Ilana Sumka recently spent five years serving as Encounters Co-Executive Director in Jerusalem where she built one of the most respected organizations addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She previously worked at American Jewish World Service and has served as a nonpartisan international election monitor in Bosnia and Albania. Ilana is currently working on a book about her seven years in Jerusalem.
The other day, my husband came home to find me standing in the closet with a blanket over my head, swaying from side to side. I hadn’t gone crazy, despite appearances to the contrary. I was…rocking our 4-month-old son to sleep for his mid-day nap in the darkest environment I could create on a sunny day. I love that he’s a curious little boy, eager to explore the world with his eyes (and hands and mouth) but getting him to sleep for a day time nap when the sun brightens… >> Read More
“Please God, help me sleep!” That was my prayer, my urgent plea, while lying in bed wide awake three days after the birth of my son. I was beyond exhausted and I knew I only had a short window…before I’d have to wake up again to feed him. My baby boy had just fallen asleep after his middle of the night feeding, and I desperately wanted to fall back asleep before he woke up again. My body ached with exhaustion and the pains of a still-healing episiotomy. The problem was, I was wide… >> Read More
Did anyone else notice that the time frame Secretary Kerry has set for this current round of Mideast peace negotiations is the same amount of time it takes to bring a child into this world? Maybe…it's because I'm currently in my eighth month of pregnancy that I couldn't help but notice that the target isn't one year, nor is it six or 10 months--no, it's nine months. After eight months of pregnancy, I'm not that comfortable. My ankles are swollen. My lower back hurts. I don't sleep that well, leaving… >> Read More