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Residence: Tel Aviv
Married? With children? Classic TV showâ€¦and no on both counts
Occupation: Writer (I write the blog What War Zone???) and comedian (benjilovitt.com)
Education: BA, Psychology; University of Texas at Austin
Pets: None but would love a dog someday. Seriously, who doesn't like dogs? No, SERIOUSLY?
Religious affiliation / observance: If I must use labels...in the US, Conservative-ISH. In Israel, secular-ISH
Last person / party I voted for: John Kerry, 2004
Next person / party I will vote for: Clinton or Obamaâ€¦.unless I decide I don't deserve to vote from Israel
My history (100 words max): 100 words? Yikes? Ummâ€¦.bornâ€¦.collegeâ€¦aliyah. How many words left? Ok, grew up in Dallas, Texas as an active member of Young Judaea. After a life-changing year in Israel, I graduated from the University of Texas. Five years of corporate work were enough; I jumped to the Jewish community, working for four years in Atlanta and New York before moving here in 2006. It's been an adventure living in Tel Aviv (when is life here not an adventure?) I'm trying to make it as a creative talent, whatever that means, doing stand-up comedy, writing, and filling out profiles for online newspapers
Family history (100 words max): Ashkenazi roots going back to Eastern Europe and Russia. One set of grandparents made it to the States before the war and the other were 1st generation New Yorkers. My parents were both born in New York City and moved to Texas for work (yes, there are Jews there; no, we don't have accentsâ€¦we're JEWS!)
My connection with Israel: No kidding, the Jewish Agency shlichim can know that their work was not in vain. My first real memories of Israel were through the tsofim caravan at summer camp. They were like rock stars. Thousands of tsofim are laughing at me right now. Who am I kiddingâ€¦they can't read this. I'm kidding, I'm kidding.) Everything I know and love about this place can be traced back to my time in Young Judaea including a year abroad before college. Two Jewish jobs and many visits later, here I am as an oleh chadash. Why aliyah? Because I love it here and didn't want to spend the rest of my life saying "what if?" I believe that every Jew should spend at least a year in Israel. I also believe every Israeli should spend a year in "chul" [abroad]. It helps many Israelis understand what it means to be Jewish and strengthens the feeling of Jewish community and peoplehood.
What I would take with me to a deserted island: Two words: Israeli scouts. What else would you need on a deserted island? I watched these people build a refrigerator out of sticks, leaves, rope, and an apple juice container filled with water. Someone told me they built a sauna once. I think he was serious.
If I could have dinner with any person in the world it would be: Both of my grandfathers. I never knew them. (Yes, I cheated. It's my profile. Nyah nyah.)
Which feminine/masculine trait would I like to have: I'm actually good on the feminine emotional traits and stuff. How about the masculine trait of home improvement and fixing stuff? I recently shorted not one but two of my friend's adaptors after he explained to me how voltage and converters work. I tuned him out after the first three words. Anybody wanna come install my wireless router?
What angers you: People who are inconsiderate. People who aren't mensches
What makes you happy: My wonderful friends. Helping them and being helped by them. Making people laugh
Last book I read was: The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations by James Surowiecki
Comfort food: Are Doritos a comfort food? When I eat salty snacks, I enter a catatonic state and finish the entire bag in 5 minutes. When I'm done, I blink, look around, and say "what happened?"
My life five years from now: I'm not sure but I'm excited about it. Continuing creative writing and making people laugh about Israel and being Jewish.
You may not like it but I have something controversial to say: 1-2 month Israel trips for Diaspora teens were at peak registration levels before the second intifada shattered this trend. Birthright Israel was designed to provide an Israel experience for those who missed this opportunity. Though it has been an incredible success, it has also become the norm. We should be encouraging young Jews to travel on longer programs at a younger age as they provide a more significant and lasting experience.
Happiness: 1-10 (10 being the happiest) 8
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