Posted on September 23, 2011 by Andrea Wiese
Tonight I’m hosting my first Shabbat dinner all by myself!! And the table is ready!! I must say, I think it looks so beautiful! And I have to say that I am really proud of myself! A few of my closest friends from school are coming over after Shabbat services. I have chicken with potato Continue Reading »
Posted on September 23, 2011 by Derek Kwait
(X-posted to my home blog Yinzer in Yerushalayim.) I think it would be fair to call this my first “normal” week in Israel. For starters, I moved in to my apartment Sunday after class, which means I finally have a big quiet (for Jerusalem) room with fast, reliable Internet all to myself, am living with Continue Reading »
Posted on September 13, 2011 by The Director of Digital Media
Let’s meet some more of this year’s Pardes Fellows! Kalie is originally from Phoenix, Arizona, and before arriving in Israel, she was completing her undergraduate degree in American Studies at George Washington University (where she also directed a hip hop dance company!). In the fall of 2010, she was gearing up to begin an M.A. in Media and Public Affairs at Continue Reading »
Posted on August 19, 2011 by Shibley
I originally posted this on my blog on August 16: Later this afternoon and evening I will have the pleasure of travelling to Philadelphia where I will board a flight bound for Tel Aviv. In many ways I am going home, and in many ways I am leaving home. Since returning to the States from Continue Reading »
Posted on August 2, 2011 by Avi Strausberg
this parsha is aptly titled mase’ei meaning the travels of bnei yisrael. and the Torah spares no expense to list every place from which they set out and made camp along the way. in fact, the word ויסעו, meaning “they set out,” is written 42 times. each time, this word is shortly followed by the Continue Reading »
Posted on June 29, 2011 by Daniel Weinreb
2. The fountain on the Shrine’s dome – a symbol of purity and life. Without question, the living standard is lower here. “Ahhh,” you say, “who sets the standards and what, or whom – do those standards serve?” A very good question! I could say the standard by which Israel would be ranked lower serves the interest of Continue Reading »
Posted on May 15, 2011 by Avi Strausberg
Some of us grew up in childhood homes, to whose rooms we can still return. family photos still adorn the staircase. glass jars still line the counter. crayon is still scrawled on the walls marking our growth through our youth. yet, for many of us, that idealic home is long since gone. we have moved. Continue Reading »
Posted on April 5, 2011 by Avi Strausberg
in this week’s parshat metsora, we continue to delve in-depth into the procedure of ridding a leprous person of his eruptive affections. after reading pages and pages of how to determine whether a person is unclean and therefore off-limits to society, i was bewildered when i arrived to the conundrum of how to detect a Continue Reading »
Posted on March 1, 2011 by Avi Strausberg
in this week’s parsha, פקודי, the משכן is finally built. thanks to the work of bezalel and his team of craftsmen, the tabernacle, the priestly clothing, and all of their accoutrements are constructed exactly as God commanded through moshe. God then instructs moshe to set up the משכן on the 1st of the 1st month, Continue Reading »
Posted on December 31, 2010 by Barer
n some ways it feels like yesterday that I walked into this apartment for the first time, toured Pardes for the first time, and met the people that turned out to be a fantastic and interesting community of friends, but nearly four months have passed. A few weeks ago, as the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ of my leaving Israel was just beginning to glimmer, I had a conversation with a Pardesnik in which I was asked a question that I immediately knew was one that needed further thought as my time to leave drew near. The question was: what am I going to take home with me from my time at Pardes, in what ways is my life going to change as a result of my time here?
I see my time here as being defined mainly by the friends I made and the community I had the privilege of being a part of, as well as the ongoing struggle to define for myself what it means to be Jewish – i.e. coming to terms with my Jewish identity. Therefore, if the changes I want to incorporate into my life as I re-enter the familiar life I have in Vancouver in two short days are going to truly reflect my time here, I must focus on these two broad aspects of the past four months.
First, maintaining connections with the new community I have made while here. This is no easy task, as after four months I am just getting truly comfortable in my life here, and can only conclude that there is so much more to explore and learn from the people that I have gotten to know. I truly believe that I have had the privilege of studying alongside many future Jewish leaders, whether they end up in the US, Israel, or elsewhere, and those are the exact people with whom I want to continue to develop lasting relationships. On the flip side, I have experienced for the first time what it is like to forget about the community of friends and family that I have always lived amongst back home. A reality I didn’t believe was possible has unfolded, and there is no question that the exact connections that I seek to maintain to fellow Pardesniks will be just as hard, if not harder, to maintain than those that I only did a so-so job of maintaining with friends and family back home. I expect that I will live in this ‘fragmented’ world from now on, always having connections that I hold dear in multiple places, yet only really being able to engage with those who are physically close to me at any given time.
On to what I was personally striving towards within the Pardes community. If I had been asked, in a moment of clarity, why I was coming to Pardes back in the summer, I may have been able to articulate that continuing to struggle with my Jewish identity was on the forefront of my mind. That is indeed how I would define my overall ‘project’ here, and why I am considering coming back for another year in September (no, not for the Educator’s Program, Sam). As for answering the question, not physically being at Pardes is no excuse to stop working on how I see Judaism and my place in it. Because ritual is so central to so many forms of Judaism, my own ritual observance, and all the changes and developments it will surely undergo in the near (and not-so-near) future must be a chief component of my bringing Pardes home with me.
As an idealistic young person, I have grand hopes and designs for what the Jewish world could and should look like. However, given that, in reality, change happens glacially, the best I can do is work hard and hope that I can inspire and influence others to do the same. Towards that end, taking more of a leadership role in improving a community like Pardes is an amazing opportunity, but one that I need to have clear goals for before I start. Those are the tasks that I set before myself as I start this next chapter of my life, coming home from a meaningful semester spent thinking and building a community in Jerusalem.