Danielle SheldonMeet a Nefesh B’Nefesh New Immigrant

Danielle Sheldon, 19 and a resident of Los Angeles, is smart. A UCSD graduate who double majored with a BA in both International Studies and Middle Eastern Studies, she’s multilingual, and loves dancing and reading. Her future plans include graduate studies and after chatting with her for close to an hour, I am certain that Danielle can do whatever she sets her mind to. With her charm, wit and bubbly personality, Danielle’s options are virtually limitless. On August 18th, Danielle will join a plane load of North American immigrants headed to Israel to begin a new chapter in their lives.

Danielle’s move to Israel, where she plans on joining the IDF, getting an MA in Security and Counter Terrorism at Tel Aviv University and settling in Tel Aviv, seems to be the obvious culmination of a lifelong path. Her father, born in Israel, insisted on speaking Hebrew to Danielle and sending her to a Jewish Day School. Consequently, Danielle’s Hebrew language skills are pretty darn good (her Arabic’s not bad either!). She got further practice when she spent a summer semester at Tel Aviv University and leading a group of High School students on a trip to Israel. She’s a fan of Herzl, Jabotinsky and Ahad Ha’am’s poetry.

I know. That’s kind of whacky.

Danielle has also benefited from a broad coalition of supportive friends and family. While she doesn’t have very many relatives in Israel, her mother and stepfather are enrolling in Hebrew classes and looking to expand their computer related business to Israel so that they will have many opportunities to visit. Her friends are planning trips to Israel and one made her own boyfriend get a passport so that they could take a future trip together to visit Danielle. Nefesh B’Nefesh has also stepped up to the plate and offered advice, encouragement and financial assistance that Danielle described as nothing short of outstanding.

Needless to say, Danielle is psyched. We’ll talk to her some more on Monday but I for one am pleased as punch to see clearly talented and intelligent people with real choices choose to live in Israel – I am further pleased at the role played by Nefesh B’Nefesh in facilitating this process. Danielle’s no pie eyed idealist. She’s done her research, she knows making a life for herself will not be a cakewalk and yet? Here she comes! So if any of you have any questions you want me to ask Danielle, let me know.

Oh, just to nip it in the bud… yes boys. She is indeed single!

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • “…culmination of a lifelong path.”

    Lifelong path? Is she about to die? As for questions, does she have an answer to the much harried recent discussion of public nudity pre-Luther? And does she really think you can tell whether some one can do anything they set their mind to after an hour chat?

  • “…after chatting with her for close to an hour, I am certain that Danielle can do whatever she sets her mind to. With her charm, wit and bubbly personality, Danielle’s options are virtually limitless.”

    This is some first rate investigative journalism …So are you gonna ask her out or what?

  • Like what? On a date? I guess I better. And soon! Before Reggie does. We’ll go to the Chocklit Shop where Pops will serve us some burgers and we can say hello to Jughead and Moose and Midge.

    Yeah, it’ll be swell. Anyone who comes to Jewlicious for first rate investigative journalism… well… please note I said something nice about NBN and I am here in the US on their coin. So this post is part of their PR efforts.

    That having been said, Danielle really seemed nice. I mean I dug into her past and while I am almost certain that she is in fact indicted Bosnian War Criminal Ratko Mladic in drag hiding from an international arrest warrant, I will only be able to confirm this once I actually meet her. So stay tuned!

    How’s that for “first rate investigative journalism?”

  • Wow, can I get you to write my profile too? You made her sound sooooo good.

    Hey, if Jewlicious doesn’t work out, maybe you have a future in this 🙂

  • Not to be a dick Rix, but I made her sound good because, well, frankly, she did sound good – in a sense she did the work for me. This isn’t some PR thing – I didn’t have to spin anything as the facts cited amply demonstrate. Your profile could be as good as Danielle’s if you are possessed of equally laudable accomplishments – it’s that easy!

  • This is very exciting. It’s great to see everyone blogging about the NBN conference already. Danielle sounds awesome, full of potential and idealism and confidence and …. wow!

    I really hope that the NBN bloggers get to keep up with the folk making Aliyah and we can get updates over the next few years…

    Maybe Danielle (and some of the others) could blog the experience, too? I’d be surprised if this conference doesn’t spark more people to make aliyah, and more people to blog about it.

    Looking forward to more…

  • Wow, I have known Danielle for roughly seven years and she is one of my absolute best friends… As much as I hate to see he leave I know she is doing what she believes in her heart is the right thing and in no way, form, or fashion would I ever stop her. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met and envy ck for simply getting the opportunity to be on the plane with her. Danielle, i wish you nothing but the best and CALL ME as soon as u can! I love you and hope to see u soon wherever in the world that may be.

  • Yes. Call me too. I’m charging my phone but if I don’t pick it means the battery died.

  • I have known Danielle all of her life and though (more than) slightly biased, I know only to well that there is no fluff to CK’s interview. Danielle sounds good because she is an amazing individual with unlimited passion and intellect. She is following her dreams and doing what she knows in her heart, soul and mind to be the right thing and Israel is lucky to have her as an Olah Chadasha. (CK forgot to mention that Danielle has a younger sister who has been incredibly supportive of Danielle’s decision and is likewise bonded to Israel through the Nivcheret (U-17, U-19) and otherwise.) Danielle, we all love you and are proud of you! We will miss you, but wish you all the best the world has to offer you!

  • Danielle,
    ahlan wa sahlan illa balad israel! Ana ismi Michael wa aydan ahki arabi. Saadiqi kalama 3an hayaatik heeya mithla hayaati. Ana “aliti” Israel min qabla Ithayn Isabee. Sa’Akoon fee jeish israel fee november wa al-an askoon fee kibbutz sde eliyahu ma’ah al barnamaj Garin Tzabar.

    In case you’re not getting this, I made aliyah a couple of weeks ago, we have the same degree, and we’ll both be employed by the IDF for the next couple of years. It’d be nice to be in contact with a fellow Arabic-speaking American Israeli who cares but isn’t overly idealistic. Enjoy life and let me know if you need any help.

    Michael Bassin
    [email protected]

  • “Oh, just to nip it in the bud… yes boys. She is indeed single!”

    Ah, very good. Now all I need to do is find her among a population of 7 million 🙂

  • Dude. I randomly ran into her twice in the last 2 days. TOTALLY randomly! Now we’ve exchanged numbers and she crashed at my place last night (don’t worry, I was in another city). So, to paraphrase Herzl, if you will it, it is not a dream… also I am pretty sure she monitors this article. Tell us a bit more about yourself (like Michael did above) and if Danielle is intrigued I will pass on your email address to her. We’re happy to facilitate love!

  • Hey there. So from my name you can probably tell, this blog is about me. I think its rather incredible that so many people are reading it. Not that I had any doubts, ck, but still.

    So I’ve been in Israel for about 9 days now. It’s been quite an experience. You meet wonderfully friendly people, as well as those who try to convince you you’ve made a mistake and to go home. Israel is so beautiful. Tel Aviv has such a life to it. I’ve been here before, but its different knowing that whenever I leave in the future, it will be on vacation, and that this is where I live. I went to Jerusalem as well. Did you know that there’s actually quite a hip night life there? I didn’t.

    Also, you encounter situations such as: you can’t open a good bank account without a “teudat student” (a certificate of studentry). However, a University will not give an “oleh” one of those wihtout an open “tik” (file) at the “Mihal HaStudentim” (Student Authority). They, in turn, will not open a “tik” for you if you do not have a “cheshbon bank” (bank account). So, in truth, my move to Israel has begun with quite a bit of hassle, bureaucracy, and a bit of negotiations. But I think it will all be worth it in the end. Especially with ck trying to pimp me out. lol!

    Last, I should probably put in a plug for Nefesh B’Nefesh. They’re really wonderful in helping you witht he whole Aliyah process; even once you’re in the country. I’ve called them a few times already, and they’re fantastic!

    Hoping you all are well!

  • oh, to answer Yisrael Medad’s question.. my father is not that old. He was born in Israel, but when he was 5 his parents moved away. Niether of my grandparents were Betar either. My grandother was a nurse in Palmach and my grandfather was a chemist. So how’s that for my family history in a nutshell? 😉

  • I’ve known Danielle for about 7 years, but our first face-to-face meet was less than 2 years ago. How did we stay in contact for that long under those circumstances (I’m not talkin’ about the internet or AOL)? that’s all of the above: her ambition, her wit, her intellect.

    As an Israeli, I can say that my country is very lucky to have her.

    I wish you good lucky in your settling (hitmasdut), and may you cross this bureaucracy-ocean (although Israel has barely 2 rivers) be-mehirut.
    you know you’ve got your local help whenever you need it 🙂


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