Shira Abramowitz (Fall 2012) sent us this postcard
from Cape Town, South Africa!
To my amazing friends over in Talpiyot,
Chag Sameach! (Although I understand it may not still be Pesach once this reaches you!)
Just want to send some love & gratitude to your incredible community – I think about you all so much as I travel around the world, and can’t thank you enough for everything you gave to me over the 4 months of fall semester. From amazing life lessons to challenging contexts, to lifelong friendships… Continue reading →
This email is to send a huge huge huge thank you for all of your generous contributions towards the Namutumba Jewish community. In total, we raised 900 dollars (!!!!!), to help support the community! The money is going to contribute to full and complete seders, as well as to the education fund of the community. It really is a huge and meaningful contribution.
Here is a thank you note from the community leader, Shadrach Mugoya:
Unknown student, Allan and Shadrach
Dearest sisters and brothers,
I am taking great thanks to you and all the friends who contributed towards making our Seder colourful, and towards tuition. Indeed,thank you so much. I ask Hashem Baruch to reward you abundantly. We are going to have a nice Seder, but all this, is your effort. We could not have a nicer one if you did not help and support us. Continue reading →
I miss Pardes so much. As I shared with my classmates and teachers before departing, it was a dream to learn in Israel and my experience at Pardes turned out so much better than I ever anticipated!
I feel very grateful to my classmates for sharing your insights in class, and for in havruta study both supporting and challenging me. I miss spending Shabbos with you all, and our late night chats.
And I feel very grateful to our teachers. Our teachers both inspired us in the classroom, and taught us so much outside as well. By welcoming us to their Shabbat and Chaggim tables, they shared with us the joy and beauty of our tradition. Continue reading →
Stef (Year ’07, PEP ’07-’09) and Matt (Year ’07) celebrate
Purim in Haifa!
Purim is here! Which means lots of dressing up in costumes. In many cultures there seems to be at least one calendar day dedicated to dressing up in costumes: Holloween, Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, Carnival in Brazil, and Purim here in Israel. The one thing these days, among others I’m sure, have in common is that we all get to pretend to be something we’re not.
I personally love to get dressed up, Matt less so. But Matt did some of his own “dressing up” this week as his Maritime Survey Methods class went out on a boat, and Matt had to wear a wet-suit.
In the course the students learned how to locate, map out and excavate archaeological sites, both on land and underwater. This was great for Matt because his absolute favorite thing to do is go on boats! (read that last sentence with the heaviest sarcasm you can muster). Continue reading →
I just found out about the student blog, and I think it’s so great!! I took my Junior year off from the University of Kansas, and studied at Pardes in ’07-’08. Being still partially in the college mindset, I don’t know that I took full advantage of everything Pardes had to teach me; though I did still gain a lot from my year there. While you are at Pardes, soak it all in and take lots of notes, the knowledge one can learn from the faculty and students there is incredible, and I wish I knew that back when I was there. It is one of the most unique communities I’ve been a part of, and I hope one day to be able to come back and study again at some point.
I have now graduated the University of Kansas, and spent last year as a Campus Fellow at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, NC (A Pluralistic Jewish Boarding School-check it out, it’s a really amazing place). I am currently living in Chicago, working as a Youth Director at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, one of the largest Conservative synagogues around. So that catches you up to where I am in life, but I wanted to share with you - Continue reading →
One thing that is very real lately at Pardes is the Jewish life cycle; particularly, the end. Last week many students traveled to Alon Shvut to support Zvi Hirschfield at the funeral of his father. And just last night, many students and people from the community gathered in the Beit Midrash for an azkara or a type of “remembering” of Janet Robbin.
Janet Robbin was the mother of Sheryl Robbin, Rav Daniel Landes’ wife. Rav Landes is the Rosh Yeshiva at Pardes. Janet Robbin was also the grandmother of Hannah and Isaac Landes who I have become close with over the past year and a half at Pardes because the Landes’ always invite students to their home for Shabbat and holidays. If you have never met anyone of the Landes’, all I can say is that they are all lovely and unique, each with their own wonderful qualities. Continue reading →
First posted on Dan Yagudin's (Year '10) Facebook page
Aly Raisman and I at an IDF fundraising event in Baltimore a month ago, on what was one of the most unforgettable evenings of my life
PHOTO CREDIT: Baltimore Jewish Times
PHOTO CREDIT: Baltimore Jewish Times
“How the hell did I get myself into this situation?” was the first thought I had when I was sitting in front of a Lieutenant General in the IDF last October, without really knowing why I’ve been summoned. Lieutenant generals don’t summon people for nothing, especially not when the rank difference is so large – in this case, my lowest officer ranking in the IDF, to his third-highest. The military system puts so much power in his hands that he could have sent me to jail on the spot if he wanted to. He looked at the papers in front of him, shuffled them a bit, then looked up at me and asked: “good job. Now what the hell did you do?”
What I did, as it turns out, was write a facebook letter to Aly Raisman. The letter, which I posted on my page, went viral and made its way to the Baltimore Chapter of the Friends of the IDF, who at the time were planning their annual fundraising gala. They decided to invite me to Baltimore to meet and surprise Aly. The request went from Baltimore to Washington to New York, to the Army Spokesperson Unit in Tel Aviv, to my commander, to her commander, to his commander, to his commander, which was the man I found myself sitting in front of. The paper before him was the request to send me to the United States. After hearing the unusual story, he gave his consent. I couldn’t wait. Then I freaked out. Continue reading →
I feel connected to you even though I never knew you. The moment that you were killed was a powerful moment in my own personal narrative relating to Israel. I was scheduled to come to Israel for a semester of high school in the fall of 2002. All summer, I was worried about the situation in Israel. It wasn’t clear if the program I was going on was still going to run and people I knew were dropping out because they didn’t feel safe. After the bombing at Hebrew U, the program was officially cancelled. I was disappointed, but mostly very concerned for the sake of the State of Israel and all of the people living there. Luckily, it only postponed my journey to Israel by a semester and I was able to come on the spring term instead.
Last year I came to Pardes after working for three years at Hillel. I came for a lot of reasons, but the main one was that I wanted to invest in my own Jewish development. My long-term desire to work in Jewish communities was not a driving factor. I simply desired to learn Jewish texts. Continue reading →
וארשתיך לי לעולם, וארשתיך לי בצדק ובמשפט ובחסד וברחמים. וארשתיך לי באמונה, וידעת את הי
And I will betrothe you to me forever and always, and I will betrothe you to me in righteousness and in justice and in loving-kindness and in compassion. And I will betrothe you to me in faith and belief and reliance, and you will know God.
I remember when I first read this passage. I had just inherited my great-grandfather’s tefillin and I was sitting in my room trying to learn how to put them on correctly. At first, I thought I could just figure it out intuitively. When that didn’t generate a great deal of success, I pulled out my lap top and my Art Scroll. Open on my screen were diagrams for wrapping the tefillin, and I was carefully cross-checking my siddur for the appropriate order of actions and the blessings. I was completely engrossed in the particulars of how-to and was in the process of wrapping the leather bands around my arm rather perfunctorily when my eyes touched upon this last bit of text. My heart was stolen. In that moment, I forgot to continue wrapping the straps or to say the bracha. I dropped the leather and sat in wonder, marveling at the beauty of the text before me. Continue reading →