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.
Even then, however, an eventual move to Israel wasn’t likely in the cards for me, until I began my Jewish journalism career — first as a Columbia graduate student sifting through Lubavitch Crown Heights and then as a full-time writer for The Jewish Week.
From there, my interest in Israel and all of its pitfalls grew, and I managed to visit the country on work assignments and various other trips 7 times within 3 short years.
And after a 6-week stint at an ulpan course in this summer, I finally decided to fill out the immigration forms and move to Jerusalem, on Sept. 1.
Unlike most new immigrants to Israel, I do not come to Jerusalem for religious reasons. Instead, I stand as a secular Jew in the middle of it all — observing a sacred culture rather than particular mitzvot — and am becoming swept up in the insanity that defines this holy city of peace.
To document my journey I began a blog, called "Sacred and Insane" (sacredandinsane.com), which from now on I will be cross-posting on my new Jewish Week blog. For the moment, I’ll be starting here with the blogs I posted to my own site, beginning in the week or two before I made the move.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.