In first person… L.A. marketing entrepreneur shifts career path to serve Israel

In 1988, I closed my professional sports marketing-entertainment business in Los Angeles, and embarked on a yearlong round-the-world trip. I visited Eretz Yisrael for the first time that winter. Arriving from Paris, I had an indescribable feeling of connection immediately, which became more profound for me the first time that I went to the Kotel. I stayed in Israel for four months, including one month living in the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as working on a kibbutz, touring throughout the country, making friends who are like mispachah, family. Fulfillment every moment! However, was only in the Old City and at the Western Wall where I sensed a déjà vu, which I am aware of every time I'm there. Once, in speaking with a rabbi, I asked why I was unable to verbalize this indescribable feeling, and his response touched me deeply: "…that's because when you've found the essence of your being, it transcends language."

I had the fortuitous opportunity to live in Jerusalem for 1-1/2 years and moved to San Francisco in 1991. My passionate commitment to the land and people has evolved as Pacific Central West regional director for the Reform movement's support organization of Israel (and worldwide Progressive Jewry), ARZA/World Union. I enjoy living in California again, with my soul and spirit enriched significantly by Israel!