Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Big Move

Now that I have officially spent a week living in Jerusalem, I feel it’s time for an update…

From The Big Move

A Brief Timeline (see photos at right):
  • The day after the flashfloods, Ben (Langer) and I got in our rental car (with sick Lee in the backseat) and headed up north.
  • Lee was with a Pardes trip to Ketura and literally got sick to his stomach. So, I became his surrogate parent and caretaker. We drove him back to Jerusalem, where all three of us went to the Wolfson Health Clinic to get him checked out.
  • Moved my stuff into my apartment.
  • Stayed with Lee and Evyatar. Thanks guys!
  • Went with Evy to surprise all of our friends who came on the HU group flight @ 7AM at Ben Gurion Airport.
  • Moved Ben into the Save a Child’s Heart center in Holon, where he will be volunteering for the next two months.
  • Spent Shabbat in Jerusalem. It was really lovely to be with Lee, Shira Lee, Josh Ackerman and Company, Michal Chacham, Ben and others.
  • Hebrew U began two Sundays ago.
  • Rented another car with Lee and Danielle to welcome and retrieve Hillel from the airport.
  • Spent my first Shabbat at HU.
  • Segal Sibs (minus Orli....we miss you) reunite for dinner on Emek Refaim!

Life here is GREAT!

  • It feels so good to live in a city again and be mobile, with things to do.
  • I have my own room!
  • From The Big Move
  • I have met so many great people and there already seems to be a nice community forming.
  • My apartment is wonderful! We have an Israeli studying Hebrew Language, a Brazilian oleh in the Betzalel Art School (where Hillel will be for the semester), a Protestant American from Bible Belt Arkansas getting a masters in religion, some other guy, and me. We constantly have visitors from around the world including Argentina, Italy, and the West Bank. It’s really like a mini UN! (…Accept we are functional.)


  • Finally, I see that Hebrew can actually be taught in a methodic, logical, and fun manner.
  • My teacher wrote the curriculum we are using so she knows it inside and out.
  • She is a real linguist and therefore can truly explain the meaning and origin of many words. Some of the most interesting moments have been when she described how Ben Yehuda created the word GLIDA and when I discovered through Hebrew why Visa is the name of credit card company.
  • In addition, she supplements the class material (which includes reading, writing, and lots of discussion) with newspaper articles, walks in the botanical garden, and stories about growing up in Jerusalem pre-’67.
  • If this is how Hebrew was taught for my 16 years of education, I would be in the Academy for Hebrew Language.
  • I really wish that all Hebrew teachers in America could come to some sort of boot camp at HU.
  • This is the first time since Morah Ziona’s first grade class, that I am actually enjoying Hebrew lessons again!

Beyond class, the weather has been lovely. Yesterday I went for a jog around French Hill and today I had a Frisbee catch on campus. More to come soon…

Happy Groundhogs Day,



  • And now for a guest Befuddlement by my good friend Lee Epstein, who has been in Israel for less than a month:

… Israel's really a cool place because it's like a mix of ancient and modern and a mix of American, European, and Arab. That is, sometimes it's awesome and the people are so hospitable and accommodating and other times it's a half backwards Middle Eastern country where people have their heads in the sand. Case and point: I went to the post office this week and asked what the zip code was. The lovely bureaucrat told me that I should ask someone who lives on the street. I mean what did I think she was… The freaking post office?!

  • You don’t really understand the energy crisis here until you need to wait an hour for a hot shower while the dude warms the water.

Shoutout #43: Sarah Lefsky(.blogspot.com) - We just met, but we’re off to a great start! Whether it’s hanging out during an ulpan break or sharing pinecones, we seem to always have a good time. Although it’s difficult differentiating you from Rachel without the necklaces, I think I got it. Looking forward to a great semester!

P.S. I think I’ve spent more money in the last week, living in the city, than I did all of last semester…got to love socialism!

P.P.S. As we all celebrated Tu B’Shvat on Shabbat, some in more spring-like climates than others, I would like to share this piece written by my teacher and friend, Rabbi Michael Cohen: Heal the Word


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