Teen settles into St. Louis life after family moves here from Jerusalem

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The Saville family enjoys a summer day at the Arch three months prior to their move from Jerusalem to St. Louis.

Avital Vorobeychik, Freshman, Yeshivat Kadimah High School

This summer, freshman Dvir Saville moved to St. Louis from Jerusalem with his parents, Aviezer and Irit, and his three younger brothers.

“My dad is an accountant that works for a global accounting firm, and two years ago, [he] was offered to go on a global rotation in the New York branch of the firm,” Saville explained. “The move was frozen when the pandemic broke out, and about eight months ago my dad was told his assignment would not be possible in the New York office because that office remained closed at that time.

“My dad’s then future boss, who lives in St. Louis, asked him if he would like to get reassigned to the St. Louis office as that one was not completely closed. My parents made some inquiries on the Jewish community and schools in St. Louis, and the rest is history,” added Saville.

Saville is attending Yeshivat Kadimah High School where he has seven classmates, which is a big change from wherever his Israeli high school with about 700 students – all boys. His school in Israel also had a very different schedule than American schools.

“We start at 7:15 in the morning, and we finish at 6 at night. We have a recess after every class, it goes from class to recess, class to recess, etc.,” said Saville.

The most impactful, however, is the language and cultural barriers. Saville doesn’t know much English, which makes it difficult to learn like everybody else. He’s still adapting to the culture, but manages.

“In a few months, I think I will know English better, and right now it takes us a lot of time to shop at Schnucks because we have to see what is kosher and what is not,” he said. “In Israel everything is kosher.”

Also, the environment in St. Louis is different from that of Israel.

“Here, we need to take care of the backyard. In Israel, we don’t have a backyard,” he said. “In Israel, we lived in an apartment building, but here we have an actual house. In Jerusalem, houses are rare, most people live in apartment buildings.”

Another thing that is extremely different from Israel in St. Louis, is the weather.

“In the summer here you have rain, but in the summer in Israel, you just don’t have rain. Here you cannot know what the weather will be in a few days. In Jerusalem, you can know one to three days ahead. Here you can’t know,” said Saville.

He may not ever get the hang of the weather patterns in St. Louis, but so far the move has been a positive experience.

“I like the community because the people here are considerate, nice and helpful,” said Saville.

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