my family talk about how Israel is our country; the country of the Jewish people." He attended a Jewish school and was a leader in the local "Hanoar Hazioni" Jewish youth movement.
But since his teen years Moises harbored one unshakable dream: to make aliyah and live in the country that had been the source of so much pride during his youth. And so at the age of 19 he moved to Israel without his family. His first stop was the Kibbutz Ulpan program at Kibbutz Magaan Michael, which was a life altering experience.
“I have found my place. It's not in Peru or the U.S. or even Australia. It is in Israel."
"I got to know people from around the world and to know myself. It was the first time I was living on my own and I was starting to grow up," he says.
After only one month, he was speaking fluent Hebrew.
"I was on a kibbutz. I was living an Israeli life. I was sure the decisions I had made were the right ones," he says.
After kibbutz, Moises moved to Jerusalem where he studied Hebrew and took other courses at a preparatory program at Hebrew University. He then participated in a Jewish Agency supported pre-basic training program before serving in both the Nahal (combat) and foreign relations units in the army. He received additional support from the Jewish Agency through the "Wings" program for lone soldiers.
Now 24-years-old, Moises has completed the first year of business administration and international relations at Hebrew University. He supports himself by working two jobs, one as a coordinator for Spanish and Portuguese speakers for the Jewish Agency supported Speakers Authority and the other for the Young Knesset program at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.
When he looks to the future, Moises hopes to marry and raise a family in Israel. In the meantime, he devotes his spare time to giving back.
He has worked as a counselor for young Jews visiting Israel from the Diaspora. And he currently volunteers in the Michael Levin Memorial Center for Lone Soldiers.
"I received so many things and I want to give back – both to my country and to other young people starting out here like me," he says.