NEWCOMER’S Story – Yossi and Debbie Havusha

“When we first arrived to Vancouver from Israel in April 1991, we lived in Coquitlam with my dear sister and brother-in-law temporarily in their newly built spacious home. Having grown up in Ottawa, I marveled at the majestic mountains and could not believe how green everything was. While walking one day around Como Lake with our then three young children, I turned to my husband Yossi and uttered: “Wow, isn’t this beautiful?” To this he retorted: “What is beautiful? I don’t have a job!” One month later, Yossi got a job in a reputable company working as a Computer Engineer. We rented a duplex with orange shag carpeting and furnished our place with used furniture. We wanted to connect to other Jewish people and connected with the Jewish Burquest community. I taught Hebrew in their Sunday school and shared a nanny with the Friedman’s, one of the few Jewish families in the area. This was our start to a new life in Coquitlam, Beautiful British Columbia!

One year later, we moved to Richmond and then six years later, to Vancouver and forged many friendships with Israeli/Canadian families. When our kids were younger, we celebrated Jewish holidays together. Now the kids are older and many have graduated from university and live on their own. However, this group of men who were once newcomers to Vancouver are still playing soccer together for over twenty years. You can find them in the gym at the Jewish Community Centre every Wednesday evening playing a passionate game of Israeli style soccer!”

The Yossilinks team are all newcomers to Vancouver. That is no surprise as many residents of Vancouver come here from other places. In fact, they come here from all over the world. The Yossilinks team hails from a variety of locales including Israel, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Saskatchewan. We all have a unique story to share about how we first connected with the Jewish community in Vancouver.

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