Friday, July 27, 2007

Music in the Summer Time

This summer has been full of music amongst the work. With each free moment I get I seem to grab the opportunity to go see a show. In the last few weeks I have gotten to see Israeli music stars David Broza, Ehud Banai and Mosh Ben Ari. And of course, lets not forget Holler.

Pictures and video to follow! In the mean time you can check out what I have been doing this summer at In the alumni tab click on photo albums kehillah summer 2007. I am staffing K3. Albums are listed at the bottom of the page!


We are at the half way mark of the summer and Nesiya is going well. The kids are good, the experience is intense and I just had my first night of 8 hour sleep in over 3 weeks. We arrived in Jerusalem on Tisha B'Av (Monday) and went directly to the Kotel (Western Wall). It was a very bizarre experience for me as an educator. A day that mourns the destruction of the Temple, visiting the Kotel has the potential for a very powerful experience. Yet I don't like going there, I don't find religious meaning in a wall and find I get more frustrated than anything else when I am there.

We had spent the previous 2 weeks up north in the Galilee and Golan and the 2 weeks before that in the desert. Lots of conversations about the individual vs. the community and discussions about what kind of communities we would like to build for ourselves. I have many a journal entry written on these topics but neither the time or energy to retype them here.

We go to Tel Aviv Sunday and then to Kseifa-a bedouin community near Beer-Sheva where we will be doing a 3 day program with Arab teens. I am very excited for this part of the program. I think it will be both challenging for the Israelis who never really interacted with Arab peers before and discussing the reality that they are all citizens of Israel and for the Americans who most likely never factor in the Bedouin community when they are painted the picture of Israel.

After Kseifa we have one long week of arts programming down in Ein Gedi and then wrap up August 11 with the kids and Aug 15 in the office. Whew!

Until then...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ode to Elan

I like to think that I am someone who keeps my end of a bargain, and this entry is dedicated to an awesome friend who does the same: Elan.

This past week has been a bit chaotic with hours in the office lasting til 3am in preparation for the start of Nesiya. I am officially 'on the bus' tomorrow at 5:30am. So, today I took the day off. I am very much looking forward to Sundays resuming their place in the week as a relaxation day (as it universally should be!), having them here is a rare treat.

I spent Shabbat at Bridgette and Jon's house in Neve Daniel out in the Gush. She was not happy when I told her I was moving back to the States. The next 30 hours turned out to be one big guilt trip. I tried to emphasize to her the truth, that it was not an easy decision for me to make. It is not as if I look at one geographic location superior to the other. In fact that's my problem, I don't feel strongly connected to any one place. Right now my priority is to be closer to family (same time zone in 4 years)and attempting in stay in one city for 3-4 years (hopefully including graduate school). That's as far as I can go at the moment. She, and then I, questioned what happened to all my idealism. Honestly, reality. It's so unfortunate to say but I just cannot see eye to eye with many of my friends from earlier parts of my life be it religiously or politically. The strength though for me is that despite those differences, and in times disappointments, were still friends.

I have been crashing these last few days with my friends Francine and Adam. Francine was a fellow student of mine at Pardes this past year, Adam is Francine's boyfriend and coincidentally an old friend's older brother. The three of us, along with another friend Molly went to a sunrise David Broza, Shawn Colvin and Jackson Browne concert at the basement of Masada. The concert started at 3am. Although I could have done without the theatrics of Broza himself, the lighting and the backdrop of the desert, Masada , and eventually the sunrise were spectacular. As we were sitting there watching I could not stop thinking of 'if the Romans and Zealots could see us now' Do you think they would have also gone with the stadium seating the concert venue sports today or a more traditional ampitheatre?? Who knows who will be performing on the battlefields of today 1000 years from now...

I am not sure how the three artists were chosen to perform together but the event was filmed by PBS and I believe will be airing sometime in December. We got ourselves back to the apartment around 9am--just enough time for a nap and to get to the pool by 2pm. I decided that I just wanted someplace relaxing to finish my book (Possible Side Effects, Augustine Boroughs)before 5:30am tomorrow.

Will try to update when I can from the road. Until then, keep hydrated!