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Monday, November 20, 2006

Deciding My Destiny and Fate... MAYBE

OK, I've been putting off writing this for a while, because every time I think about it, I start getting all frustrated and confused. I also don't want any significant others getting the wrong idea out of my frustrations. I'm going to be finishing up my Masters degree in January, and I have about 6-8 months to decide what I want to do after. It's a really hard thing since my entire concept of my future has been turned upside down since I made Aliyah. Those who come here with high-tech or any sort of computer jobs are pretty much set to do what they were doing in the states when they come here. Most of the time, they can get a job in English, or, if in Hebrew, the language barrier isn't bad because all the work is done in the universal languages of computers. Any ways, it's a bit harder for me.

When I was graduating college in the states, I was accepted in the best Forensic Psychology program in the country, for an MA at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I had been pre-approved for an internship at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. I was going to work for the FBI, in either victim's assistance program or helping solve violent crimes. That was it. My future was very open and basically set ahead of me. Then, it all changed. I am living in Israel, and I have no idea what to do with myself. Don't get me wrong. I have no regrets, and I love my new country, but I need balance. I am happy in my family life, yet I feel completely useless in my employment life.

I will have a MA in Israeli Society and Politics. If you ask me what the hell that means, I couldn't even begin to tell you. But, it's a graduate degree, and, apparently, that means a lot. In any case, I had been hoping to maybe work for the police here. Well, over the past 2 years I have learned some very unflattering things about the Police Force in Israel. First of all, they are behind in many areas. They are a total bureaucracy. It is almost impossible to change things from the inside. They do not really have the same type of services that is now common in the states. There really aren't specialized sex crimes units, and there is no Forensic Psychologists. There isn't even a Forensic Psychology program offered in the country. And, honestly, I don't really feel like making my own little crusade, and focusing the rest of my life on trying to change the system. If they don't want to change, I'm sure as hell not going to try to force them. When the system begins to completely break down, than I'd be willing to step in and do something. Until then, no thank you. READ THE REST...

Then, comes the language barrier. When it comes to what I would have wanted to do, this becomes an almost monumental challenge. Now, after 2 years, my comprehension is pretty good. I can read newspapers and watch Israeli programming with fairly little problems. But, I still can't speak, for the life of me. I assume that in the line of work I would have wanted to do, my Hebrew skills have to be spot on in all areas. So, that pretty much crosses that out.

Now, I have to completely reevaluate everything. Do I want to go for another degree straight off? What excites me? What would excite me? Am I doomed to have to find some sort of English based job? What would make me happy and feel fulfilled? Honestly, there at least a dozen more questions I've been asking myself, and I don't really have an answer for any of them. I just absolutely don't know what to do with myself. I feel like I'm doomed to work in some call center for the rest of my life. I know that's just me getting down on myself. Things have never been this unclear for me. When I was 4, I decided I wanted to be a doctor, and want on setting that path. In my first year of college, I realized that I loved dissecting the puzzles of the mind more than I loved dissecting animals in Bio lab. I switched majors from Pre-Med to Psychology and didn't look back. I absolutely loved every class I took. In my second year, I realized that I didn't want to be some regular Clinical Psych that sat around all day listening to peoples' problems. The thought of that really turned me off. I did some research, a lot of reading, and it was Forensic Psychology that really lit a light inside me. Then, I came here, and I have no idea anymore. I really don't know anything any-more.

What do I do now???


At 4:09 PM, Blogger Cosmic X said...


Try getting a job with the Police. They may be interested in starting a Forensic Psychology unit, and you will get in on the ground floor. Don't worry about the language problem. When you get thrown into the water you quickly learn how to swim!

If in any case you are afraid of the language problem you may want to take a little time off and learn Judaism in a place where there are only Israelis, like Machon Ora. Then you will have to speak Hebrew.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger amechad said...

Boy, I know what you mean - although I at least wanted to use my MA in Israeli Society but I realize that everyone thinks they know what's up but don't. I dunno, life sucks.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Am, I hear ya. Totally. I feel the same way sometimes.

Cosmic, what's Macho Ora? I've never heard of it. Do they have a web-site or something? I understand and agree with what you're saying. The problem is that I don't want to go into the police force knowing that I'm going to have to crusade to get what I want. I just really don't have the energy for something like that. I don't know.

At 9:41 PM, Blogger Yoel.Ben-Avraham said...

What ever you do - do NOT join the Israeli Police. Although there may be good individuals, perhaps even departments that are decent honest men & women, on a whole the entire organization is corrupt and far more akin to a Banna Republic Political Enforcement Mafioso than a 1st World Police.

You MIGHT try finding employment in the private sector. Maybe work with an International agency with Israeli representation?

Best of luck.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Yoel, I totally agree with what your saying, which is one of my main problems with the Police here. Do you have an example of that kind of organization?

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

What about law enforcement forces other than police? Maybe they have some similar program there. Shabak?

At 1:20 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Irina, I'm checking into that. Again, the language barrier might be the biggest hurdle to over-come. I have some-one to speak with, and I'm definitely going to do that.

Thanks, every-one, for all of your help. It is so appreciated, you have no idea.

At 2:39 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...

I'd speak to people there (preferably Anglos who have been there a while) and ask them what they think. They may know of options that you don't.

Bar-Ilan has an intensive Ivrit ulpan that is either 6 weeks or 3 months every year - they take completely clueless people and turn them (truly) fluent, supposedly. You may want to look into that. It's worth an extra few months now to get truly fluent if it will save you that much time and effort in the future when trying to move up.

If you need people to speak to, I may be able to get a few people for you.

At 4:35 AM, Blogger Smooth said...

Does the FBI have an international office in Israel? Perhaps Forensic Criminal behavior crosses over/overlaps into terrorist behaviors? As for myself, I was once very interested in getting a degree at John Jay. My core of interest was cyber crime; I never pursued it with John Jay but I still think about doing it one day. I wish you good luck and peace of mind.

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Ezzie, I might very well want to get in touch with those people you know. Can you e-mail me?

Smooth, if you're interested, pursue it! John Jay is an excellent school with incredible programs with teachers that have so much practical experience. I am still considering going back for it. I'm not sure that the FBI has an international office. I wouldn't think so being that the FBI is not an international organization, like the CIA.

You guys are giving me such very interesting ideas. Please, keep them coming. It's really helpful, and I appreciate it so much.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger aliyah06 said...

"The Police Department is corrupt" has some truth to it in that, like most major organizations, there are corrupt individuals who give the rest a bad name -- but I found this to be true in hi-tech in the Silicon Industry also.

I married a California cop who started police work back in the Sixties when everyone knew cops were "pigs" and racist brutes--there was no affirmative action, no attention to domestic violence, child sexual abuse was a 'family problem', etc....times change and police work changes with it. Now cops are paid professional salaries, get yearly training updates, can specialize in cyber-crime, white collar crime, drug interdiction, etc. because cops coming in since the Sixties and the communities they police demanded change.

Police work will change here, too--but societies generally get the kind of police work they ask for. If you, on the force, can effect change, you may find its not just a one-person crusade but that you get some grass-roots support also. People generally don't like corrupt cops, stupid cops, lots of crime and unresponsive government, so there is room for improvement if people demand it. Advanced degrees in criminology, a professional salary and on-going training would help the Israel Police become a force to be reckoned with. I think this will happen--and you may find police work very rewarding--my husband and his colleagues did. If its terrible, quit--but give it a try first.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Aliyah, you make a very good point. I will definitely have to give that some consideration. Now, I feel like I have too many options. I will have to take this all into account. Maybe, I was thinking, if I started somewhere smaller, like a smaller police station instead of head-quarters, I can start the small change. What do you think about that?

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

OC - Email me sometime this weekend (serandez at gmail) and I'll try to email some people.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

No problem. Thanks so much!!

At 11:00 AM, Blogger westbankmama said...

OC - I would research the kinds of crimes perpetrated in Israel before exploring further. Perhaps there isn't interest in forensic psychology because there isn't as much need for it. I know that the murder rate, for example, is lower in Israel than in other countries (domestic violence in certain sectors makes up a good part of this statistic).

At 1:26 PM, Blogger tafka PP said...


I also might have some contacts for you. Email me if you want more information.


PS- WBM is sadly wrong, Israel's Domestic Violence stats are the same as anywhere else in the developed world...

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

tafka, I will email you later today. Thank so much. I really appreciate it.


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