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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Getting Ready for the New Year?

This past weekend was awesome! I am working in a program called "Hillel Shabbat Scholars." Shabbat Scholars are students from the Jewish educational institutions in Jerusalem who meet up with a Hillel (Jewish Federations on universities and colleges throughout the world) Birthright group and help the leaders with services, trips, programming etc. on Shabbat. I was able to meet up with one of my good friends, Philip Schlossberg, the Director of Hillel at Purdue University. I led a Reform Friday evening Shabbat service, helped lead a group of students to the Old City on Shabbat, and led Havdalah services on Saturday night. It was really nice using some of what I have learned this year and putting it "into action." It was also great to catch up with Skippy since I hadn't seen him since my wedding!

In other news...we are getting ready to spend our first ever New Years not in the States. As a matter of fact, it's kind of a joke here. The Jewish new year was back in September, so the only ones preparing for a new year here are non-Israelis! I am not sure what we'll do yet, but we are surely missing the typical preparations as in the states...parades, football and family! And, tomorrow, Christmas Eve, is a regular day of classes for me. As a matter of fact, I'll be in class for the first time in my life on Christmas!

Batya, Carlie and I are getting very excited for Dad and Mom to come visit, and of course going to Greece to visit Susan, Scott and Kaylin! It will be a much needed rest, and a great time to recuperate from these long 6 months. I don't have much else to write about, but I will try and get a post up next week after Christmas and New Years in Israel!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hannukah in Jerusalem

Jerusalem on Hannukah is VERY different from Hannukah in the States. I am sure those of you who read my blog are thinking to yourselves, Duh! But, it's truly different. For one, I haven't seen one Christmas Tree or heard one Christmas Carol. It's a bit unusual, for sure. I do miss hearing Christmas Carols.

I have to say, though, that it has been very nice to see Hannukah commercials on the television, and Latkes and Sufganiyot everywhere! Everyone we run into says, Happy Hannukah! It's very nice! We spent this past Thursday evening lighting candles and having dinner with some friends we have met and several of my classmates, and their children. It was truly festive, and VERY enjoyable!

I know this is a short blog, but I just wanted to get some thoughts about Hannukah out there for people to see! I'll try and write another blog in a couple of weeks. Finals for this semester are coming up very quickly, and I am very busy with my studies. Carlie is home for the next week as her Gan is closed, so we are getting to spend some real quality time with her! Batya is being a real support for me, and I am thankful they are both here!

Happy Hannukah!