Hey family and friends! I have decided to start this blog as a way to capture the highlights of my year in Israel! I originally was not going to blog, but I gave in to peer pressure when my classmates convinced me otherwise. Because of that my first post will be a bit longer; in the future, they will be shorter highlights!
When I first arrived in Israel, I was picked up at the airport by two of my best friends, Lauren and Shir who I know from camp. We went straight from the airport to Japanika, a Sushi restaurant in Rehovot where Lauren lives.
The next day, after spending the day in Rehovot, I moved to Jerusalem to get settled in my apartment! My apartment is in Musrara, an neighborhood I have come to love. It is about 10 - 12 minutes from school and there is a great mix of people living there. It is in between the Damascus gate which leads to the Christian Quarter of the old city and Me'ah Shaarim, a very orthodox neighborhood.
I spent my first week getting settled and exploring. I tried new restaurants and practiced my Hebrew. Thursday we had orientation for our preulpan and Friday I ventured with Jade, a classmate and friend from URJ Kutz Camp and Bess, our summer intern to Tel Aviv for gay pride.
many join in the "parade"
found an old friend at the festivities!
After the celebration and parade (BTW, in Israel a parade seems to consist of tons of people who all walk in the street together and make room for the occasional float), we took a sheirut (shared taxi) back to Jerusalem, where I hosted Shabbat for classmates at my apartment!
(Salad I made for Shabbat: the ingredients were fresh from the Jerusalem Shuk!).
My first week concluded by having Havdallah with classmates in a park overlooking the old city. It was particularly symbolic as the next day marked the start of our pre-ulpan!