Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It's a short month, two-and-a-half of whose weeks were internet-free because of technology problems (I'm only on the internet now because I have special connections and am using the madrichim's computer).

In any case, a short summary of what happened in February.
The day I landed from Rome back in Israel (January 29) was exactly 5 months since I'd landed in Israel way back in September.

Our first week back was a week planned by Chulyat Lemida (Lemida=learning, education), and they had chosen their topic to be media/as it relates to Israel advocacy. We had a number of people come speak to us, including army spokesmen and news anchors from Israeli channels, as well as graduates of the program who now work in media. That entire week passed in a blur, as nearly every spare moment was filled with last minute touches on Shavua Omanut (Art Week), for which I was part of the planning committee.

We'd received an entire week blank, empty, with 26 spots to fill with whatever and whoever we wanted. The night before our week started we pulled an all-nighter, decorating the mechina like it's never been decorated before with posters from concerts and movies and shows that we took from announcement boards around Tel Aviv a few days before. Dvir (Seattle) and I were "mnahaley yom" the first two days, which meant we were in charge of hearding the group from place to place, making sure the speakers were coming, and etc. There was a bit of an unexpected event when one of the speakers cancelled, but we covered and it ended up being an interesting lecture by Gilad (head of the mechina) about art in the Holocast.

There were a wide variety of things that week: healing clowns, art therapy, workshops, architecture, print-making, drawing/proportions... for the last two and a half days we were in Tel Aviv and went to a cemetary where a lot of famous artists and poets are buried, we went to Chaim Nachman Bialik's house and had an architecture tour of the Bauhaus buildings in Tel Aviv. We heard a lecture about art and the bible, from a speaker who usually charges 600 shekel for an hour, but spoke for free. He was incredible, and what was really cool was that all the art he showed was what Galya and I had seen the week before in Italy! I contacted Micha Bar-Am, my favorite photographer (he has some incredible photography that really define events in Israeli history! and he came and spoke to us as well. Also Chanoch Piven, who makes portraits of politicians and other such famous people out of food and found objects (picture of Darwin):
There was a writer for Eretz Nehederet (Israeli version of SNL) who came to talk to us, and also a lecturer about feng shui. It was just really incredible to see how the week came together so well after two months of planning!
The next week was a week planned by Chulyat Ezrachut Pe'ilah (citizen activism). There week was focused on injustices in society, and we went to a protest in Tel Aviv against the charge that the ATM takes, especially on those who don't know the rights of consumers (elderly, immigrants, etc.) We also went to a conference where Members of Knesset spoke against the building of a coal refinery in Ashkelon.
After that was Shavua Chinuch (Education week), were we began by going to different schools in the area to see the attitudes of students, teachers, and Israel to education and to each other and the different types of atmospheres. The principal of a Montessori preschool came, as well as a mother who homeschools her daughter (she was very interesting, as she doesn't just sit with her daughter over a workbook 5 hours every day. She's worked it out in a very clever way), and a Rabbi who's the principal of a Chassidic Yeshiva talked about education in the Chassidic circle. The last two days of the week were spent at a Leadership Seminar in Tel Hai (the north), where there were a lot of panel discussions and, possible more important, thousands of ripe, ruby red strawberries. (That's probably what I'll remember in 20 years about the seminar...) it was a lot of fun, though, and very interesting.
And then PURIM! (We had a costume party and I dressed up as a pregnant religious woman. It's the easiest costume...). I've been missing a lot of the lectures this week because I'm re-jetlagging myself: calling Americans between 1:30-6:30 am Israel time about coming to the program next year, which means I'm sleeping during the day.
Next week is Survival Week, which we don't know anything about... the suspense is part of what we have to survive.
Anway, that's a short update.

1 comment:

  1. Strawberries? could that have been the problem?