These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Archive: January 2016

Turkey 2016: Shabbat in Istanbul

Posted on January 29, 2016 by Elana Rothenberg

“A man walks into a bar. Ouch.” Silence. Then suddenly, five Turkish twenty-year-olds begin laughing hysterically at this classic joke. When was the last time someone actually laughed at this joke, I wonder? I marvel and give the joke teller, a fellow Pardes student, a look of amused awe. The twenty-year-olds, leaders of a Jewish Continue Reading »

Turkey 2016: Learning to Teach

Posted on January 19, 2016 by Johanna Press

On Friday we visited Ulus Jewish School in Ortakoy, where we presented interactive educational programs about Tu B’Shevat for elementary- and high-school students. Since I am a Torah lishma student and not part of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators, I felt a bit nervous about stepping outside of my comfort zone and teaching in Continue Reading »

Turkey 2016: Hail to the Chief

Posted on January 19, 2016 by Binyamin Cohen

The Hahambashi, Chief Rabbi of Turkey, Rabbi Yitzchak Haleva, is quite a character. He’s not a big man, but his jutting beard, bright eyes, and fireball personality make him unforgettable. We had the honor of meeting with him on Friday, and were honored by his presence throughout shabbat. We stepped into his office on Friday, Continue Reading »

Turkey 2016: An Extra Soul

Posted on January 18, 2016 by Rachel Cohn

Our rabbis say that on shabbat we receive an extra soul. This shabbat, I learned what it looks like when a whole community gets an extra soul. We spent this shabbat davening, singing, eating, and offering “l’chaim”s with members of the Ortokay synagogue in Istanbul. What made this shabbat particularly special, however, was the way Continue Reading »

Turkey 2016: The Light in a Traditional Service

Posted on January 18, 2016 by Giulia Fleishman

“Be flexible,” and “Prepare to make compromises” were common phrases at our Turkey trip planning meetings. Levi repeatedly informed us that the Turkish Jewish community is quite traditional and we, especially the women, would probably have to adjust our davening practices for the sake of the community. No problem, I thought. While I strongly value Continue Reading »

Turkey 2016: Jewish Education in Practice

Posted on January 18, 2016 by Maya Zinkow

One of the most meaningful aspects of the trip has been connecting to the Turkish Jewish Community’s past, present, and future. Thursday was spent walking up and down the hilly, winding streets of Galata, where we took in the beauty of the Ashkenazi synagogue, the Italian synagogue, and Neve Shalom, Istanbul’s largest synagogue. We sang Continue Reading »

Turkey 2016: The Power of Stories

Posted on January 17, 2016 by Rachel Dingman

Today was an incredible reminder of how powerful a story can be. We had the privilege of visiting multiple synagogues today (Italian, Sephardi, Ashkenazi). Each Sefer Torah we looked at, each impeccably crafted stain glass window, and each siddur told a story I will never be able to fully grasp. I felt honored to be Continue Reading »

Turkey 2016: The Power to Connect

Posted on January 17, 2016 by David Wallach

While yesterday, we spent much of our time remembering what was, today we really spent time getting to know the Jewish community in all its current glory. We had a chance to see many important synagogues in the Turkish Jewish community. We were blessed with the opportunity to have an audience with the Chief Rabbi Continue Reading »

Turkey 2016: Every Rise has its Fall

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Yosef Lopez

Today we spent much time remembering what was. We made our way to Gallipoli which is on the Gelibolu Peninsula. Our first stop was a synagogue in ruin. A rotting wooden frame was revealed as the remaining skeleton of the kahal, scattered bricks, and over grown weeds and grass surrounded the ruins, and in what Continue Reading »

Turkey 2016: Learning from History

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Binyamin Cohen

We got off our minibus at the top of the ridge, sparse trees all around us. We began to follow the road up to the peak, and as we do we begin to see signs of the reason we’re here: trenches, tunnels, foxholes. Gallipoli became much more real at the top of the hill: from Continue Reading »