I made aliyah in August 2009, after completing my MPA at Columbia University, knowing that I wanted to come to Israel and use my degree to make a positive difference in the future of the Jewish people. Today I do that through my studies at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and work at Encounter, a non-profit organization aiming to transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through face-to-face understanding.
The Encounter November 2010 Trip for people with Israeli citizenship was a poignant experience for me. I came out of the trip truly believing in the Encounter model and its Communication Agreement to help people’s listening skills and communication techniques develop when confronted with difficult issues. The Encounter model makes a space for listening and processing over time – while allowing people to keep and/or adjust their own beliefs and perspectives – I would call my personal beliefs “responsibly Zionistic”. Meaning that Continue reading →
I made aliyah 2.5 years ago. Someday (G-d willing) I will be a mom – a mom to sabras. It will be my turn to directly shape the next generation of Israel.
What will I say when they ask about the Separation Barrier? What will I say when they ask about a 1 or 2 state solution? What will I say when they ask me to recall my thoughts on the disengagement to Gaza and what happened to the former residents of Gush Katif? What will I say when they ask me how I felt about the Kasam rockets that fell on Sderot? What will I say when they try to understand why we need a fortified room built into our home and to know where a nearby bomb shelter is? What will I say about the people of Gaza and the West Bank and the concrete slabs separating us? What will I say about traveling in Gush Etzion?
Will my children be safe? Will my children have a stronger connection to their Judaism because I chose to make aliyah when I was 25? Will the violence of my nation’s country jade me? Will there always be a Jewish and democratic state? Will there continue to be mistrust and hate and war? Will I always have hope for a better future? For peace? Will I be as strong and hopeful as the voices I heard on my Perspectives Israel trip in March 2012?
How will I raise my children to understand nuance? How will I raise my children to keep opening their hearts in the face of adversity? To be strong? To have faith? How will I be a contributing member of society and help shape Israel – the one and only Jewish state, that I happen to love – for a better future?
All of these thoughts whirl in my mind as I walk home from Havdalah at shul starting my next week after a Perspectives Israel trip and a lovely Shabbat with my love in his childhood neighborhood of Gilo -overlooking Bethlehem. Contradictions, hopes, fears, and harsh realities hit me as I grapple with my recent experiences. Experiences that I hope will only be another important step along my journey of becoming an educated, impactful citizen of Israel.
Feeling farther from facts
Forever dizzy holding multiple narratives presented as truths
Forever frustrated without solutions at hand
Forever hopeless of finding a win-win
Standing on Har HaZatim
Sounds of Muslim Call to Prayer
Sounds of Christian Church Bells
Sounds of Yeshivah boys stuyding in chavrutah
Wondering why we can’t love our neighbor
Weary of convictions
Walking towards the invisible border
Hoping a partner will be there
To grab it before I fall
Fall into the endless abyss of apathy”