I am sitting in El Al’s King David Lounge about to fly to Israel on a flight chartered by Nefesh B’Nefesh which will bring about 225 new Olim to Israel. Jameel and Treppenwitz are goofing around in front of me and Esther is off to the side blogging very seriously. We just watched the NBN Welcoming Ceremony – cake was served and tears were shed as the new Olim said goodbye to friends and family they left behind. While more than a few tears were shed, the atmosphere was pretty happy. I hung out with my assigned Olah Danielle who had a blowout weekend in New York prior to the start of her new life in tel Aviv. Met some folks I knew from Montreal and Los Angeles (Jewlicious Festival alumni!). I know I’m supposed to be a bad ass cynical blogger guy but, while I had a lovely 2 weeks in New York, I’m looking forward to going home and I can’t help but be touched by all these people feeling the exact same way. We’re going home. Yay. More later…

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ck

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.

4 Comments

  • On the road again –
    Just can’t wait to get on El Al again.
    The life I love is making felafel with my friends
    And I can’t wait to get on to Tel Aviv again.

    Bon voyage

  • ck, can I ask you a potentially awkward question? Did Nefesh B’Nefesh pay for your flight to the U.S. and back? I ask because some time ago a rep of the organization offered me a free flight if I’d write about the organization. I curtly rejected the offer and have made a point of not speaking to this person since. In my book accepting a perk from some one or some organization in exchange for an expectation that you’ll give them publicity is a violation of journalistic ethics, and I can’t see why this rule shouldn’t apply to the blogosphere as well. At the very least, the fact of the perk should be prominently stated in whenever the blogger writes about or refers to the organization.

  • Hey Haim. Yes. NBN offered me a free flight to NY and return passage on the NBN flight. As attractive as this may seem to some, it’s actually a very disruptive pain in the ass for me. I don’t need free flights. I accepted the offer because I thought it would make for interesting content for my readers. I was never told what to write and had I had anything critical to say, I would say it. This is not unusual in the world of journalism from what I understand. I’m not a journalist but i am not in the habit of lying to my readers or distorting my observations or opinions. Now I have to say that everything I experienced was pretty darn impressive. I’ll blog about that later but again, I had unrestricted access to all the olim. I did not have any handlers and I came and went wherever I wanted to as I pleased.

    Of course Nefesh B’Nefesh has its detractors – many of whom I count as good friends. I have linked to their articles in my NBN related blog posts. Just to summarize, some have criticized NBN for being too religious – that they only care about religious olim. Others have said that the money used by NBN would be better served if it were used on olim that really needed the money (like Ethiopians) as opposed to relatively wealthy western olim.

    So…. yeah. The moral of the story? If I thought for a second that NBN was trying to stifle my objectivity, I’d refuse the offer. But NBN has been nothing but forthcoming and transparent and has made like no demands. I have in the meantime generated content that my readers seem to have enjoyed. Aint nuthin wrong with that… but yeah. Come to their Bloggers Conference tomorrow and see for yourself.

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