Write from the Beginning

Grandmother, mother , caterer, chef, wife, settler, haredi and now a new description – a writer!

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Although I graduated from Boston University with a degree in Journalism and Public Communication, a fact that few people would know about me, until recently, writing was not part of my life. My husband and I made Aliyah in 1983, settle first in Zichron Yaakov near Haifa, then in Har Nof, Jerusalem and for the past 23 years in the heredi city of Betar Illit a suburb near Jerusalem in the Gush. We have raised our family, grown in Yiddishkeit and built up our businesses.

I am a chef and caterer, working in the food business for over a quarter of a century. Yet 12 years ago, Mishpacha Magazine asked me to become their cooking columnist. For two and half years, every week I wrote a story and made up a few recipes. It was a cooking column using my catering jobs for material. I’m proud to say it was good writing, but as a cooking columnist compared to today’s standards; it was a far cry from professionalism.

(My husband went from Intel worker, hardware store manager to owner of a bicycle store. Thank G-d, we both have been able to stay in jobs where our hearts take us.)

But I didn’t care. I was writing. And now I’m back.

After nine years working for a baeli tshuva yeshiva I was fired. They chose to go with an outside caterer and they were tired of my creativity with the menu. I have to defend myself. I was always in charge of the menu, but new management came in and they wanted to micromanage me and I’m not good at being told what to do.

Dreams started forming in my head of finally becoming a full-time writer. My husband used to point out how cooking is one of the lowest paid jobs in the market. Well, that was before I chose my new path. Now he knows of even a poorer paid job.

But I want to officially announce, he is behind me. He has been so supportive and not complained (too much) that with unemployment and my writing I’m still not bringing home close to what I made before. (It might have to do with that I haven’t gotten paid yet by anyone.)

I am writing! I have been accepted to Mishpacha, Ami, Hamodai, Jewish Press, Spotlight 4 Kids, and would you believe it 24/7 Wall Street  online magazine! (Finance is really not my subject. But my editor said if you can write you can write about anything. ) And I love it.

This is a place where I can share those stories that aren’t fully ready for a magazine, or a rehash of an old story that I don’t want to lose or just a place to let it be said. I hope you will join me as I lean to the write.

Tziyona

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