Conversations (11)

Yeah, I guess that's pretty much all I needed to know . . .

Be sure to check out Akiva's Cast next week when he resumes his popular "32 Fans in 32 Days"!
(I'll update with the link here once it goes live.)
Alright, I'm pretty pumped about the NFL season this year.

In the States, it's very inconsistent on a weekly basis exactly how much football I get to watch, and I think the time difference here is going to be huge.

The 1 o clock eastern games will start at 8 pm, everyone in the house will be sleeping! And though it will be a late night staying up for the afternoon games it is very do-able.

Akiva, I want to document this for all olim so they know the ins & outs, because I still get confused by what I need to sign up for in order to get the best experience. Am I going to sign up via Directv like I would in the States?

Help a guy out...
That's awesome, and amazing that you've been able to see your ideas through to the end.

Considering you've been involved in all aspects of this project, what were the most challenging? Was it writing a full-length script? The animation process? Something else entirely?

The last few weeks I've been obsessed with a new movie coming out just in time for Purim called Megillas Lester.

I'm not sure what I love the most, but I think the concept is clever and I've always been a huge fan of animation.

Joining us on the blogcast is the founder & President of Kol Rom Multimedia, the studio creating the film, CJ Kramer.

CJ, glad to have you with us. Something I have not been able to gather from viewing the Behind the Scenes footage (collected on YouTube and the movie's site -, is how this project came to be. Were you the driving and/or creative force behind the film?


I agree with Ari that your reasons for moving/ not moving to Israel are somewhat weak. I find that most of your hesitations are due to materialistic concerns, which at the end of the day aren't worth that much. Think about your previous job as a lawyer at one of the top firms. Although you had a good salary which enabled you to live a cushiony life, you hated that job because you did not enjoy or believe in what you were doing. You now enjoy your days much more despite the fact that you are currently earning less and taking serious risks.

Yes, Israel may not be as obejctively beautiful compared to places like California, Van Couver, or New Zealand. But Israel is beautiful to me, because I feel that it is mine. I have a love for that land that I do not have for any other country. You can compare this to parents who have, well, less than atttractive children. These parents honestly think that their children are beautiful because they are their own and have grown a love for them.

As for the security issue, I do not have children of my own yet, so I probably take this issue more lightly than you. But when I read that comment of yours, my first reaction was "oh dear god, men really are going to be chicks in the next forty years." Whatever happened to standing up for what you believe in? What happened to men like our grandfather Pal volunteering for more and more flight missions in the heat of the most dangerous fighting during World War II. You're going to stay in America because you're concerned about a security issue--which is marginal compared to what other have endured?

I understand the most your attachment to American culture, because it is a part of you. It is what you have grown up with, what you know, and what you are comfortable with- in other words, you have grown a love for it. But think too about other holidays and occasions we have in Israel that don't really exist in America. Take Channukah which we are celebrating now. Yes, there is Chanukah in America too, but it is not the same. In Israel, when you see sufganiot being sold at all of the restauturants and Chanukah decroations hanging in public spaces like malls, you get the sense that the whole country is celebrating it versus a fraction of the country. Sundays with football are great. But so are Thursday nights when everyone is filled with excitement that the week ending and entering into the Shabbat. You can also choose to maintain a part of your Americanism here. Many Americans-including myself-took part last week in Thanksgiving meals in Israel. As for your little league baseball-why don't you be an intiator and try to create a little league baseball team for your children instead of just being a participator of what already exists?

I am not saying that Israel is for everyone and that all Jews need to come live in Israel. Especially if you choose to come, it is better to come with a plan and not just expect everything to fall into place in the holy country. I only think that you are not approaching this the best way. Don't think about coming to Israel because you see high tech companies rising and feel that the economical issues here are better. This is a challenging country and coming just for the economical reasons is not going to cut it. Think about what is important to you in life. If you have lasting traditionals, strong values, and a deep love that is connected with the history of Israel, you will find it very easy to find Israel a beautiful place; you too will have the strength to overcome annoying barriers. Consider how you want to build your life and where you want to leave your mark. Do you want to be a part of American or Israeli history?
Wow. You've given this some thought. I do question though how seriously you weigh each of your considerations.

Like, no doubt I believe you when you say you legitimately fear anti-semitism, but to what degree is that fear realized that you would up & move your family half way around the world? I think that sounds more theoretical than a practical motivation.

I'm not too sure I buy a couple of the other reasons either.
1 - I've actually met a couple of people since I've been here who were not attracted to Israel from a religious or nationalistic perspective, but rather from a point of economic consideration; that Israel seems to have a lot going for it, and compared to their home country appears to be headed in a brighter direction.

2 - the aesthetic angle. To be honest, I'm not always sure when I look out at the Judean Hills if I actually think they are beautiful, or if they simply stir something beautiful inside me. But I think for most people, once you make Aliyah your sense of what is or isn't a "nice" neighborhood gets flipped upside down.

But again, I don't think either of those 2 reasons are enough pro or con to making Aliyah. They don't have enough weight to affect the scales one way or the other. (Am I being too judge-y here?)

The point you mention that most resonates with me as a concern is "I always thought I would raise little Americans."

The first part of that re: your own loss of Americana is Meh, because you won't actually lose out on any of that. Particularly if you don't want to.

Stay with me here for a moment: In the years leading up to our move, the analogy I kept thinking about that always made me uncomfortable was - do you remember the Russian kid who moved to your city and joined you sometime in elementary school? And no matter how much Yardy or Max assimilated and integrated into our American culture, their parents were always going to be immigrants.

That's a roundabout way of saying, as Americans in Israel we still have our cultural predilections, for better or worse. Certainly some olim are more committed to shaking those habits and integrating deeper into Israeli society, but ultimately it is difficult enough to leave behind the comfort of everything we know/expect and, in many cases, leave behind our family and by retaining some sense of familiarity in sticking with other American olim, and staying in touch with our American roots, it helps to maintain a balance with all the change going on.

But back to the point about our children.

That. Is. Weird. Raising a bunch of little Israelis is something I'm not sure I'm prepared for.
At the end of the day it's largely the reason we make Aliyah, because we truly believe the way of life is "better" for our children, and so it is a challenge we gladly tackle . . . but it is disconcerting. And the language thing, I expect, will only add to that challenge. Will I be able to communicate as effectively with Emmy as I can with Eliora? What about if I can't speak with and get to know their friends? And don't even get me started on what happens down the line if/when they marry an Israeli (am I getting too far ahead of myself?).....

Help! 2

OK Zach, I've given you the backstory.

Since making aliyah I've dropped 30 lbs. and exercise daily. Most recently waking up at 5 am to run uphill sprints in the Zayit.

This was all motivated by the opportunity to return to the great AFI league here. And better yet the team I helped found 10 years ago is not only still kicking, but they're the odds-on favorites to win it all.

I went to try-outs, I felt kind of out of place and didn't want to impose too much, since I felt like the odd guy out. So I knew I was accepting a non-starting role, however I was under the impression that I could work my way up the depths charts and wasn't simply going to be the lamest cheerleader you've ever seen on a football sidelines.

It doesn't seem like I'm going to get that chance though. We don't really have any practices now during the season and I'm not getting playing time in the games.

Help! What do I do?!
Here's your problem -- even when you're in good shape, for what ever reason you don't look like an athlete. Look, there are guys who look like athletic freaks but then can't run a route or catch a ball.

You're the opposite. I remember the first time I played football against you, thinking I was going to abuse you left and right. I don't think I got a sack off you all day, and I think you beat me a few times with a straight bull rush. It was totally unexpected. Btw, I get this sometimes when people don't want to throw me passes in flag (ahem Aaron Tobin Hess) because they see that I'm not lightning fast. What they don't realize is that (1) I use my body to get separation and (2) my acceleration in and out of my breaks is enough to get me the separation I need. (How did I turn this into a conversation about myself?)

My guess is that your team is seeing the same thing when they look at you, all they need to do is see you play. What I would recommend is that you send them a polite email saying,

"I know that I look like a guy who reads tons of comics (we won't actually tell them that's true) but I'm actually really good at football. Please let me play one half, I guarantee you will agree with me once you see me play."
Cool. Once you've acquainted yourself with your natural strengths and weaknesses, you've also given advice on how to apply them in your everyday life. Such as tips on anything from interacting with others, to your professional life.
Could you give our readers some examples in either of these areas?
Also think about managing the two: you can be more friendly with a tiferet but you must be strong with a gevurah. This is not an absolute, but by far the most accurate and efficient way to communicate and manage. It's a MUST to manage certain personalities more closely than others-people make this mistake all the time. A certain percentage of gevurahs take advantage of you if you don't have a strong demeanor or they simply won't take you seriously.