I just ended the longest period of not working in my adult life. Sure, I was in ulpan, and then I had a part-time gig event planning, and my blog is always a legitimate time-consumer. But since my high school days, I've always had some sort of consistent employment. I started as my one of my neighborhood's most in-demand babysitters, then I was a youth leader, a counselor every summer, I tutored, I balanced books at my dad's warehouse, worked at my synagogue, and taught Hebrew school- all before I ever started working "for real." Then I had a bunch of years as a speech therapist, all while spending all my breaks leading Aish or Birthright trips. And I LOVED it!
I'm not someone who sits and chills. On vacation, I'm doing things! I'm riding the Segway to the museum right before the night's music festival. I'm rarely the one up at 1 PM to just sit on the beach for hours. So you can imagine my distress at an untold number of days, weeks, months (years?!) where I wasn't sure what I'd do for employment!
One of the first things I did (once my Aliyah benefits ended) was file for unemployment. Lest you think this is a viable alternative to working, I will have you know, I jumped through many, many hoops to collect what I can only describe as "not enough to live on." But hey, any little bit helps and I am glad the government was there to help a sista out!
And wouldn't ya know it, that was to be my one and only unemployment check! Whilst interviewing for a number of great jobs (in my general field of interest and skill), I had a chance meeting with someone who worked in the EXACT field where I feel most passionate- Israeli advocacy. If you couldn't tell thus far, I'm truly in love with Israel and I just want others to see the beautiful country I do. So here is this opportunity to teach young North American Jews how to advocate for Israel, on their campuses and online. The tide of anti-Israel propaganda right now is a full-on tsunami. Most supporters of Israel just don't have the tools or the fortitude, or even the network to speak up on Israel's behalf. There is a wealth of information to utilize, but they need a direction with which to channel it all.
That's where we come in. We put together a six-week internship where participants learn the tools they need to advocate, learn video technique, travel around this amazing country and delve into their Jewish culture- it hits all the spots I love! (SHAMELESS PLUG- check out videoactivism.tv to see what I'm talking about!)
So that's where I am right now. I'd like to thank everyone who helped me and worried about me. Everyone who forwarded my resumé and gave me recommendations. Everyone who listened to me kvetch and prayed for me to FINALLY find something to do. Everything helped, and people are really good. And if you need me, I'm currently located in the heart of the Old City, overlooking the hills of Jerusalem, feeling lucky to be here every day!