About the Memoir
(IN)SECURITY: A True Story About Pretending to Be Perfect
The Israeli security community sets the bar pretty high when it comes to gaining membership, and Jessica Sofer wants in. Growing up in an orthodox Jewish community in the Washington D.C. area, as a teenager Jessica immigrates to Israel during a violent conflict where she meets fellow immigrant, Roman Yeleshev, from Siberia. A brilliant juvenile delinquent-turned-IDF commando, his dream of joining Israeli intelligence is tragically cut short by suicide. Haunted by her friend’s death, Jessica returns to the U.S. at age twenty-three where she enrolls in a demanding graduate program in security intelligence with plans to return to Israel and pick up where Roman left off. (In)Security is a story about outsiders trying to find their place in a community and the challenges they face to gain acceptance.
Despite some of the heavy topic material covered in the story, (In)Security is a (mostly) humorous adventure about a nerdy American college girl trying to compete with some of Israel’s roughest commandos. The narrative begins at a graduate-level security program in the U.S. where Jessica starts out knowing next to nothing about security; by the time she’s halfway through the program, she has top grades, a mentor from the CIA, and a creative plan to break into Israel's security circles. Following an extended track of counterterrorism studies in Jerusalem, Jessica navigates the eccentric world of networking in the Israeli security community along with the complexities of dating in the orthodox Jewish world. At age twenty-eight, Jessica joins the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), roughs it out in basic training with a horde of teenagers, and runs into complications that will change the trajectory of her career.
Following her service in the Israeli military, Jessica finds work in a private security firm in Tel Aviv that sends her to Transylvania. As she vacillates between the choices that will make or break her career, she must come to terms with the decisions she’s made in the past and the real reasons she wants to gain acceptance in the Israeli security community.
Topics Covered in Memoir:
An American’s perspective of the Israeli security community (including many humorous cultural differences)
Mental health issues faced by security professionals
The particular challenges of a woman working in security
Security seen through the lens of an orthodox Jew