Part of that world: A ‘moving’ tale

By Dorith Misrahi

Very early in my adolescence, I was already fascinated by America. For Europeans, the continent is synonymous with wide open spaces, success, power, adventure . . . This is the New World, where anything is possible. The lifestyle of Americans enthralled me. I wanted to be part of that world.

Over the years, I looked into the possibilities of immigration, but there were obstacles. I was a pharmacist, but my profession was not in demand at that time. But I never lost hope. At the age of 23, I traveled to the United States to improve my English. I continued to look into the possibilities that were available to me in my field. Dreaming of one day getting a job at a multinational that would open the doors to North America, I decided to reorient myself in the pharmaceutical industry.

In 2003, for the first time, Quebec opened its borders to pharmacists. I immediately began the process of obtaining a permanent resident visa. In May 2006, I took an exploratory trip and met with professionals from Ometz employment and settlement services. I wanted to get as much information as possible on the labour market, housing, community life and education, as well as the administrative framework, like the banking system and health system. That trip was invaluable.

In October 2006, I left France. However before launching into the adventure, since my diploma in pharmacy was not recognized in Quebec, I made sure to perfect my knowledge in the pharmaceutical field. Once in Montreal, I contacted Ometz. This is where, under wise guidance, I was able to focus on my job search through workshops on writing a CV and interviewing techniques, among other things. I also participated in networking events designed to match up immigrants who were professionals with Canadian employers.

14,000

Today, Canada offers 14,000 positions to French youths annually; in recent years, this quota has been filled within 12 working days.

I started off working as a lab technician in a pharmacy. This experience served me greatly during my job interviews. Then in 2007, I truly entered the labour market. From then on, with my income assured, I focused on my social and community life. Yael Soussana introduced me to the Ometz Young Adults Group. With them, I participated in a kosher barbecue at the Beach Club, the Bromont Chocolate Fest, a visit to the Hôtel de Glace (Quebec City’s Ice Hotel), Chanukah festivities, and much more. Gradually, as time went on, my social network grew. Subsequently, I became active in Le Cercle, the Chabad and the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of Montreal. I have volunteered in the Jewish community by serving meals at Le Café and, in 2011, I took part in the Lashonara play presented as part of the Quinzaine Sépharade. In addition, wishing to integrate myself into Quebec society, I became a member of Ensemble Vocal Katimavik in 2010.

It goes without saying that immigration to a new country is not an easy decision. Nothing is a foregone conclusion. You have to prepare carefully, because the obstacles to integration are numerous.

On February 29, 2012, after five years in Canada, I received Canadian citizenship. An unforgettable moment! I can honestly say that I have thrived in Canada, because I feel perfectly integrated here. Between work, friends and community activities, my schedule is full. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all those who helped me to succeed over the last five years. Without them, my path would surely have been quite different.


GET MOVING

Ometz’s Immigration Department offers affordable services to facilitate the legal entry of Jewish individuals and their families into Canada.

For more information, please contact 514.342.0000 or email info@ometz.ca.

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