Sacred and Insane

Sacred and Insane: An Aliyah Journal

Booze on the bus and going postal

The Jewish Week caught up with Sharon two months into her aliyah journey. To read about her adventures from the beginning, click here.

Riding the #13 bus this morning to ulpan, I blinked my still groggy eyes to verify what I just saw – a passenger drinking a bottle of Carslberg beer at 8 in the morning.

Totally out in the open, the bearded and sidecurl-clad man touted his green glass bottle and slugged a few gulps back every now and then, with no brown paper bag to conceal what he was drinking.

Coming from New York, I didn't realize that public alcohol consumption was legal here. Or, perhaps it isn't.

“Fumbles to fluency”

The Jewish Week caught up with Sharon two months into her aliyah journey. To read about her adventures fro the beginning, click here.

Ulpan courses — the Hebrew immersion regimen offered in (and now out of) Israel — are certainly as intense as they're advertised to be.

Following a year and a half of once a week prep at Ahuva Tal Hollander's New York-based Ha-Ulpan, I took a six-week intensive course at Hebrew University's Jerusalem ulpan this summer. Now, however, that I've officially immigrated here, I'm taking advantage of the five-month free ulpan to which I am entitled as a new citizen.

The beginning of the journey

Hi, I'm Sharon Udasin. After three years as a journalist for The Jewish Week in New York, I decided to take a risk and immigrate to Israel, something I had been thinking about pretty consistently for a couple years.

I had little interest in Israel and the Middle East until I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2007 and reluctantly had a taste of the “Birthright Kool-Aid,” so-to-speak.

The decision to take the plunge.

Well, it’s official. I’ve finally decided to act upon the urge I’ve been resisting for the past two years — I’m going to move my journalism career to the Middle East, to Israel.

The decision was by no means a light one, as my friends, family and colleagues can all affirm. Luckily, I was able to get my bosses’ “blessing” because, quite honestly, leaving The Jewish Week was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, as I’ve loved my job here.

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