My name is Beata. I live in Israel, and I actually think my most formidable years are happening NOW (I think)! I’ve finally decided to man-up and begin documenting the various events thatare downright interesting in my life – there will be shoes, politics, romance, and everything in between. Everyday we have moments worth pondering on and, most importantly, recording. Every genius records!
I was born on March 26, 1984 in Riga, Latvia. My parents joined the exodus of the Soviet Jews, and in 1989, my sister Sabina, mom, and dad immigrated to San Francisco. I was 4 years old.
I grew up in an immigrant community in Richmond District with kids just like me, who emerged with Russian-immigrant values and the American drive. For many, this mix has translated to obtaining top notch education, high salaries, expensive taste, lucrative retirement plans, obsession with real estate, tight families, respect for culture, and still, the love for alcohol and life!
I followed my passion for politics and current affairs (mostly as they relate to Israel), and graduated UC Berkeley in Political Science (not a popular major among Russian Jewish kids!!). As a graduation present to myself, I booked a three month trip to Israel. It was this very summer of 2006 that I had made the most drastic decision of my life. And, it is here where my story begins…
Summer 2006 was the first time I’d been so far away from family; first time that I lived in a foreign country; first time I encountered war; first time I made best friends from around the world; first time I attended a funeral of a terror victim; first time I slept on the beach; first time I kissed for hours on the beach; first time I sipped Turkish coffee on the beach. It was the first time I fell in love – knee-weak, stomachturning, drunken love that surpasses any human love. It was Israel…She possessed me…and with tremendous fear I submitted to this love, and promised Her to return to make Aliyah.
…But first, career (my American side).
I arrived to San Francisco depressed as hell, but with open arms to greet my dream job that embodied both my love for Israel and politics. I had no back up plan to AIPAC. My fantasies of grown-up life and independence after college would always begin with me working at AIPAC, and in fact, my mentors there raised me, pushed me, and exposed me to the highest caliber of work. When I left AIPAC after three years to fulfill my promise to Israel, I took a few souvenirs from the office: steal confidence, killer communications skills, and a true understanding of managing relationships. I felt ready…
Ready or not, my chartered flight to Ben Gurion Airport on April 25, 2009 was approaching fast. To keep the cool and calm in the increasingly anxious family, I played down the ordeal by pretending I was just going off to camp, what’s the biggy?!! Actually, I was scared shitless, but I only allowed myself to break after the good-byes at the security terminal. I was afraid, suddenly alone, and uncomprehending of what I was getting myself into. Moving to Israel has been my life’s greatest risk, hardest kick in the rear, and the ultimate blessing.
Diary excerpts written on the runway at SFO to JFK:
…I don’t want to be dramatic, but it is, it’s very fu**** dramatic!!! I am making Aliyah! I’ve held back my tears for so long, even now, at the security gate, no tears, with my slightly terrified mom and dad, and surprisingly-fragile Sabina…
…One last look, San Francisco is wet and foggy, and artificially illuminated from the mist.
….Thank you G-d for all that you have blessed me and my family with. Thank you for watching over us, and I only ask that you continue to keep us safe, happy and healthy”
…”Flight attendants, prepare for take off.”