Jerusalemites: Sharona's story

Sharona immigrated from Los Angeles.
She lives and learns Hebrew at Beit Canada. 
"I came from Los Angeles to Israel to learn Hebrew and experience life in a foreign country. I left the large, tight-knit Jewish, community in Los Angeles to experience life in a foreign country. I left behind friends and family, and I don't know when I might see them again. I see Jerusalem as a the forefront of the struggle for Jewish survival. It's where people fight for their daily existence. You can see the hunger in their eyes as they wait to board the bus, or look around cautiously for deals in Shuk Machane Yehuda. Jerusalem is bipolar-- loud and crowded but also silent, leaving a large space for contemplation. Jerusalem is the dizzying mishmash of old and new, the religious and secular. Although it is busy, it's also peaceful. I feel that I can relate to my parents more now that I am an immigrant in a foreign country. My dad moved to the US before the Iranian Revolution of 1979 while still in high school to study. My mom left Iran after the Revolution had begun. They settled in Los Angeles in a city which contains between 700,000 to 800,000 Iranians, with a large concentration of Persian Jews. Even though I have never visited Iran, my Iranian Jewish heritage is a defining feature of my identity, and I feel grateful to connect to a community that dates 2000 years, since the destruction of the First Temple.
Purim starts tomorrow, The story of Purim occurred in Iran. I look forward to celebrating the holiday here in Israel."