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Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Birthday and our last Shabbat together as a class

Shalom Friends and family!

Well, Friday, May 16 marked the second time in my life in which I spent my birthday in Jerusalem. In 2000, I spent my birthday out with my friend Ian, who also has May 16 as his birthday! That was fun, but this year had a special twist to it. I woke up - Batya let me sleep in to 9:30, and was told I wouldn't have to change a diaper at all that day! Since Carlie had a bit of a stomach bug, it was a VERY special present from Batya!!

After Carlie woke up from her nap, we went to have lunch together at a new Falafel and Shwarma place. It was very good, and it was nice to be able to spend the day with Carlie and Batya! After lunch, we met Julie and Noah at the park, and it was really great to see Noah and Carlie running around together at the park. However, at about 4, a ton of older kids took over the playground, and they really weren't paying attention to Noah and Carlie. So, to avoid anyone getting hurt, we came back to our place to rest and prepare for the last Kabbalat Shabbat for the HUC-JIR Class of 2012 in Jerusalem!

We had a beautiful service led by several of my classmates. All 5 of the Cantorial students helped to lead as well, and they really do sound beautiful together. Several of my classmates were given awards for academics, community service, etc. The highlight of the service, though, was when the President of HUC, who had been in town for Shimon Peres's Presidential conference, and who missed his plane back to the states, addressed our class. He addressed at the beginning of the year, and it was only fitting that we end our time together addressed by him again!

After services, we went to Beit Shmuel, a hotel right next to HUC, and had a catered dinner. While the food was just ok, Batya and I spent most of our time with Carlie who became a little sick part of the time. Thankfully she was ok! Once dinner was over, we went back to the student lounge, the Moadon, for the greatest slide show ever. While I didn't cry (I had expected I would), I was incredibly impressed about the slide show, and extremely happy to have been a part of the HUC Year in Israel 2007-2008 class, the best class in the world! (in Israel)

Exams start tomorrow, and while I am excited to finish them and return to family and friends in the States, I am becoming more and more nostalgic every day. I know I am going to miss so many things, and I am already looking forward to a return to Israel soon, in some way!

Erin

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