"My name is Ariel Goldberg and I am 24 years old. I was born and raised in Samara, Russia. I started learning Hebrew and Jewish History from a young age. In 2008 I went on a trip with my school to Poland and there my feelings about the Jewish People, the State of Israel, and my desire to make Aliyah were strengthened. It was then I decided I would move to Israel and protect our Jewish Homeland.
In 2009 I left my family and friends and made Aliyah with the Sela program. In 2011 I enlisted to the IDF and served as a combat soldier in the Iron Dome Missile Defense Unit. I was a part of all of the operational activities of the unit including reserve duty during operations "Pillar of Defense" and "Protective Edge." I was really happy to serve as an interceptor for the Iron Dome unit because it gave me the opportunity to take action and contribute in a really significant way.
As a lone immigrant soldier reaching my release date from the IDF, I was given the opportunity to join the Wings program. During the initial course I learned about my rights as a released soldier, how to operate financially, how to write a resume, and how to find work. I was also lucky enough to receive financial help from Wings.
My Wings advisor, Sarah, checked in on me during operation "Protective Edge" and made sure that I had everything I needed. She gave me the feeling that someone here is looking out for me and that feeling is really important. The Wings program helped me transition from a new lone immigrant to a proud student and reservist in the State of Israel. I am thankful that I have the Wings program to help me make the right decisions and help build my successful future here in Israel."