Posted December 7th, 2010
By Jessica Pinsky, WUJS Israel Arts
Where do I come from?
When asked by Israelis where in the states I grew up, I reply, “Ohio—do you know it?” Mostly they have heard of it but have no idea where it is. I say “It’s in the middle”. “What goes on in the middle?” Not much.
So it is of little surprise that I tried out many major cities in the US over the past 8 years. Cities make sense for some artists, constant stimulation, and incessant, pulsing energy just waiting to be tapped into. I never found the perfect fit. You know, the place you can see yourself living forever.
Who am I?
I am an artist, I am a Jew.
Do people usually write lists in order of importance?
The close relationship I share with my family kept my Jewish identity strong and sacred, but also private in a city without many other Jews. Art has drawn the path of my life. I’m helpless really, chasing the end of a kite lost in the wind. Apparently the kite flew to Israel.
What I am doing here?
I never liked organized social activity. It feels unnatural. If it wouldn’t have terrified my parents I would have come to Israel alone, no structure. But WUJS was the perfect compromise—a program designed to fit your needs, one that emphasizes your own path in life. I am truly amazed by the diversity of the participants in this program. Everyone is different. Most have been to Israel before, many have family here. Some are more religious, others, like me, have very little Jewish knowledge and observance.
But somehow, there is a connection. Somehow, there is this invisible thread tying Israel to every Jew in the entire world, and I have felt it, all the way in Ohio, clinging to the back of my head for my entire life.
What am I looking for?
The first month in Israel has been incredible. Maybe on a superficial level for now, I feel like I belong here–In the streets for example, or in the supermarket. I do not feel Israeli, I feel welcomed and fascinated by Israelis, but I am still a foreigner and the knowledge and real appreciation of this country will come with time.
I’m looking for a home.