Tonight at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Tweetup (#nbntweetup) at the JNF house in Manhattan, I announced the incredible news that we are making aliyah this summer. Here is essentially what I said.
“I, Jamie Geller, my husband and our children will be realizing a lifelong dream of ours, our parents, our grandparents and the Jewish people for the past 2,000 years. We will be making aliyah this summer with Nefesh B’Nefesh on the August 13th 2012 Charter Flight.
[Exhale. Looooong exhale.]
I said it. It feels so good to finally have said it.
Here’s a little back story about how I came to be here and share this news with you, first this evening.
As the theme of the evening is how social media can bridge the gap between US and Israel, I met Laura Ben David, Social Media Coordinator for Nefesh B’Nefesh exactly where you would expect to meet a social media coordinator, on Twitter. As I was reading her profile I saw that in addition to her day job at NBN she was also the author of MOVING UP An Aliyah Journal. Well I just had to get my hands on that book! With our upcoming move I was making it my mission to get my hands on anything and everything that would inspire me and prepare me for this momentous occasion. So Laura and I decided to swap books: she got the cookbooks I got the journal.
Hubby and I proceeded to pour over every word of that book for the next 48 hours. It’s an inspiring, hilarious, emotional journey, and as I am reading about what it takes to make aliyah – how it happens, what it’s really like – I was struck by Laura’s remarkably positive attitude through it all. At the same time, I thought (as a TV producer thinks) this story, this great story of a family upping and moving to Israel, must be made into a movie.
Then I figure, it’s so good, it must have been done already. So with as much intensity as a Google search will allow, I searched and came up with – nothing! I DMed Laura, sure that NBN must have done something like this, and again… nothing.
I was alternately thinking a movie like this has to happen, maybe it’s not gonna happen, how can I make this happen…Pulling out my hair trying to figure out how/what/when, coming up with a budget, then slashing that budget like a jungle explorer with a machete, thinking some more, improvising… Long story short, 200 phone calls, tweets and emails later, with bursting excitement, I am announcing a partnership between our company – The Kosher Media Network – and Nefesh B’Nefesh.
We will be producing a real time (or as close to real time as possible) aliyah documentary, called Joy of Israel!
Starting this Tuesday, and then almost every Wednesday at 7pm between now and Rosh Hashanah, we will be releasing a clip or episode of our journey, an online aliyah diary.
We will cover everything from our lift on both sides of the pond, our goodbye BBQ, our last 24 hours in America, the airport flight and landing in Israel, the first 48 hours in Israel – everything from the exciting to the mundane to the necessary – registering for school, health insurance, drivers’ license, Ulpan, meeting family, friends, neighbors, shopping at the makolet, first day of school, and our first trip to Yerushalayim.
This will be an honest and vivid portrayal of what it takes to make aliyah, what it feels like to join our brothers and sisters in the Jewish homeland.
I hope that people will see that on so many levels, dreams do come true. The soul cannot be denied its return home. I am overcome with emotion, anticipation, and awe that, G-d willing, we will be in Israel soon.
Much of the production arm of Kosher Media Network will be moved to Israel. In my new kitchen I will continue shooting my regular cooking show, as well as a new show for PBS about Chanukah, set entirely in Israel.
You and I will still share everything as before The website, the books, the cooking shows, the events – everything will continue. I will travel back to see you in person and continue to share new and inspiring recipes, photos and videos on JoyofKosher.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube, and on Instagram. Lol, does it really matter where I happen to be located?
Well, yes. It makes a world of difference to me.”
Watch my "live" announcement here.
Premiere Date: Tuesday June 26 7:00pm EST
Premiere Date: Wednesday July 11 7:00pm EST
Premiere Date: Wednesday July 18 7:00pm EST
Premiere Date: Wednesday July 25 7:00pm EST
Premiere Date: Wednesday August 8 7:00pm EST
Premiere Date: Wednesday August 15 7:00pm EST
Premiere Date: Wednesday August 22 7:00pm EST
First 48/Welcome to Israel Episode
Premiere Date: Wednesday September 5 7:00pm EST
The Israel Lift Teaser
Premiere Date:Wednesday September 12 7:00pm EST
Happy New Year from Israel Episode
Premiere Date: Wednesday September 19 7:00pm EST
Image - Me and my production crew.