Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Far From the Home I Love

When I started this blog, it was generally to receive free therapy from the general public vis-a-vis my dating dramas. Those dramas have largely come to an end since getting married, and the new dramas in my life are usually no longer subject to public examination since they involve my husband, a patient and generous man who doesn't have the same "let-me-pour-my-heart-out-to-the-world-and-see-what-happens" attitude that I do.

However, a new drama has arisen that can/should be shared.

Yet again, during another wonderful Shabbat at Chez Treppenwitz, a innocent chat between Zahava and I has led me to a groundbreaking, life-altering decision. The first one involved dating Bryan at all.

Bryan has been more or less out of work since making aliyah. For the first year this was ok, as he studied in both Ulpan and a yeshiva and didn't really intend to work unless something wonderful fell into his lap. However, since about January 2005 he's been looking for work, whilst working part-time in the family business. He really started concentrating his efforts in about June, but even since then nothing came his way.

He would follow up on every contact he received, send his CV out to everyone who said "Send us your CV, we'll see what we can do", had it translated to hebrew to increase his odds at Israeli companies, and try every possible route of protekziya we had (which everyone knows is the best way to get a job in Israel). But nothing worked. It seemed that even when Bryan would get interviews, he was constantly being undercut by people who had far more protekziya than him. I mean, he'd get to the 3rd interview for a particular job, the head partner would discuss benefits, hours and methods of transport to work with him, the HR person would tell him to wait for 5 minutes and she's be back with an offer, and then he'd be told "well, we have one more candidate who just came in, we'll get back to you...." and that would be the end of the story.

In early October he did get a job offer, but it seemed totally unviable as it involved a move from Jerusalem in order to get his commute down to a do-able distance, and I am still in school in Jerusalem, and we have no car, and a lease that goes until June. Plus, the money they offered him didn't seem to be worth the move. So we turned it down. This job, mind you, was the only job Bryan had applied for where he had absolutely no protekziya, and had simply appllied through the internet, through a website that helps place accountants in suitable positions.

Anyway, Bryan is generally a cheery, happy, laid-back kind of guy. But I've been noticing that the lack of working has really been taking a toll on him. It is clearly pretty hard for a guy who is supposed to be the chief bread-winner not winning any bread. Not simply from a financial perspective, because thankfully we had a bit of savings to live on, but from a "worth" perspective.

Anyway, following another meaningful conversation with Zahava, I made a decision, sort of. Zahava mind you, doesn't even realize she's helping me make life-altering decisions. She's simply cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast, while little Yonah, her almost 2-year-old, happily bathes in the dog's water bowl, and schmoozing with me on the side. Zahava made me realize even more how important it is for Bryan to work, and that the salary offered to him was the same as what her husband makes, and is actually decent for Israel. The wheels started churning, but I didn't tell Bryan.

The, a few days later, we had occasion to spend the night at a community that is in the Merkaz. And I took the bus to and from school that day. And while the 2+ hour bus ride was not wonderful, it was do-able. So I called Bryan from the bus, and told him to call this place that had offered him the job 1.5 months ago to see if it was still open. And it was!!!

So, to finish the story, in less than 2 weeks, Bryan and I are moving to Ra'anana! And Bryan starts work at BDO Ziv Haft (a big 5 accounting firm) in 2 weeks, but will be onsite at a client in Yokne'am (near Haifa). So we'll both be having long commutes, but Bryan is so happy he gets to work that he just doesn't care.

At first, I was really upset about my decision. But I knew it was the right move. I wandered around our apartment singing the song from Fiddler on the Roof, "Far from the Home I Love" for a couple days. But I could see it was starting to upset Bryan.

And now I am sort of excited about the move. Its a big adventure, since I have never lived anywhere in Israel besides Jerusalem, which I know like the back of my hand. In fact, Israel to me = Jerusalem, plus the Gush Etzion bloc. I have exactly zero friends on Ra'anana (though Bryan has a few plus some cousins). But we're doing it.

As the cold sets in Jerusalem, I think there couldn't be a more perfect time of year to move to sunny Ra'anana. Of course, in the summer I'll be so hot I will wish I was never born, but that's 6 months away. And I think about the cool Ra'anana places - Cup O' Joe coffee, Meatland (with its boerwors), American-style malls - and as Bryan adds, and money to actually spend in all these places.

But the best part of all is the happiness on Bryan's face.


Anonymous Karen said...

Dear Noa and Bryan,

Great move! Ra'anana is a really awesome place to live and happens and you can find a really warm community. Let us know when you move in, we would love to have you for shabbat.

So, will you now become Raananarevealed?!

9:24 AM  
Blogger treppenwitz said...

Who is this woman from whom you've been taking life advice? The only part that sounded plausible was the part about Yonah playing in the dog's water dish! :-)

9:46 AM  
Anonymous jennifer said...

Welcome to the Sharon! I'm so happy for you both that this only involved a move *inside* Israel! (Honestly, David! Far-away?) '-) Being practically next-door neighbors, please consider yourselves welcome.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Noa!

I'm offended...you DO have a friend in Ra'anana, silly.

I mean, what am I, chopped liver?

E-mail me ASAP regarding anything you need.

Welcome to the best place to live in Israel. And there are lots of people going back and forth to Jerusalem -- students, professors, people who work there. And I know several of them.


10:47 AM  
Blogger andy said...

Saw the news on Treppenwitz: Congratulations ... sounds like a very sensible decision, despite the hassles involved. Good luck to both of you.

Andy Levy-Stevenson (We met at the bar mitzvah in Alon Shvut if you're trying to place the name!)

11:29 AM  
Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Mazal Tov on the decision and on the move, Just found this blog through Treppenwitz....I've got a lot of catching up reading to do!....

11:41 AM  
Blogger Gilly said...


Come back to visit us!


11:59 AM  
Anonymous Carol Feldman said...

I know you will miss Jerusalem, but Ra'anana is looking forward to your arrival! Welcome! Please let me know if you need any assistance.
Carol (in Ra'anana)

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Jordan Hirsch said...

Congratulations.it's a great move, and there is a wonderful community there.
As anyone who knows them knows, Zahava is the smart one at Chez treppenwitz

4:18 PM  
Blogger tafka PP said...

Good decision, hon. I will miss you though... Maybe I'll even consider abandoning my No-Weekends-In-Raanana rule just for some Sharona time :)

4:22 PM  
Blogger Noa said...

Karen - Hmmm, that is an excellent point. The blog name actually comes from a Shai Agnon line I dearly love (loose translation) "Jerusalem will only be revealed to those who love her". So it'll stay for now. But I would love to meet new friends in Ra'anana! Nearer the time we can email.

Trep - Hey, you married her :) I don't think Zahava realizes her advice actually causes me to stop and think, but it does.

Jennifer - Thanks for the welcome

allison - I am going to email you soon, because I don't even know where the grocery stores are in Ra'anana

Andy, MCAryeh, Gilly - Thanks for the encouragement

Carol - I sense another Ra'anana blogmeet coming up soon

Jordan - Love the last name (it used to be mine too, before marriage). You must be well acquainted with the Bogner's then...Zahava is definitely more than a pretty face

Purple Parrot - You are invited anytime!

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Essie said...

What an Aishet Chayil! Best of luck in your new home.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Jeru Guru said...

I really enjoy your blog!

Good luck in Ra'anana.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raanana Rules. Welcome.. Best move you'll ever make.

8:29 PM  
Blogger lisoosh said...

Sounds like a solid decision and the center will be a whole new, and good experience.
But you soooo have protectia you don't even realize - through this blog. There are plenty of readers here who have been in Israel a long time or have family here who would have no problem helping I'm sure. Just ask - it's what an Israeli would do. And guess what? My Tel Aviv sister-in-law works in accounting and knows half of the city - she is a premium networker. So if there is any problem with this new job (G-d forbid), don't hesitate.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Shevy said...

Hatzlacha, from another Treppenwitz reader..

1:40 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

Congratulations!!!!! Best wishes in the new place and with the new job!!

3:02 AM  
Anonymous zahava said...


Speechless. Just. Speechless. ;-)

7:52 AM  
Anonymous zahava said...

Oh! And of course Mazal Tov to both of you on an exciting new journey!

7:53 AM  
Blogger tafka PP said...

And I can't get that bloody Fiddler song out of my head now!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Safranit said...


Please e-mail me about Bryan and the CPA certification process....my spouse is going through the process, and might be of some help.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

Good Luck. A successful Aliyah means doing everything you can to stay. Besides, we often forget that there's a lot more Israel outside of Jlem.

4:31 PM  

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