With a toddler’s command of the Hebrew language and the wide-eyed idealism of a recent college grad, Jessica Fishman moved from a predictable white bread way of life in the American Midwest, to a decidedly more topsy-turvy existence in the Mideast. After a decade of living in Israel, Jessica knows what it’s like to venture out of your comfort zone to follow your dreams and lend a voice to issues that matter.
On Thursday, March 9 Jewish young professionals will have a chance to hear her story firsthand when Access presents “Dinner, Lit and Chocolate; the Search for Love and Identity in the Holy Land,” in a private section of Bronte Bistro at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Commons at 6:30 p.m.
Speaking with wit, sarcasm and self-deprecating humor, she will re-live some of her most embarrassing and difficult moments and give a never-before-seen snap shot of Israeli culture from the inside.
The event is free with an advance RSVP and includes dinner, a drink ticket and a decadent chocolate dessert. The first 50 to RSVP will also receive a free hardbound copy of Jessica’s new book, Chutzpah and High Heels; The Search for Love and Identity in the Holy Land—all courtesy of Access and The Mayerson Foundation, which funds and operates Access.
Having grown up in Minnesota as a member of a Zionist family, Jessica graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism and Business and decided to move to Israel. She spent her first few years serving in the Israel Defense Forces, learning the language and getting acclimated to the country. Since then she has written a number of articles that have been featured in leading Israeli and Jewish media and developed the popular Aliyah Survival Blog—an irreverent portrayal of an American immigrant’s first years in Israel. After surviving a life-changing event she decided to write a deeply personal, witty memoir about the difficulties, absurdities, and excitement of making a home in a new country.
“I think that most people, whether Jewish or not, male or female, can identify with my story,” explains Jessica. “I want to give an insider’s look into a country that captures people’s attention around the world and give a human face to a place most people only see on the news,” she adds. “For the Jewish community, I also want to provide a more nuanced and honest view of a country that is so central to our lives and identity.”
“We are thrilled to be able to bring Jessica to Cincinnati for this exclusive engagement,” explains Pam Saeks, Director of Jewish Innovation and Engagement at The Mayerson Foundation. “As a Jewish young professional herself, we thought Jessica’s unique story would really resonate with our constituents and inspire them to speak out and make change even in the face of great pain and big challenges.”
Fishman will sign copies of her book during the evening. In addition, there will be a Book Exchange. All participants who bring one or more books will be able to trade them in for a book or books that others bring that evening.
This event is open to Jewish young professionals, 21-35 years old. Non-Jewish significant others are always welcome. Advance reservations are mandatory. Space is limited and will fill up quickly. For more information refer to the ad which appears elsewhere in this issue of The American Israelite.