Meet Reena Roshgadol

Meet former Jewish Connection Network staff member and longtime Baltimore resident, Reena Roshgadol (pictured above on the far right along with her husband and two daughters who also made Aliyah previously) who recently moved to Israel. Reena and her husband Shlomo made Baltimore their home for over 30 years. Their hearts, however were always in Israel. In November 2023, they fulfilled their lifelong dream of “making Aliyah.”

Can you talk a little about your connection to Israel?

Shlomo came to Baltimore from Iran where he studied in Ner Israel rabbinic school. Although he stayed in the Baltimore area, the rest of his family emigrated from Iran to Israel. I grew up with strong ties to Israel. I spent many summers and extended visits there, and as early as the 1980s I was considering staying, but ties to family brought me back to the US.

Did you raise your children with the same connection to Israel?

Absolutely. We chose to send our children to Yeshivat Rambam, which was a school with strong Zionist values and following graduation from high school, each of our three children made Israel their home. Making Aliyah was the long-term goal for us as well. After several years of planning, and advice from our daughters, we decided not to wait until retirement to follow them.

How did Oct 7th impact your plans?

When Oct 7th happened, we were obviously thrown for a loop. Many friends and family urged us to postpone our plans, but we knew that despite the awful situation, our commitment was stronger than ever. We don’t have one single regret in that decision.

Although it’s not the experience we thought it would be, there’s no place else we would ever want to be. While are settling into our new home, we are able to support Israel in ways we could never do in the US. We volunteer by picking fruit, helping on army bases, and helping new mothers whose husbands are deployed in the IDF. One of the greatest experiences has been keeping a supply of candy in the car. When we stop at checkpoints, we hand it out to the soldiers keeping us safe. Shlomo was the “candy man” in synagogue and being able to offer this small gesture has been wonderful. The smiles on the faces of these soldiers is like a million dollars.

What do you want Baltimore Jews to know about Israel right now?

Join us! There’s nothing like living here, but if that’s not for you, come and see for yourself what it’s like here. Also, remember the hostages. These are over 130 individuals – not just Jews and not just Israelis who are still being held and tortured. There are people from many countries and yet where is the world’s outrage? There’s a lot of information that doesn’t make the news outside of Israel. Keep in touch with sources in Israel and don’t be silent.

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