expansion to 11.9.05

[expansion from previous entry:]

well, on one hand, i’m beginning to see things how non-americans see them. i already was when i was in England for 6 months, including the month backpacking western Europe, but now i think people feel even more comfortable being honest with me because they see that i have made a commitment to leaving the States (and the commenter in the last entry who called me an ‘expat’, wow, did that hit home, pun intended). so they’re letting me in on what they really think. for better or worse (it’s not all bad, by the way).

on the other, i’m introspectively realizing things about me personally in relation to the States, to being brought up in New York City, to American parents, all the associated attitudes: independence as a birthrite, self as first priority, capitalism as ultimate patriotism, being lonely at the top (but not really minding).

do you see a pattern? independence, alone, personal space, freedom to do whatever you want – it’s an every-man-for-himself society. self-society. a bit of an oxymoron, no?

now, don’t get me wrong, that’s definitely nice and pleasent, and dare i say, a bit descriptive of my independent personality, as many of you can relate. and, again, don’t get me wrong – Israel is not an exception to the many (ok, most) countries that aspire to that level of wealth, etc. however – Israel, and most other countries, are not at the top – not lonely at the top – not giants to that degree in the sense i am describing.

by living in a country that is not at the top, i am, by default, waking up to a life where i am not solely important, i am not alone in my society, i am one of a larger whole, and, most of all, i have real and necessary social responsibilities.

‘but,’ you may gasp, ‘america does much good, charitable, i donated and blood and volunteered, etc!’


but it’s also about the government, about the taxes you pay, the time you have to give to national service, what your government expects from you, what you expect from your government. substitute the word government with society. i suppose it works for religion too. anything you are a part of. it’s just important to realize you’re never alone, no matter how much you seperate/isolate yourself.

i do very, very much believe that America needs to get its act together and suck up to not being quite as independent, as self-obsessed if it wants to survive its empire. ironic, but to step up it’s going to need to step down a bit, yeah? (but why look at this is as ‘ups’ and ‘downs’; it’s more like moving over to make room, in order to still be somewhere to move).

i care about the US very much. i care to see it remain great – for Israeli reasons, for personal reasons, for political reasons. but i think that it’s heading in a direction that will lead to something similar to overeating: feeling great at first, wanting more, eating more, feeling kind of uncomfortable, feeling sick, and then, you know, dying. i’m afraid we’ve headed into the eating more/feeling kind of uncomfortable stage recently… i’m sure it’s not too late for us, but at the same time it doesn’t seem like americans and other top-notch westerners are ready to change their attitudes.

this isn’t all of it, but that’s what i feel like putting down now. the more personal-level stuff will be for another time.

[also, listen, i’ve been called a hippie since i was seven and put greenpeace stickers all over my room and spoke about being a vetenarian and joining the peace corp. i just don’t see myself as a hippie… or, i dunno, not a socialist either. i’m just very much into conflict management. negotiating situations. everything in moderation. capice?]


i think that i have evolved as an american since leaving america… i think that some people do this and some don’t. i think i had it in me and here it is, growing and turning and moving around… evaluating how i grew up and how my american society shaped me and shapes itself and how america evolves over time and where i have fit in and where i am going.
i wanna expand on this more but not right now.

pros! cons!



pros: flexible, good pay, good benefits, less time, friendly relaxed atmosphere, anglo/israeli atmosphere, next to the mall (convenience), 15 min bus ride, potential for moving up within a few months, stay in jerusalem (live), can concentrate on school better
cons: not as ambitious, but still ambitious (marketing skills, people skills, management skills)

Peres Center for Peace:

pros: ambitious, good pay, connections for later on
cons: not flexible, hectic, israeli atmosphere (cold), lower position, not much potential for a while, commiting to a lefty ideology for awhile, travel will be crazy, might be too much with school for conflict management

thats my breakdown. im leaning towards Answers… thats my gut…

lizrael update: a timeline

get this sequence:
2 weeks ago, fed up with emailing 10 times a day to different employers i am not qualified to work for, i post my details on some israeli listserves and invite employers to ask for my cv if they are interested.

a week and a half ago, dvora bitcover, some freelance writer emails me, wants my freelance writing services for long term – part time job, not much pay, but a side thing, good for grad school.

the next day, i get an email from Gurunet that they are looking for a young, creative marketing associate, and i get the job after an interview and meeting with the ceo. great pay, 3/4th hours, good people skills expierence to look forward to.

today, after telling Gurunet when ill begin next week and dvora that i wont be working for her, i get a call: Peres Institute for Peace – an NGO, think tank, non profit organization for creating peace and conflict management between Arabs and Israelis in Israel and Palestinians… exactly what my degree is about, right?

so im going to an interview with them tomorrow. they want me to be an assistant to the director of International Relations, who mainly fundraises and deals with philanthropists – not too glamorous, but makes connections within the organization for me later on, right? eh, i dunno, i’m mainly going to the interview to make them fall in love with me so after i turn them down, they still remember me for later on… i dont wanna commit to such a lefty organization so early on in my mediation career. also id like to make some money right now and working for Gurunet will give me communication and people skills, like selling, that i will need for conflict management also.

amazing, right? when it rains it pours, right? my life is coming together out of nowhere, all of a sudden. i get back here with no place to live, no job prospects, scared of school… and here i am apartment, new friends and old friends who have proved themselves, job offers, grad school in 7 weeks, rebuilding some piece of myself from a time when i felt on top of the world, confident and brilliant…

so i’m feeling good these days.

L update.

apartment: moved in to a cute 3 bedroom apt in the beginning of baka/talpiot with 2 girls, loving the atmosphere but i’m only subletting so ill be out by december looking for something else… again.
job: after getting a freelance job for a freelance writer, being a freelance writer, i received an even better offer from a company with a set salary and hours, flexible enough to go to school. i’m a marketing associate… pssh.
school: registered for Bar Ilan, starting oct 30, getting my classes sept 29.

so life is beginning to settle down and i’m scared to hell. the novelty of making aliyah is just about wearing out and i’m feeling the fact that it’s time to build a more settled type of life. but i dont feel so ready to settle. but i know i never will. it’s just hitting me hard i guess. i like my freedom. now i have a job with 15 paid vacation days. that’s it: 15 days to play for the next year. office life. rent. coworkers. electric bills. except, it’s not just for a summer or winter break this time. life isn’t measured in ‘semesters’ anymore. maybe this is coming to me really late, maybe everyone else is going through the same thing, maybe i’m not meant to be tied down or maybe this is how it starts, the rest of your life – but i’m – gasp – committing to something.

but for now, i’m busy and so i’m happy.