Category Archives: genealogy

Rechovot, Ayalon Institute

I’m sitting at home recuperating from a three-day Tiyul in the Negev organized by Pardes. Israel’s desert is beautiful and stark and I didn’t want to leave. It’s only a few hours from Jerusalem, but I was really in culture shock when I got back. It was especially jarring to drive up to Tel-Aviv on Friday because Tel-Aviv looks more like a city in the U.S. than a small settlement in the Negev. The visit itself was really fun–we went up to meet with Schelley Dardashti, a genealogist and journalist that Eric had been corresponding with, and we partook in a delicious Persian barbeque.

Before I write about the Negev and Schelley, I should mention more about our visit to Eric’s cousins in Rechovot–2 weekends ago my how time flies! Muncie is the first cousion of Eric’s grandfather, and she has a daughter named Hannah and grandson Yeftah. We stayed with Hannah, who cooked a lovely Friday night dinner for us. Yeftah was there along with Muncie and Hannah’s boyfriend Amiram. Hannah is a radiologist and Amiram is a professional actor and mime who studied in France for several years. Continue reading


Charlap Street

Did you know I’m related to this dude that a Jerusalem street is named after? Eric, who is really into genealogy, stumbled upon a Web site (maintained by a distant relative of mine) that deals with the Charlap family tree. He found out that my mother’s mother branches into this very well documented family. More info about them can be found here.

Rav Charlap (or Harlap) was the protege of Rav Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel who helped clear the way for the religious Zionist movement. I’m sure every Jewish person can trace their family history back to some really famous Rabbi and claims lineage to King David. The most fascinating aspect of genealogy is seeing how one’s own family played a part in world history. It’s all one long, continous chain.

Eric and I had our friend, Sam, over for Friday night dinner and he was giving us the lowdown on living at Ulpan Etzion. In his conversations with the French olim, they said that the situation was pretty bad. It seems like the French Jews have increasingly become the targets of anti-semitism. Continue reading