Not Your Ordinary Mandarin Teacher

Rachel K.

Nava Anav

December 16, 2019

If you were to pass her on the street, you wouldn’t immediately think Nava Anav was an immigrant. Having immigrated to Elizabeth, New Jersey when she was only four years old, the American culture is simply infused into her just like the rest of us. Growing up, she learned English from her older sister, so she was more than ready kindergarten came around. 

“She was kinda the guinea pig, thrown into kindergarten first, not speaking any English. By the time I got to kindergarten, I already knew English because I picked everything up from her.”

Having lived in Israel for such a short time, it’s no surprise the states feel a little more like home. She describes Israel as a beautiful country with amazing beaches and lakes, as well as a great place to visit family, but to her the states will always be home. 

“I would love to visit and stay a couple months out of the year, maybe when I retire for the rest of my life, but I wouldn’t want to stay there year-round.”

She loves the seasons and the snow in New Jersey is not quite the same compared to the heat of Israel. There’d also still be a language barrier to her as her Hebrew is, “more conversational.” And while Israel might not be home, she holds a place in her heart for it. Even if her real home is an ocean away, Israel might just feel a bit a like home too. 

“Every time I step off plane, as much as I don’t consider it home, it just feels like coming home. And I would never live there, and I would never move back there, but you know that feeling? That feeling, that first breath you take when you step off the plane and out into the air, feels like coming home. It’s just that feeling.”