“I don’t think there is one favorite thing [about Israel] other than simply being here and knowing it is mine. I love Jerusalem and knowing I can walk where Jews have been walking for over 3,000 years.”
Paula Stern is a wife, mother, grandmother and CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a technical writing and training company based in Jerusalem. She is also well known as a blogger, tweeter, and political activist on behalf of Israel. Her blog, A Soldier’s Mother, has thousands of subscribers around the world and she has written over 3,000 articles. United with Israel caught up with Paula to learn more about her.
UWI: From where did you make aliyah (immigration to Israel)?
PS: I grew up in Teaneck, NJ, and made aliyah from Morristown, NJ, in 1993.
UWI: What have you always wished you could do?
PS: I love where I am professionally, feel well-respected among my peers and enjoy quite a bit of success as a blogger. I recently returned from a business trip to India and will be going to a conference in England in a few months. I’ve always wanted to visit Italy and Scotland but haven’t had an opportunity yet. I’d also really like to go on a speaking tour – maybe in the US – where I could speak about what it’s like to live in Israel, to have sons that serve in the army.
What I wish I could do – spend 100% of my available time writing the stuff I do in the few hours I scrape together outside the work I do to pay the bills. I love writing, promoting Israel and explaining that which should not need to be explained. I believe there are three kinds of people in the world – those that hate us almost to the point of irrationality (I have no interest in these people); those who love us – I like writing to and for these people to thank them for their support, to encourage them that they are right, and to give them the explanations they often use to move others; and finally, those who don’t really know that much about Israel. In some cases, they think they are against Israel because they don’t actually know. They have learned about Israel from the media, from the first group I mentioned above, or from some society values where they live. As they read and learn, they become aware that there is so much more to this little country, Israel.
UWI: Why do you get out of bed every morning?
PS: To see what the day will bring here in Israel. To watch my children and grandchildren grow, to learn new things, to write if I have time about what I see, what I feel, what is happening in my life and my world. Sometimes I get up for work, though hopefully not too often. Sometimes I awaken with a thought that I want to share, that I hope will help others understand my life as a Jew, as an Israeli, just a bit more.
UWI: If you could go back in time, what is one thing in your life you would change?
PS: I would have come to Israel sooner; I would have tried to travel more to different places, but I still would have always known that here was home. Maybe I would have had the courage to hope for more children. I’d have learned to trust myself earlier and tried to spend less time working.
UWI: What are your hobbies?
PS: I love to write…and if I have time, that’s what I do. I can honestly say I’ve never had writer’s block. I never seem to have enough time to write. Beyond that, I love cooking and baking, knitting, reading, hiking, swimming and kayaking. I love watching sunset and sunrise and I love thinking…I know that sounds silly, but I love to sit and think.
UWI: What is your favorite thing about living in Israel?
PS: I don’t think there is one favorite thing other than simply being here and knowing it is mine. I love Jerusalem and knowing I can walk where Jews have been walking for over 3,000 years. I love the air, the weather, the sunshine. I love the logic of the people here, the compassion, the determination, the innovation. I love seeing the signs on the road in Hebrew and I love hearing little children converse in a language that others thought had died years ago and yet is alive and well and growing.
UWI: Do you have a personal catchphrase or guiding principle?
PS: I would have to say that my guiding principle is that we have no moral or legal or historical obligation to be better than anyone else, except before God. We don’t have to convince the United Nations, we don’t have to cater to Obama. We are a thriving, creating, caring, democratic, open and fair nation, more moral than most, more justified in calling this our land than almost any other people can call their country home. We don’t have to convince the world; we owe no one an explanation.