Saturday, February 21, 2009


I'm catching up on researching aliyah, being a lawyer, etc. in Israel. I have a lot of it in my email accounts, but I guess it didn't hit me until I printed it all out.

I know that I will be sacrificing a lot by going to school in and living in Israel instead of in America. There are more years to study (though the work is less rigorous), there might be a job to have, I might make much less money than a lawyer in America, and I am not sure who is going to pay for all of this.

The question is what is on the other side of the balance. I've been thinking about what I want in life in terms of my environment, because I don't know what law school will be like and I don't know what it's really like to be a lawyer beyond the little interning that I've done (good thing that I did!). I know that Hebrew makes me happy. I know that bits of Israeli culture make me happy; I especially like that they help teach me Hebrew, so that it's more intellectually stimulating and therefore rewarding. At times, however, this does not feel like a solid enough reason to go. Are these the things that will fill out my life? At the end of the day, will I feel like I'm working to live, and not living to work?

I don't know what will make me happy, and I'm not sure how to move on from here. I want to mark this point of hesitation as I try to figure out what I want in life in a shorter time than I should be. I know I will be figuring this out as I live in Israel, but I still feel like I should be making steps in a direction I am more confident about.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Arguments Against Death

I really have no idea how to handle "You could get killed!" arguments from my parents. Pointing to the fact that I could get run over by a car tomorrow here, in the United States, or that people live in Israel, every day, or...and it could go on.

Nothing seems to work. I don't know what to do. It's their ultimate argument against me traveling there, even. Their answer is a categorical no, and I am stuck at home.

A Changing American Dream?

I might be pushing this with an article from a website as esteemed as Yahoo, but I have no doubts that the wars we've been having have at least done some damage to our economy (If you are having trouble understanding what I am saying, then you have missed the tone here).

Perhaps it's not so much important that America's standard of living is not going to do well, but that countries around the world are evening out with it. This is a good sign. It's no argument to convince a co-immigrant mother who seems to have unshakable faith in the American dream (money!), but it's something to keep in mind, at the very least.

"Worst Is Yet to Come:" Americans' Standard of Living Permanently Changed

Posted Feb 17, 2009 12:53pm EST by Aaron Task in Investing, Recession

There's no question the American consumer is hurting in the face of a burst housing bubble, financial market meltdown and rising unemployment.

But "the worst is yet to come," according to Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, who believes American's standard of living is undergoing a "permanent change" - and not for the better as a result of:

  • An $8 trillion negative wealth effect from declining home values.
  • A $10 trillion negative wealth effect from weakened capital markets.
  • A $14 trillion consumer debt load amid "exploding unemployment", leading to "exploding bankruptcies."

"The average American used to be able to borrow to buy a home, send their kids to a good school [and] buy a car," Davidowitz says. "A lot of that is gone."

Going forward, the veteran retail industry consultant foresees higher savings rate and people trading down in both the goods and services they buy - as well as their aspirations.

The end of rampant consumerism is ultimately a good thing, he says, but the unraveling of an economy built on debt-fueled spending will be painful for years to come.

Source: Yahoo News.

Link (unstable)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hebrew (Musings)

So. I decided to expose myself to a lot of Hebrew these past few days. It was exhausting. It made me think my Hebrew absolutely, well, sucks (not as much as some other people's, but definitely not as little as I think it should).

It makes me wonder whether I will be able to handle hearing Hebrew 24/7. It's not as though I don't know I will hear other languages in Israel, but the language I will need to use will be Hebrew. I would feel weird taking a job that has me speak more in English than in Hebrew. Hebrew (and Arabic) are the official languages. It's more than just a label. It is the essence of the country, at least to me, anyway.

I don't know whether it is a bad or a good thing that I am dissatisfied with my Hebrew. I don't know where I'm supposed to be, level-wise. How much will my Hebrew improve in a year? How much will it improve if I live in Israel? Of course, it will improve more, and faster--but not exponentially--but how will I feel in the end? Will Hebrew become something so natural and second-nature, or such a chore in the beginning, that it will seem like an odd reason to make aliyah in the first place? I just don't know.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


About universities. I am considering studying law in Israel and becoming a lawyer. It looks like litigation, one of the areas (I thought) I was most interested in, isn't as popular in Israel as is corporate law. But I have decided not to worry about that now. I want to apply to several graduate schools (law schools), hopefully with the possibility of doing a combined LLB/LLM program (it still bugs me that I will have a BA).

These are the ones I will need to consider:
  • Bar-Ilan U.
  • Tel-Aviv U.
  • U. of Haifa
  • U. of J'lem
In case you have nodded off at this point, feel free to vote in my poll, "Would you attend law school in Israel?" I'd love to hear comments, especially to those of you who pick "no." Why not go to law school there?

Other ones (that I'd never heard of, probably because they are schools of law at other colleges. Thank you, Wikipedia) include:
  • Academic Center of Law & Business, Ramat Gan
  • College of Management, Rishon Lezion
  • Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya
  • Netanya Academic College, Netanya
  • Ono Academic College, Kiryat Ono
  • Sha'arei Mishpat, Hod HaSharon
I will definitely focus on the big guys...or might this chart below (from Wikipedia) suggest otherwise? I need to look at the details, because numbers alone do not tell a good (in any sense of the word) story! I think this chart is unlikely to be useful by itself.

Law school Num. licensed
College of Management 275
Shaarey Mishpat 240
Academic Center of Law & Business in Ramat Gan 213
Tel-Aviv University (TAU) 188
Netanya Academic College Law School 184
Hebrew University (HUJI) 162
Ono Academic College Faculty of Law 154
Haifa University (HAI) 128
Bar Ilan University (BIU) 117
Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya 109
(abroad) °45
(misc.) °°2
I haven't posted here in forever. That's because I was not on top of things last semester.

That's going to change. This blog will store useful information I find online, all relevant to becoming a graduate student in and moving to Israel.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Good International Trend?

..From The New York Times:

Much overseas expansion has occurred in the past five years, and even more recently than that for the Middle East and Asia, according to statistics compiled by the National Law Journal, a trade publication.

Link to Article
Lawyers Wanted: Abroad, That Is
Published: November 23, 2008
As the economic downturn continues, a growing number of lawyers are starting to look overseas for work.