Tag Archives: Aliyah

School is On!

So I actually am starting school tomorrow. Olmert finally interevened and said enough is enough, the universities need to start on time.

Haaretz wrote an interesting editorial on the university crisis, calling for more accountability on the university level. The treasury wants university spending to go toward certain avenues as recommended by an entity called the Shochat Committee, but the universities want free reign.  Continue reading

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The Holiday Season

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have come and gone here, but we are still in the midst of the holiday season, with Sukkot starting Tuesday night. It’s hard to get anything done during this time of year–you’re always getting ready for the next chag plus shabbat too. So there’s a lot of time spent food shopping and cooking if you end up hosting all of the meals (which I didn’t). Even if you don’t host each meal, it’s a very busy time.

Luckily for Rosh Hashana, we were invited for almost every meal by people of Ner Kedoshim, the orthodox shul that we’ve been frequenting here. By the time the chag was over, I was ready to go on a diet! Continue reading

Settling in, Israeli Trickery

Finally! All of our boxes are unpacked. It’s still messy in our apartment, but it looks so much better than before. It’s incredibly nice to have a kitchen again. Even in Jerusalem our kitchen was 1/3 the size it is now.

I learned one of my first lessons in Israeli trickery: last week when we got our appliances installed, I somehow bought things that we really didn’t need. Like the stupid roller cart that the technicians claimed would help use the dryer or the fancy surge protector for the fridge. I look back and I wonder, what was I thinking? I’m not so much pissed off about the money. I’m more pissed off that I was made into a fool. Continue reading

Back from Chicago

Love Chicago. Loved my friend’s wedding. Love coming back to a REAL apartment!

How cool a city is Chicago? It’s where one of my favorite radio shows, This American Life, gets produced. When I had some time on my hands, I walked a few hours around the city, walking past one of the city beaches where I was startled to find so many swimmers, stopping at the Navy Pier to soak up the tackiness, buy a map and eat a crappy bean burrito, strolling past the harbor towards the museum area. I took black and white photos along the way of the sailboats sitting peacefully in the water. I stopped into the Field Museum for an hour and looked at exhibits on Africa and the ancient Americas–not without buying Eric a hokey souvenir.

Then after the museum closed I walked back up, past the giant and extravagant water fountain where the central water spout shot water many feet into the air and glaring sea creatures spat water from their mouths. More black and white photos. I admired the diverse array of paintings and jewelry at an arts fair, sat on the grass and listened to the Chicago Jazz Festival for a few minutes, then continued North through Millenium Park. There I encountered a lush garden full of fluffy and exhilirating smelling flowers and took more pictures at the giant Jelly Bean sculpture which distorts and repeats your image over and under its silvery, metallic structure. Continue reading

Chicago Bound

Hey hey,

On Thursday I take a plane to Chicago to take part in another joyous wedding. My friends are making the wedding internationally themed–my friend Symi has studied and traveled abroad and her fiance, Justin, finished an MA at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Supposedly I will be sitting among people whose topic of interest is the Middle East–from both sides of the fence. It should be interesting.

It will be interesting to get people’s responses–whether they are Israel friendly or not–to the fact that I am now from Israel. In the case of anti-Israel folk I feel like it is the mark of Cain. In some people’s minds it’s like saying, ‘hey I’m an ax murderer, you should avoid me at all costs or else scorn me!’ and ‘I represent a very politically incorrect form of ideology called Zionism–aren’t I weird?’ Continue reading

Aaaaah

Hello, hello again after my rebirth as an Israeli citizen. We are in the midst of setting up an Israeli bank account, scrambling for an apartment, clearing our shipment at customs, praying for our receipt of a Teudat Zehut (so we can clear customs), setting up a meeting with the Merkaz Klitah, figuring out health insurance coverage, avoiding greedy bank employees who try to convince me to transfer all of our dollars into an Israeli bank account (don’t ask), deciphering which Israeli appliances to purchase, making contacts in Raanana and Kfar Saba…And we were in Romania last week for a wedding, I go to Chicago on Wednesday for another wedding and Eric starts his job on September 4.

Hence the aptly named title of this blog Aaaaaaaaaaah. In other words, I can’t wait until this month is over. Did I mention I’m getting a cold?

I’ve spent the last month or so in the U.S. tying things up, seeing family and friends. I honestly haven’t been as busy as I could have been. Funny how you end up getting more things done when you are busy then when you have all the time in the world. But this past week’s craziness has made up for the blase I was feeling in the states.

I was ready to leave DC pretty soon after I had gotten there. I was really happy to see friends and former colleagues but think my gut was telling me that it was definitely time to move on. During our month or so of house sitting my former boss’ inlaw’s apartment (thanks to the Roths and Schecters) we ended up taking care of our aliyah Visa and our packing fairly quickly. Although I did overestimate the amount of stuff we’d be shipping, which I am now kicking myself for since we could have saved a little $ or used the space for some 220 V appliances. Oh well. Lots of mistakes along the way.

I don’t think I’ve written since I went to Italy in mid June! It was a really enjoyable trip spending time with family, eating lots of pasta and gelato, gawking at the landscape and just getting to breeaathe. (Living in Israel can do that to you) Although I could have done without cramming into the car and climbing up the Apuane Mountains with my Mom and Sister complaining in the back.

We stayed in a house in Forte Dei Marmi, a well-to-do city on the Tuscan coast. When it rained we spent time visiting Italian towns with lovely names like Lucca and Pesca and pigging out on large lunches. I didn’t eat the meat, but I did enjoy the pastas, fish and produce. When it was sunny we lay on the beach on blue chairs, chatted and got on each other’s nerves and waded in the water with Zeke.

You can see some of the pictures on flickr. Some of my favorite ones are of my nephew Zeke flirting with an Italian girl 2x his age. Ooo lala.

Speaking of which, I think Zeke and I fell in love with each other in Italy. That makes it all the harder to be away from him. This might sound like the proud aunt, but he is such a funny little guy! He’s got the potential for the stage—he makes faces to entertain, he smiles at all the pretty women, has a nice singing voice and also announces when he as to make a poop. He enjoys activities such as attending music class with Mr. Lee, watching Thomas the Train videos, pushing his miniature stroller with his Elmo or Cookie doll and dancing to Sesame Street’s ‘vegetable dance.’ He still remembers when I had go ‘go on the choo choo train’ back to Israel. Although he screams like the devil when he doesn’t want to go to bed. Almost time for terrible twos.

Italy is just beautiful without having the intensity of a place like Israel. Israel has this fervent, urgent and stark beauty to it (love me darn it!) Italy can just take you or leave you. She knows she’s beloved so she’s just chilling. Eric and I wonder why we weren’t born Italian and we could just make aliyah there 🙂

But here I am in Israel. Still the same gal, but improving my Hebrew daily. Hopefully this whole experience will force me to become more flexible and philosophical. Actually, I’m pretty sure it will.

I do love this place even with all of the adjustment anxiety and uncertainty facing us. Just today, the cab driver suggested I try this type of gum–I think it was chewing tobacco–and said it was good for sex. In the U.S. that would be considered too much information. But I here I am in Israel.

Bye Bye Pardes

Well we actually said goodbye more than a week ago. And it’s not really goodbye because we’ll be in Israel. And we’ll be going to the Tikkun Leil Shavuot at Pardes.

On the other hand, the end of Pardes is the end of a chapter in our lives. It was a very special year. To be able to live in Jerusalem and study Jewish texts for one whole year is for many people an unattainable experience–whether from financial or psychological barriers–although it really shouldn’t be. In these times it’s takes a lot of chutzpah to leave the workforce and study for the sake of studying. Continue reading