Wednesday, July 29, 2009

to quote Ilana, "We made the cover of the jewish week!!!!"

It's an article about the NY --> Israel Coffee Group. Only correction: I pushed off my aliyah by 6 months, not 6 years...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

getting cold feet

Let's go over that list of concerns-- you know, the one that seems to stay the same, no matter how many times I go over it for no good reason (because there's nothing new added and nothing taken away)...let's try it like this: concern-reason-solution (if applicable)

1. Money (biggest concern) - Because I need money to live on and I won't have an immediate income. Yes, I'll have sal klita, but that's not so much, and sal klita stops after 7 months (8, if you count the housing assistance grant) and then I don't have an income. Yes, I can get unemployment, but I don't want to and can't necessarily count on that. And Israeli salaries aren't American salaries. I want to live in Jerusalem, at least initially, because that's where my chevre is mostly. Things are expensive there, though. Even though rent is, say, ~$400-$600, and I could easily pay that on my current salary, I have no clue what my Israeli salary will be (once I start getting one).
Fixed expenses: Rent + arnona + va'ad bayit, inner-city bus transportation, internet, landline phone (if applicable), extra medical coverage
Unfixed-But-Will-Be-Pretty-Much-The-Same-Each-Month expenses: Cell phone, grocery, electricity, water,
Completely Unfixed expenses: Eating out, out-of-city transportation, bank fees

2. Job (ties into #1) - I need money to live off of - No answer. I have to take the OT licensing exam, except it's in Hebrew...which sucks, because my Hebrew is not good enough yet. It takes me about three times as long as it does in English, and I have to look a lot up. Not going to be able to do that on the exam...And I know there are other jobs I can do, but...I just...maybe it's the overqualification and pride. But I can't see myself working as a cashier or cleaning houses. That aside, I can't even speak Hebrew well enough for those. And I'm not a salesperson to work as HAS. I really don't know.

3. Missing family and friends - Because most of them are in the US - Skype is a possible solution, and an okay one. But there are things I won't be able to do, such as physically be there and help. Like now-- I'm spending about 1.5-2 hours at the hospital with my Zaidy every day. When I'm in Israel, I won't be able to do that. Even if I could "visit" him over Skype, there's things I can't do through the computer. I can't help my mom schlep through the computer, or help my dad with household things. It's things that they can do but me being there makes it easier. I talk to Andrea and Yoni on the phone more, but Squishy hasn't quite gotten the hang of it yet. I'm going to miss her a lot, seeing her do things and just...her. Elissa-- I don't even want to think about it; we're scarily like 1 person in 2 bodies. And I'm leaving Sara and Chari. This sucks. And I don't know how often I'll be able to come in-- I'd like to come in at least for summers, because that way I can work here for the summer and get to spend 2 months with my family. But I don't know if I'll really be able to.

4. Living Arrangements- Because I need somewhere to live after ulpan and don't want to live in a merkaz klita - I want to eventually move up North. I know I don't want to live in an Anglo enclave/mini America. It's going to be much more expensive in terms of everything, and it's not exactly conducive to klita. If I'm moving to Israel, I'd like to move there. I want to live in a place with other olim, because that increases the availability of things for olim and I will definitely be taking advantage and using whatever I can, but I don't want to be in an American bubble. I want to be in at least a mixed area. Most of my chevre is in Jerusalem, and really if I want to get married, the places with the most singles are Jerusalem and TA. And I have more friends in Jlem and the merkaz overall.

What else? Of course I'll miss Wal-Mart and Jack's World and JCPenney and the subway (don't even get me started on how much I'm going to miss the subway) and real ziploc bags. But I'll have the shuk and the crazy Israeli drivers and...salad at every meal-- actual fresh veggies. And fresh halva, which I can get sick on. And, well...I'll be in Israel.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


So my MDA stuff does not transfer to NYS. I'm not too offended, because NYS doesn't really take anything else...
Apparently my EMT-B certification (assuming I get it) won't transfer to Israel. Which is understandable-- chovshim do more. But I'm hoping something will transfer and I won't have to do the whole course again...on the upside, I'd get to work on my Hebrew...

Friday, July 17, 2009

More monkey wrenches!

Apparently the merkazei klita are ALL getting closed as of August 1? Does anybody know anything about this? I can't find anything on the Jewish Agency website or Google.

I want to know what they're going to do about Ulpan Etzion...I might have to get an apt. immediately, which would definitely change my plans. But I could definitely live with Vered. But I think that does take away from the absorption experience, if you're not in-house. Wait, re-phrasal-- not necessarily take away from, but significantly change what I was expecting. But I suppose I should expect that-- it's Israel.

Shabbat shalom!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

מזל טוב!

Mazal tov to Allison Teitelbaum, Sarah and Noam Greenberg, and all the other olim from the NBN flight on July 7!

(5.5 months-ish... and counting down! (and waiting for approvals and such) )

Friday, July 3, 2009


So when I was in Israel I would convert prices into dollars. I never thought I'd be converting into shekels-- and DEFINITELY not in America. Well, guess who did just that in Farmer's Market (a small grocery store in upstate NY-- like all good New York City Jews, my family "goes upstate" for the summer/Shabbatot).

"Now why would she do a crazy thing like that?" you ask. The answer is-- they had Israeli ice cream...and it was good stuff, too...I saw the price listed in dollars and cents (because we are in America, after all, despite the abundance of Israeli products in even places like random small supermarkets and Wal-Mart). And I immediately converted it into shekels to figure out how much it was. I think that's a very big sign of identity confusion (wait 'till I get to Israel! Then I'll really have issues! I should write a post on all the cross-cultural confusion in my life, and then once I get to Israel see what happens).

If anyone has any suggestions for un-confusing yourself, please let me know.

Whoever said patience is a virtue--

was probably around a lot of impatient people in his/her lifetime and just got frustrated.

I do not have enough patience, especially when it comes to Israeli things (okay, in general big things that have a significant impact on my life...right now it's mostly aliyah...). Really, things can get done quickly-- IF someone is inclined to do it. But there seems to be a laid-back attitude of, "It will happen when it happens/all in good time" there, and it's very frustrating. Very frustrating. Respectful, curteous, timely customer service is one American thing I'd like to see in Israel (they've got enough America there-- what, they can't bring this? No, that would just be...well...nice. Not that Israelis aren't nice. But more on that in another entry; this is getting rediculously off-topic).

Also, the "if it's not due tomorrow, I'll handle it tomorrow" approach. For example, if I was making aliyah in the summer, my paperwork would be done already-- signed, stamped, approved, I'd have my oleh visa...but since I'm going in the fall, they're not going to do anything until after the summer olim.

There are a few things that need to happen before I know anything definite:
1. The Sochnut needs to approve my aliyah (except my shaliach is out of the country)
2. I need to get my olah visa from the Consulate (dependent on 1)
3. I need to apply to Ulpan Etzion (also, dependent on 1)

There are things I need to know for me:
1. When the NBN winter flight is going to be (except they're not going to know that until after the chagim. Which I don't really get-- why are you waiting? ElAl already set its flight schedule. Maybe they're waiting to see if they can get a charter flight vs. group flights?)
2. When some people are getting married (one friend already has her date set, and I'm waiting to hear about...2? 3? something like that others)
I really want to go on the NBN flight, but it depends on when people get married...the friend I know about's date doesn't conflict-- I'll be in the middle/end of ulpan (minor detail that I have to work out)

I just like knowing big things in advance. Advance notice for my future husband, whoever he may be: Surprise me with the engagement. Make it some time that I won't even think about-- like when after a hike when we're all sweaty and dirty from the hike and just enjoying each other and the country. Or when we're relaxing and I totally would not expect it. But not the "dinner and a carriage ride/picnic at sunset/other romantic-y thing, because those are overrated and (much as I like the romance) I'd rather it be...more us...and-- well, cliches aren't me and I hope aren't you either. (this is an Israel blog, ok? And where better to think about marriage than Israel when everyone and their mother/father/cousinS/neighborS/etc. tries to set you up the second they find out that you're single? And if you read this and want to set me up, leave a comment and I'll get back to you)