Meet the Olim Stars – IsraelLife with Ariel Leah Cohen

Meet the Olim Stars – IsraelLife with Ariel Leah Cohen
IsraeLife was founded by three olim with a passion towards the Holy Land. They have settled down and made it their mission to show others how to do it to. By using a social media approach, they publish videos and post articles accentuating the glory that Israel holds. The energy they hold is paralleled only by their love of Eretz Yisroel. Ariel, Jennifer and Eli created IsraeLife to normalize Aliyah and convince all Jews to come back Home.

“We’re more of an adjustment towards living in Israel implanting the idea of what it will be like here and helping whoever needs in making the hard decisions”

First off, could you introduce yourself a little bit?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

Shalom! I am from Oakland, California. I first came to Israel in 8th grade for a visit, and I remember writing in my journal that I wanted to move here someday. I had no reason, just that I wanted to; and when I came for my gap year- I knew I was going to make this dream my reality.

What exactly is IsraeLife?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

IsraeLife is us trying to make other people’s dreams, that they maybe didn’t even know they had, a reality. Social media is a huge part of my doing research. I want to see what something is, and search for it online. I realized you can google any organization, but I wanted to show more of a practical fun side of moving to Israel, a side that shows someone “this is an example of what your life can be when you make Aliyah”. I wanted to start a vlog or page, that showed this future, to give people a tutorial to the future. And that turned into IsraeLife

I hear you are the brains behind creating this page. What was the inspiration? What made you do this?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

When I was in seminary I wanted to make Aliyah purely out of my love for israel. But I wanted to see what this looked like. I had no idea that there even was a community for young people here, and no idea the colleges were normal. I thought every college was in Hebrew with only the option for Hebrew. I had no idea this was something Americans did. I just was unaware. So I went to go visit Bar Ilan, and saw how incredible the campus and life was. I thought this was such a viable option that more people should know about! I wanted to share my experience with the world.

Do you think how you portray life in the videos, is an accurate representation of how life is?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

In IsraeLife everything we film is happening. It’s our everyday life, and non-scripted.

What are you doing now in life, and how do you have time to invest in IsraeLife as a student?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

I am studying psychology at IDC Hertziliya! Sometimes I edit our videos in the car or class, and during my lunch breaks. Honestly, I just love this work, so I think of this as something that is relaxing, and work in my free time as well.

Do people message you with questions or advice about Aliyah?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

I have gotten a few messages about people wanting advice if they can actually do it, when they should, or simply how. I actually hand out quite a few Nefesh B’nefesh business cards! All the fans, they love the videos and just keep asking for more content! We are trying our hardest to keep putting up more and keep the inspiration going.

Have you successfully convinced anyone to make Aliyah?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

Honestly? I don’t know. But, I think that I’ve made the options and idea a little more in their minds. If people are open to hearing things- open to life experiences, and giving themselves permission to be open curious and genuine, then I speak with them. People say I have opened their mind to Aliyah, and it has become more of a viable option. I have talked through with people more practically what it takes, and what the costs are for Aliyah. Just someone to speak with and be a listening ear.

What drew you to invest your time in IsraeLife?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

I honestly talk about israel all the time, and post about it. So why not just made an official FB page?

Who is your main audience which IsraeLife gears towards?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

As of now, are people who live in Israel or on their gap years here, and we are spreading to their friends to America, who haven’t made Aliyah. Yet.

How do you impact Olim?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

I think our main audience, 50% or more, are people who have already decided to make Aliyah, we show them different adventures they can have in Israel- and allow them to feel more comfortable in their choice in Israel to be here. One of my hopes for IsraeLife is to show people that maybe they haven’t tried something, and this is how we want to portray what your life here really could be. Something new that we discovered and want to share with others!

What was your top post or video that really hit the ground, and caught people’s attention?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

The top post was a video of my friend and I taking a trip. It was a mundane every day activity video about going to Ikea going to get appliances we needed. It got quite a large amount of views! It really showed me how people are intrigued by how normal life can be in israel. I think its still a doubt in some people’s mind. Yes, you can do normal things here! Showing something so normal like a trip to the store, aroused quite a few.

Why do you think the views and notice for your videos grew so fast?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

Because Nefesh Shared it! SHOUTOUT to Shara 😉 I think IsraeLife is one of a kind, in the sense that we show what its like to live here by example. That’s the main goal of the page. IsraeLife is trying to made the idealistic, realistic and we want to show that. That’s a new concept to some, and people are craving that.

How do you ensure quality, relevancy, and humor in all the posts and videos?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

Honestly, I spend time watching videos of popular bloggers. I pay attention to their techniques and how they edit their videos. And- I try and stay with the Israel Times news.

What do you find are the most popular posts and discussion points? What do your viewers like to see?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

They like, and want to see, us having fun, and that it’s a real life here, and it’s awesome. When they engage in the posts, it brings feedback. Them tagging their friends makes the post active! People comment on our statuses- which they like because it encourage their friends who don’t live here to make Aliyah.

In your view, what are some of the key personal mistakes New Olim make?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

One must move to the right community with the right people, it’s all about the people no matter where you are. That goes for everything in life. Do your research and surround yourself with people you can connect to and where you can succeed. Once you do that, no matter where you are you will be happy.

Could you give one silver bullet tip for a family or single oleh looking to move to Israel?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

Just do it. Come back home.

Any other exciting plans for IsraeLife?

OlimStars Ariel Leah Cohen profile image
Ariel Leah Cohen:

Yeah! Our ultimate goal is to turn into platform with a bunch of different videos, like Buzzfeed. We want to spread to everyone throughout to just show that Israel, our homeland, is a normal and awesome place- filled with adventures, and great chummus 😊

Devorah Goldson, Social Media Manager & Content Editor of CurrencyTransfer.com, the world’s first global payments marketplace for business and private clients.