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Almost 3 Years in Israel – First Day at Jewlicious

Happy Anniversary LeahI can’t believe it will be three years this October since I made Aliyah. It seems like just yesterday I was driving around South Beach on my fire engine red scooter, writing restaurant reviews for Ego Trip Magazine and writing commission meeting minutes for the Miami Herald. I look back now on how different my life in Miami was – I miss my hometown sometimes – friends and family I left behind. I can’t tell you how much my life has changed. When I first arrived in Jerusalem, I got a great internship at the Jerusalem Post. Day three on the job, I was “tossed into the deep end” – covering my first suicide bombing. I remember arriving at the scene of the blast, camera in hand, shaking like a leaf. Certainly a far cry from Miami Beach. The next day I found myself at the funeral of some of the victims from the attack, several of whom were my age. A few months later, I went for an interview for a job as a news reporter at Israel’s only English language news station – IBA NEWS, Channel One. I remember walking in to the screen-test in a pin striped suit with little idea who I’d be up against. I thought to myself, ‘I am in Israel, at an audition to be on TV!’ I’m not sure I would have ever been given such an opportunity back in Miami; To my shock and delight, I got a call that evening from the Department Head, congratulating me – that I was IBA’s newest correspondent. Six months into the position, I found myself covering one of the biggest stories of the decade: Israel’s Disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. I arrived at the West Bank town of Sanur at 3am, in an Israeli Defense Force convoy, wearing a flack jacket and helmet. I had a reporter’s pad in hand. This is what I wrote: “Thank you G-d for bringing me to Israel. It has changed my life forever.” That’s when the violence began, which put an end to my personal reflections and I immediately had to enter persona #2: a war correspondent in a battle zone. After that, I was sent to report on Israel’s second war in Lebanon. My father called me to see if I was okay. He could hear rockets exploding in the background. “Leah, are you alright?” he said. “Are you afraid? Do you want to come home?” I took a deep breath and said, “Dad, I am home. There is no other place I’d rather be.”

12 Comments

  1. themiddle

    6/6/2007 at 11:28 pm

    Great big welcome!

  2. israluv

    6/7/2007 at 12:59 am

    and people say that by moving to israel your career life goes backward… PHEH!

    welcome to the jew.li.cious site …

  3. Pingback: Israelity » A Reporter’s Reflections

  4. m_

    6/7/2007 at 7:33 am

    CK! Are you trying to make me jealous? Where ever did you find this sublime creature? Leah’s been in Israel less than 3 years, and is an actual college graduate? Does she also speak Hebrew? If so then the roster at Jewlicious is getting better and better, especially if she doesn’t bore me to tears with occasional pensive, poorly written, quasi-spiritual posts expressing insincerely held beliefs. Welcome to Jewlicious Leah!

  5. ck

    6/7/2007 at 9:42 am

    m_ : Leah speaks a fantastic Hebrew (though she will deny it) and even reads Hebrew newspapers. In Hebrew! Jerusalem is full of talented, intelligent, well-spoken and accomplished individuals like Leah.

  6. Rabbi Yonah

    6/7/2007 at 3:53 pm

    SHALOM!

    How much of an expense account did ck give you? and make sure you get to use the Jewlicious private jet and sailboat.

  7. Hofnik

    6/7/2007 at 4:39 pm

    Me too! 3 years in Israel

  8. freak

    6/8/2007 at 7:42 am

    m_: Snipetty snipe snipe! “poorly written, quasi-spiritual posts expressing insincerely held beliefs” Who are you referring to??

    Oh snap!

    I like the new Leah. I want more!

  9. DeisCane

    6/8/2007 at 1:57 pm

    Welcome from a fellow Miamian in exile (NJ, not EY).

  10. smadar

    6/14/2007 at 2:40 am

    and you forget your freind here at Gefen???

  11. Andy

    6/14/2007 at 6:24 am

    Hi Leah.
    Are you surprised we found you here?

    We miss you here at Gefen.
    Come visit!

  12. Pingback: Almost 3 Years in Israel « Leah Stern

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