Journal article Open Access
Aliyah, meaning to rise or ascend, refers to the phenomenon of ongoing predominately Jewish immigration to Israel for religious, sociocultural and idealistic reasons, or to escape cultural and religious persecution. Since research into the current demographic is limited, from both a cross-cultural and positive psychological perspective, the qualitative methodology and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, were employed to explore the lived experience of three women; recent lone immigrants to Israel from the UK or US, aged between 50 and 65. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, with analysis revealing five superordinate themes, common to all participants: life journey, acculturation, transcendence, intrinsic identity, and meaning and purpose. Subthemes were also common to all participants. Findings indicated that cultural adaptation was facilitated by the participants’ perception of Aliyah as a positive psychological intervention; participants experienced greater well-being, despite concurrent difficulties with acculturation, reporting personal growth and resilient coping. Scope for further research is suggested, aiding the development of resources to support acculturation for this and other immigrant communities.