Posted on June 9, 2011 by Pious Antic
Last week, I spoke briefly at Pardes’ closing lunch, and I have adapted what I remember of them, since I never actually got around to typing them up ahead of time, here: Two years ago, when I first arrived at Pardes, I was struck by something our dean, David Bernstein said during one of the Continue Reading »
Posted on May 23, 2011 by Aviva P.
Prior to coming to Israel, my mother tried made me promise her three things: I won’t date an Israeli I won’t move to Israel/want to make aliyah I won’t become orthodox While somehow I believed that there was no reason for my mom to be concerned (1) Israelis are difficult, 2) I liked living in Continue Reading »
Posted on May 19, 2011 by The Director of Digital Media
A Testimonial by Avigail Hurvitz-Prinz About a month ago my Talmud class did an exercise where we shared our reasons for studying Gemora. Everyone had their own reasons, and my list came up to a total of 21 reasons as wide ranging as “intellectual challenge” and “to have a sense of the Rabbinic world” or Continue Reading »
Posted on March 17, 2011 by Merissa
Check out my BIG IDEA at TheNextBigJewishIdea! “One part cafe, one part Jewish bookstore, and one part events venue, ‘Miriam’ is one-stop Jewish shopping for the body, mind and spirit. The acts of reading, eating and being entertained feed off of one another. By simply being in the building you can’t help but be funneled Continue Reading »
Posted on March 7, 2011 by Tamara Frankel
Dear Friends, As some of you may know, this was my last Shabbat in Israel before – what I like to call – my “North American Tour”. I’ll be traveling to New York this Tuesday, to student-teach in a day school in Manhattan and hopefully squeeze in some interviews for teaching positions next year in Continue Reading »
Posted on December 31, 2010 by Michael
My parents and brother are here now in Israel. It is awesome to be here together with them for the first time. We’ve had the opportunity to travel around Israel, especially to the south, enjoying beautiful hikes and the sunny Eilat beach. Next time you come to Israel, I definitely recommend that you hike some 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.
Posted on November 21, 2010 by Tamara Frankel
Dear Friends, Today, I am inspired to write by two of my dear friends and beloved chevrutot (learning partners): Merissa Nathan Gerson and Dana Adler. Thank you Merissa and Dana! Last week’s parsha, Vayishlach, is filled with a lot of difficult questions and interactions. To name a few: Yaakov wrestles with an angel and is Continue Reading »
Posted on November 2, 2010 by Eryn
Hundred of years ago in candle lit rooms Rabbis argued on the rules of Judaism and on the words of the Torah. These arguments come to life everyday in the Beit Midrash through ribbons of pinks and yellows and greens and blues and through sing-song voices that might make us smile just a tiny bit. Continue Reading »
Posted on December 22, 2009 by Naomi Adland
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the future. “But,” you say “it’s too soon to be thinking about life after Pardes. You have until the end of May.” Trust me. I know. After today, I have one hundred and sixty days left in Jerusalem. That’s plenty of time to figure out what I’m Continue Reading »