Friday, July 15, 2011

Related Health Professions (aka OT, PT, Speech, Dieticians) law changes (again)

Or, Timing Is Everything

I have been amazingly blessed in terms of timing and my aliyah. Here is a timeline, starting from HS graduation (it really starts from there, because that's when I went on Birthright and ended up in

June 2003: HS graduation, leave on Birthright the next day. Decide on the return flight to America that the plane can leave, but I was staying. Plane did not leave my seat on the tarmac. Oh, well.
September 2003: Start getting involved in Birthright alumni stuff in NY, including the Book Club (since defunct). At some point between here and Fall 2005, meet Michah Aron (Cohler), and he sends me a copy of a film he made, "Someday Soldiers," about a man named Yochai Porat who was killed during his work as a medic in the IDF (remember this; it comes into play later).
Summer 2004: Work on Christ in the City (director: Yitz Brilliant) and meet Ben, who left to do JIF (Jewish Impact Films) in LA (did not know that he was leaving to do JIF, just that he left after the first round of filming
December 2005: Participate in JIF (Jewish Impact Films), a 10-day film program in Israel. Before we left, one of the staff members said something to the effect of, "So you're planning on moving here?" to me. I told him no; maybe I could come for a couple of years, but I couldn't leave my family.
Fall 2007: Decide that after I finish OT school I want to go to Israel for a couple of months, because I hadn't been there more than 10 days at a shot. I decide to go to a seminary for a few weeks and then do something else boil it down to Sar-El Volunteer program and the Yochai Porat* Magen David Adom Overseas volunteer program. Talk to people, decide on MDA.
December 2007: Interview for MDA, get accepted. Learn how the Israeli system works: if you don't ask for it enough/make enough noise, nothing happens. The more you push, the faster things move.
February 2008-March 2008: Start the 10-day training course and volunteer with MDA. Make lots of friends and start to acclimate to the Israeli culture .And think about making aliyah. Don't want to leave, but decide to come back for the 88-hour/Natan courses and madrichim.
May-June 2008: Come back. Do the courses, volunteer, teach. Decide I'm making aliyah.
September 2008: Work in the DOE, plan to make aliyah in July 2009. Lots and lots of research, start making contacts in the OT world in Israel.
January 2009: Pilot trip; meet lots of OTs and talk to NBN.
Spring 2009: Realize that I will not have saved enough to make aliyah in July, and push it off until December.
Summer 2009: Start dealing with license stuff; find out that I have to have a teudat zehut in order to get a license...
December 30, 2009: Aliyah with NBN.
January 2010: Start dealing with OT stuff in Israel.
August 2010: Think I have all my paperwork in, and then find out that, no, they need a letter re: my fieldwork hours. But nobody would tell me this unless I asked...Israel...
October 2010: Get my temporary OT license without having to take the exam-- yes!
July 2010: Find out that as of the latest law change, all OT/PT/Speech have to take a licensing exam.

Now, let's explain how this, timing-wise:
If I hadn't gone on Birthright in June 2003, I would not have gotten involved with the BRI Alumni Organization (the pre-Birthright Next group), and would not have met Michah and would not have heard about MDA Overseas.
If I had not heard about MDA Overseas, or if I had just found it without being able to talk to past participants, I would not have volunteered there.
If I had not volunteered there, I would not have had the group of people that I had to rely on when I made aliyah (and still have).
OT-wise: If I had gone to seminary or done something where I was one year behind in terms of finishing OT school, I would have had to take the exam. In Hebrew.
If I had made aliyah straight after finishing OT school in NY, I wouldn't have had my NYS license and would not have been eligible to get "grandfathered" in for my Israeli license.
If I hadn't made aliyah when I did, I would not have been able to get an Israeli license and would not have been able to not take the exam.

It's so amazing to me that I see so much of how I thought things were bad and they really turned out to be right.
For example: I wasn't able to graduate until June 2008 because there was a mix-up with my credits and I never got credit for courses I was exempted from. If that hadn't happened, I would have graduated on time, taken my exam earlier, and would have started working after Pesach, which would have meant that I couldn't be in Israel for the 88-hour and madrichim, and I would not have built up that network and made the connections that I did to enable me to make aliyah.
If I hadn't pushed my aliyah off to December 2009, I would not have had my roommates from ulpan (who are amazing), and I would not be living in the apartment that I am in, in the location that it is.
If I hadn't been in that course/cycle of ulpan, I would not have met the person who gave me the name and number of somebody at Misrad Habriut to sort all my paperwork out.
If I hadn't made aliyah when I did, I would have had to take the exam. And I would have taken it early, which means it would have been in Hebrew.

Thank you, G-d, for everything!

*In case you haven't made the connection yet, the MDA Overseas program is named for Yochai. He was the person who started the whole thing, and after he was killed the program was named in his honor and memory.

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