Israel’s ancient heritage and holy sites awaken the spiritual feelings of people belonging to all faiths. Every Oleh can always point to the moments when they experienced that strong connection to the land and its people.

Here is the incredible story shared with us by Scot and his wife Lori who will be returning to the Jewish homeland in just a few months.

 Recently my wife   my wife Lori and I were in Israel on business. Consequently, before going to Israel for business I would have identified myself as being an atheist and had disassociated myself from all aspects of my identity as a Jew. When I arrived in Israel I was definitely not prepared for the flood of feelings that were awoken. I once again felt a sense of my Jewish identity and pride, which I had not felt in over 30 years, as over the next three weeks we visited numerous religious sites such as the Wailing wall, Masada, Yad Vashem, and others.


I actually lived in Israel  for a short stint back in 1987 where I had lived on a kibbutz called Kfar Haruv in the Ramat ha Golan. When on kibbutz Kfar Haruv, I was assigned an adopted family with the attempt of allowing me to have a support system while I was acclimating to the culture in Israel. Consequently, moving forward back into the present, while in Israel I was able to reconnect with my adopted kibbutz family from 30 years prior. It seemed like time had stood still and we were able to pick up our relationship where we had left off. My wife Lori and I were also now able to connect with their once children who were now adults.

Also, while in Israel on our recent business trip, we were able to have many meaningful conversations in regard to life and our collective Jewish identity with many of our Israeli business relationships which ended up blossoming into personal friendships which I am sure will last for many years to come.

The reason behind our initial trip to Israel was to explore opening an Israeli R&D company. While in Israel we met with some of the world’s biggest and brightest scientists who had and have been doing pre-clinical research, animal trials, and human trials utilizing various non psychoactive elements properties of the Cannabis plant called cannabinoids. My wife Lori and our partner opened an Israeli company called Yom Chai which translates into ‘Day of Life.’ Our company, Yom Chai, will be conducting scientific clinical trials in Israel utilizing various cannabinoid, herbal, and terpene compounds. Our goal is to bridge the gap between patients and doctors to bring scientifically validated products to Market globally where applicable and allowed by law to treat various ailments.

Our first series of trials will include Autism, ADHD, Crohn’s disease, and neurological disorders such as ALS and Parkinson’s. Upon my return home to Portland Oregon I started to attend various different denominations of Judaism such as Reformed, Conservative, and Orthodox trying to find the discipline that resonated with me personally. After attending numerous services, I finally contacted my local Chabad temple and started to attend Temple every Shabbat and reestablish my connection with my Jewish heritage and faith as well as establishing a connection with members of the congregation.

My wife Lori and I, after a great deal of contemplation, decided to apply for citizenship (Aliyah) to Israel under the law of return. The logistics of making Aliyah can often be a complicated process, and we are so grateful for  Operation Exodus USA  who has been with us every step of the way.

A few weeks ago we were approved for our citizenship to Israel. Since being notified of our Aliyah approval we have submitted the paperwork for our Israeli visa’s and are wrapping up our lives in America. As each day passes our excitement grows by knowing that in just a few months we will be reconnected with our brethren in the Jewish homeland.


Operation Exodus USA is a Christian organization that exists to assist the Jewish people immigrating to Israel. They are affiliated with Ebenezer Emergency Fund International, a ministry started in the United Kingdom in 1991 by Gustav Scheller. In 2018 Operation Exodus USA Aliyah had assisted 805 individuals and families in making their dreams come true

To learn more about Operation Exodus USA, visit their website at or ask your Jewish Agency Shliach