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Jamie Geller To Make Aliyah – Follow Jamie to Israel


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Tonight at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Tweetup (#nbntweetup) at the JNF house in Manhattan, I announced the incredible news that we are making aliyah this summer.  Here is essentially what I said.

“I, Jamie Geller, my husband and our children will be realizing a lifelong dream of ours, our parents, our grandparents and the Jewish people for the past 2,000 years.  We will be making aliyah this summer with Nefesh B’Nefesh on the August 13th 2012 Charter Flight.

[Exhale. Looooong exhale.]

I said it.  It feels so good to finally have said it.

Here’s a little back story about how I came to be here and share this news with you, first this evening.

As the theme of the evening is how social media can bridge the gap between US and Israel, I met Laura Ben David, Social Media Coordinator for Nefesh B’Nefesh exactly where you would expect to meet a social media coordinator, on Twitter.  As I was reading her profile I saw that in addition to her day job at NBN she was also the author of MOVING UP An Aliyah Journal.  Well I just had to get my hands on that book!  With our upcoming move I was making it my mission to get my hands on anything and everything that would inspire me and prepare me for this momentous occasion.  So Laura and I decided to swap books: she got the cookbooks I got the journal.

Hubby and I proceeded to pour over every word of that book for the next 48 hours.  It’s an inspiring, hilarious, emotional journey, and as I am reading about what it takes to make aliyah – how it happens, what it’s really like – I was struck by Laura’s remarkably positive attitude through it all.  At the same time, I thought (as a TV producer thinks) this story, this great story of a family upping and moving to Israel, must be made into a movie.

Then I figure, it’s so good, it must have been done already.  So with as much intensity as a Google search will allow, I searched and came up with – nothing!  I DMed Laura, sure that NBN must have done something like this, and again… nothing.

I was alternately thinking a movie like this has to happen, maybe it’s not gonna happen, how can I make this happen…Pulling out my hair trying to figure out how/what/when, coming up with a budget, then slashing that budget like a jungle explorer with a machete, thinking some more, improvising… Long story short, 200 phone calls, tweets and emails later, with bursting excitement, I am announcing a partnership between our company – The Kosher Media Network – and Nefesh B’Nefesh.

We will be producing a real time (or as close to real time as possible) aliyah documentary, called Joy of Israel!

Starting this Tuesday, and then almost every Wednesday at 7pm between now and Rosh Hashanah, we will be releasing a clip or episode of our journey, an online aliyah diary.

We will cover everything from our lift on both sides of the pond, our goodbye BBQ, our last 24 hours in America, the airport flight and landing in Israel, the first 48 hours in Israel – everything from the exciting to the mundane to the necessary – registering for school, health insurance, drivers’ license, Ulpan, meeting family, friends, neighbors, shopping at the makolet, first day of school, and our first trip to Yerushalayim.

This will be an honest and vivid portrayal of what it takes to make aliyah, what it feels like to join our brothers and sisters in the Jewish homeland.

I hope that people will see that on so many levels, dreams do come true.  The soul cannot be denied its return home.  I am overcome with emotion, anticipation, and awe that, G-d willing, we will be in Israel soon.

Much of the production arm of Kosher Media Network will be moved to Israel.  In my new kitchen I will continue shooting my regular cooking show, as well as a new show for PBS about Chanukah, set entirely in Israel.

You and I will still share everything as before The website, the books, the cooking shows, the events – everything will continue. I will travel back to see you in person and continue to share new and inspiring recipes, photos and videos on JoyofKosher.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube, and on Instagram. Lol, does it really matter where I happen to be located?

Well, yes. It makes a world of difference to me.”

With love


Watch my “live” announcement here.

Episode Guide


The Announcement Teaser

Premiere Date: Tuesday June 26 7:00pm EST

The Announcement Episode

Premiere Date: Wednesday July 11 7:00pm EST

The US Lift Teaser

Premiere Date: Wednesday July 18 7:00pm EST

The US Lift Episode

Premiere Date: Wednesday July 25 7:00pm EST

Goodbye BBQ Teaser

Premiere Date: Wednesday August 8 7:00pm EST

Airport Teaser

Premiere Date: Wednesday August 15 7:00pm EST

Last 24/The Flight Episode

Premiere Date: Wednesday August 22 7:00pm EST

First 48/Welcome to Israel Episode

Premiere Date: Wednesday September 5 7:00pm EST

The Israel Lift Teaser

Premiere Date:Wednesday September 12 7:00pm EST

Happy New Year from Israel Episode

Premiere Date: Wednesday September 19 7:00pm EST

Image – Me and my production crew.

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About Jamie Geller


Jamie Geller is the only best-selling cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen – not because she doesn’t love food – but because she has tons to do. As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now the "Queen of Kosher" (CBS) and the "Jewish Rachael Ray" (New York Times), she's the creative force behind JoyofKosher.com and "Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller" magazine . Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their five busy kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen - quickly. Check out her new book, "Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes."




98 Responses to Jamie Geller To Make Aliyah – Follow Jamie to Israel

  1. jamie, wow this is so wonderful and inspiring! I wish you and your family much hatzlacha and bracha from this new chapter in your life. May it be a smooth and easy transition.

    • Mazal Tov. Best of luck. I’ve been here since 84 which makes me an olah chadasha meshumasha(used new immigrant) If I can help in any way please shoot me an email. I’ve been through the ropes and the ringer here. Know a lot about schools, social services, food etc.

  2. Good for you. If you need any help, shoot me an email. I’ve been living here since 1984. Nothing like it. Best

  3. Mazel tov to you and your family!!! I’m sure G-d will send you all the brachot for your new life in our Land

  4. Mazel Tov! Is th magazine going to continue?

  5. Congratuations on your upcoming aliyah. Hope to see more food and recipes geared to Israeli ingredients. It can be a challenge.

    • avatar says: yitzi

      First off Mazel and Welcome home. I can’t wait to see some more receipes geared toward the Israeli crowd. I made Aliyah w/NBN just last year (2011) and Im loving every second. One thing I miss a lot is good meat, but Im learning to work with what I can get.

    • I know. Will be using lots of fresh non prepared processed stuff. what’s with the meat? I know I have to learn the number system, but what about the quality? where did you move to?

  6. avatar says: cowgirl

    Mazel Tov!!!!!!! I plan to follow your journey, and maybe, next year…….
    Our G-d works in mystery….

  7. Jamie, that is such wonderful news! A huge kol hakavod to your whole family. Looking forward to greeting you here at home!

  8. avatar says: karynb

    Jamie–where will you be living?would be happy to answer any questions—i live in jerusalem.been here since 1991

  9. avatar says: Rose Mary

    Jamie: This is wonderful news. My husband and I are making aliyah on the same flight. I hope to meet you then. Mazel tov on your big move This is great!!

  10. avatar says: dalesusan

    wow! my son made aliyah and is living in tzfat as a tour guide w/ his israeli wife and 3 kids. her family is from mitzpe netofa (a beautiful dati community in the north) which i highly recommend. where will you be living?

  11. avatar says: LeslieH

    Mazel tov to you and your family. Wishing you the best. L’shalom.

  12. Mazel Tov to you and your loved ones! What a brave journey for your family. I am a Food Journalist and have been a faithful follower of your recipes for some time. Hopefully your journal will continue to inspire many American and Israeli cooks. Israel is indeed lucky to have someone so creative and dedicated to Jewish food in their country. L’Chayim on this blessed turning point in your life!

  13. Mazel tov to all of you. May all of your dreams come true. Am looking forward to following yoour adventure.

  14. OMG what news! I wish you lots of luck, and success, and fulfillment, and fun, and delicious times! Rock that Israeli Kitchen! Where are you settling? Hey maybe we’ll shoot a nice show together! Lots of love Jamie, to you and all yours! xoxoxo

    • lots of love to you Levana! I have yet to meet my Israeli kitchen – Hubby sent some picture of the apartment he rented (without me!!!) hope to shoot a video in it soon after I arrive and share it with the world.

  15. Amen! Mazel Tov! How wonderful! Wish I could join you! Maybe someday. May you be blessed with a smooth transition and tons of joy to see you past the bumps! I look forward to having recipes from the Land!!

  16. avatar says: judyl

    That’s so wonderful!! I’m sure that you and your family will be happy here. Takes me back 30 years when we arrived on August 15 with our young family including a 4 month old. Now we are grandparents. Guaranteed, you will never have a boring day, and each day you will marvel at the modern day miracles that constantly surround us.

    • I have chills almost 40 years later we are now going with out family – we will arrive on August 13. I imagine one never forgets that date. We will be traveling with our children (our baby will be about 10 months old). I hope to meet you one day in Israel.

  17. avatar says: busybubby

    Wow ! I’ve been here for 16 years and am so happy we made aliya! I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. We’re currently in RBS, but are investigating other communities, so we’re kind of up to date regarding different places around the country. Kol Hakavod to you guys!!

  18. avatar says: holycook

    Kol Hakavod! A brave, thrilling move in any situation, but w/documentary cameras in tow (in real time!) even more so. Looking forward to watching our journey and meeting you here in Israel. Have a wonderful experience and savor every moment (both good *and* less so)

    • AMEN an thank you. I wanted to share the story to hopefully encourage, inspire and give strength to others. I look forward to meeting you. Where are you located?

  19. avatar says: joans

    Kol Hakavod, Jamie! It is where you belong. Where will you be living? I live in Jerusalem since 1981.

    • I am just in awe of everyone here writing to me and I am stunned by how many of you are in Israel (my soon to be new home!) We will be in RBS to start. where did you come from?

  20. avatar says: stacee

    Mazal Tov on your upcoming Aliyah!!! We celebrate 10 years on the day your family arrives. We moved with 6 sons from Los Angeles. It will be so good to have you help us Anglos navigate the food aisles with substitutions for ingredients we cannot get here ie:water chestnuts and so much more but over the last 10 years it has gotten so much better but still a long way to go.I think i can speak for your followers living in Israel that we welcome you and your talents to Israel and look forward to many more quick and kosher recipes with in season fruits and veggies from Israel.

    • avatar says: dener

      I’ve substituted raw Jerusalem artichokes for water-chestnuts in salads, and it’s not too bad. You at least still get the “crunch”.

    • stacee – I am choked up as I write this. I honestly did not know I had so many “followers” in Israel. This date seems to be so meaningful to so many people, it will be special to share the arrival date with you and others. I will try my best to cook and create recipes with ingredients that everyone will have access too and I am thinking I will now try to have both measurements for people – what a challenge I have ahead of me. I feel like just yesterday (literally) I entered the kitchen to cook for the first time, with such fear. I have a little of that same fear now going to a new place, I know it’s still a kitchen but well you know, it’s not the same.

  21. avatar says: sydel

    WOW! I was surprised, but sooo happy for you guys!
    May G-d bless you all with so much Yiddishe nachas and the best of life!
    I have been your “fan” for a while…YOU have helped me out so many a time with yom tov and Shabbos dinners.. I live totally isolated from anything Jewish..including Kosher food stores…so needless to say many of your lovely yummy “quic” recipes have become “not so quick” for me, but still fantastic..because you gave me the desire and will to “JUST DO IT”! Thank you Jamielah.. AND now with this new chapter of your life..Alliyah..Well it’s gotten me to thinking.. who knows?? If “our” Jamie can leave her world where it was already easier to be Jewish compared to where we live..well…B”H there’s a Yiddish light at the end of tunnel for us too! You seem so happy with your decision..that you GLOW!!! We send you all HUGS and again MAZAL TOV TOV TOV!!! The “lone” Yiddish Mama ;)

    • To my “lone” Yiddish Mama, I truly can not thank you enough for writing me here. You totally get it. The last few years of my life have been dedicated to explaining to people “yes YOU can, if I can do it YOU can do it.” I didn’t grow up religious, I didn’t grow up kosher an literally I grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth, NEVER lifted a finger forget about cooking. I have become so far away from what I ever thought or dreamed. And I am thankful to Hashem for that fact everyday. The last few years I struggled with this decision. I had so much fear, so much apprehension. I was NEVER going to move to Israel. Never. This was so NOT me. And you know… after alot of struggle I am now so at peace with the decision. I can’t believe you said I am “glowing” I truly am at peace and so happy that it is coming across. I wish you incredible brachos to continue to be a pillar wherever you are (WHERE ARE YOU?!?) and hope that you will join us in Israel. L’Shana Habba B’Yerushalayim. My husband always said/says we should mean that and this year when we said it, we did.

  22. avatar says: elida

    Welcome to the World Center of Kosher cooking. Hope you will show these Israeli chefs a thing or two about healthy and scrumptious kosher cooking.
    You’ll love the challenge of incorporating wonderful Israeli ingredients and endless ethnic cuisines into your kitchen.

    May you and your family have a easy Aliya. NBN is definitely a great place to start.

    From Jerusalem

  23. Bsha’a tova u’mutslachat.
    All the best on your upcoming aliyah.
    Wonderful to have you here in the Holyland.
    Just keep everything in perspective. It will take time to adjust but if you are determined to succeed, you will.
    Assuming you will be living in an Anglo-type neighborhood, your new neighbors will be there to help in many ways. After all we really are one big family.
    So again, good luck and welcome home!
    After looking at some of the other posts, I really feel old. We have been here for over 30 years. My goodness how time flies when you are having fun!

    • savtaesther! Amen and thank you. I expected to be welcomed by my family when I arrived but I could never have imagined this new family waiting for me. I love you all and thank you all already!! can’t wait to be together!

  24. avatar says: michele

    Mazal tov. If you want some first hand aliyah experiences you might try contacting my son and daughter-in-law. They made aliyah July 11, 2011
    with NBN. 6 weeks later my daughter in law gave birth to their first son. There were many firsts for them last summer. They presently live in Tel-Aviv and are all smiles. We will be visiting them this summer. Some of their experiences were frustrating and even humourous. Ultimately they feel that they are where they belong. They have indeed come home. Lots of luck. Keep sending new and tasty reciepes.

    • michele thank you!!!! I have been so warned to expect the frustrating humorous experiences. I hope to capture them on camera and share them with you all. In the end everyone always says what your children are saying, I hope to say the same. Mazel Tov on your sabra grandson :-) !

  25. avatar says: dener

    Mazel Tov! My family made Aliya 4 years ago to Modiin, and we are very happy we came. I love your Shabbat menu’s and have shared your site with everyone in the office. When I just read that you were making Aliya, there was a big “whoot” on your behalf! Keep a sense of humor during the process, and it will all be ok! :)

    • I have tears, real tears, no figuratively, literally, Thank you thank you thank you, my eyes are clouding over, I can’t believe this! Please say hi to everyone in the office for me. My brother in law and family live in Chashmonaim – not far from you. Maybe one day we can meet.

  26. avatar says: abby27

    Mazal tov and good luck. We your israeli followers are very excited. welcome home

  27. avatar says: oritbe

    Mazal Tov! Bruchim Habaim.I am sure u and your family will be very very happy here in Israel. I wish u all good luck, Parnsa tova, Nachat and may u continue to bring us new flavors now from Israel.

  28. avatar says: yadler

    Mazal Tov and good luck, as a follower of the site who lives in Israel. I can’t wait to see cooking tips with products that can be found here in Israel!!

  29. Welcome to the Holyland we’ve been waiting for you!!! I am a big fan,I get your magazine each month here in Israel. Please do a cooking class at my home in Ra’anana b’simcha Kol Hakavod

    • WOW!!!! will be my first Israel class. Give me a “few” to settle in and then we can talk bli neder. Thank you for your support with the magazine, with everything!

  30. avatar says: Chaviva

    Wow…this is amazing news. You are so sweet to include us on this move. It will be a treat to watch and maybe a guide for any of us who would love to do this but just don’t yet have the courage to do so.
    Thank you

    • Chaviva, I didn’t have the courage for so long, for so long I fought it. The goal of the documentary series is to give everyone the strength to consider and ultimately go through with the move. I hope that you will watch and be inspired. To share with you all means so much to me ad that you all are now taking the time to share back is incredible. Thank you!

  31. What an amazing, inspirational and motivated person you are!! Wow! kol hakavod! And, the decision to share your Aliyah experience with us – brilliant!! You’re right, what’s location? I’m in South Africa, you’ll be in Israel, Tamar in New York and we’ll still been able to share our passion for cooking on the web! It’s all about communicating and nobody does it better than you.

    I wish you all the luck in the “world”. No matter where you are you will create and make an impact !

    • AMEN AMEN AMEN. Sharon you are proof that no matter where you are this WORLDWIDE web (to use such an antiquated) term connects us and our passions. I am honored to be sharing the stage with you.

  32. avatar says: stacee

    there are quite a lot of oriental markets in Jerusalem that sell large cans of water chestnuts but the cans have no Hashgacha on them and most of the stuff in these stores unfortunately are imported and not Kosher. I have visitors bring me cans when they visit but now with luggage restrictions it will be more difficult.

  33. This response is to Sina Mizrahi thekosherpoon.com – just like all firsts, your comment holds a special place in my heart. you immediately took the time to write and let me know someone was listening. Sending you lots of love and bracha! Jamie

  34. avatar says: Jules

    Hi! I am a 21 year old student on the same aliyah flight! I am hoping to volunteer in the IDF :)

  35. Mazal Tov on a great decision. I came in 2003 single to Jerusalem, and I found my husband here, had three girls and just submitted my Phd in Cancer and Developmental Biology. So I guess I can say that life’s been good here in Israel! When you come we’d be happy to host you for an event in the growing community of Ariel http://ohelefraim.wordpress.com/
    Klita kalah!

    • Hi Yael, how wonderful – we hope to have a similar success story! My cousin Benu Chilovitch a”h was very involved there in Ariel, and I remember years ago attending a fundraising event for the then mayor of Ariel.

  36. avatar says: mir2012

    hi so my family and i are making an aliyah as well and wil be on ur flight!! also moving to rbs@!!! looking forward to meeting u !! mazal tov and wish u lots of luck!! ur move should be easy and smooth

    • AMEN AMEN and to you too!!! how amazing — we will be neighbors — please lets try to meet at the airport. What are your plans for when you arrive? wishing you hatzlacha!!

  37. Mazal tov to you and your family. May you know peace, good health and happiness in Israel!

  38. avatar says: miribiran

    Hello Jamie Good news and I’m looking forward to see you and your family, that I have not met. First Saturday you are invited to us.
    Love Miri

  39. avatar says: doris

    hello jamie.will u stay in jerusalem afer u arrive or some where else if u do there is no problem with findig good and fresh meat and not the frozen stuff. with the best hehsher.for help u can call me on my cellph.0526008476 and good luck to u and your family. doris from jerusalem

  40. Mazal tov Jamie! I can’t wait to follow you on your journey to Israel. I have no doubt that your documentary will inspire many others to take the leap. Best of luck!

  41. It was great to be there in person when you first shared your wonderful news! Mazal Tov and enjoy your new adventure!

  42. Hi Jamie,
    Mazel Tov! I am in RBS also. It’s great to live here. Enjoy this special moment in your life. I will be here 8 years on August 11..


  43. avatar says: c.zelasko

    Mazal Tov, Jamie! I have been “Nudging” you for 4 years to make Aliyah. Baruch Hashem it is really happening! Can’t wait to meet you.
    Love, Chana Zelasko

  44. avatar says: mir2012

    jamie– yes we will have to meet at the airport! i just made one of ur challah recipies and it was a real hit out of this world! as for my plans… going to take each day as it comes… with three young boys under the age of 7 it will def be a journey lol….around where in rbs will u be? . it is nice to know that so many other jewish families are making aliya at the same time we r it is good to know we r not alone :)

  45. avatar says: ellies354

    Mazal tov Jamie! I made aliyah six years ago, met my husband here in Israel (also an oleh from Texas) and we love living here! (in Givat Shmuel – near Bar Ilan University). I love your cookbooks and online blog, but have always had trouble getting some of the ingredients, as many are not widely available in Israel, especially if you live outside an Anglo center. Can you adapt some of your recipes to ingredients commonly found in Israel? Thanks!

  46. avatar says: Malki

    We live in RBS and love it. meat – depends on what hechsher you are looking for. There is a min”super”market – BEST that sells fresh meat. There is a butcher in BS industrial area and one in the RBS shopping complex.
    Good Luck! RBS Alef has many areas, each has its own flavor. Feel free to email me for more information.

    • thanks Malki!!! hechsherim in Israel are so confusing to me — guess I better sort it out quick! We will be neighbors – step mom in law just told me her brisket in Israel took 6 hours??

  47. avatar says: Malki

    They can be confusing. 6 Hours? maybe it was really really really big? Do you know where your kids are going to school?

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