8:30am - Words of Welcome from our Dean, Rabbi Naamah Kelman
Introduction to Orientation and the Year in Israel Program
Overview of the summer
10:00 - coffee and cake
10:30 - session - who am I and why am I here? ( my name is Jaqui and I am here for my first year of Ed school)
12:30 - lunch
1:30 - wrap - up session from the morning (would have made more sense before lunch maybe?)
2:15 - Session with Rabbi Michael Marmur, HUC Vice President of Academic Affairs (now, we would hope he would talk to us about the academics and the academic expectations for the year and the years to come, but noooooooooooooo we were lectured about Essential Enduring Questions.)
3:15 - break
3:25 - General Q&A
4:00 - security review
5:15 - conclusion
So that was just day one, the next day went till 730. The best was on Wednesday when they took us to the Tayellet. We did a great program there (one I do feel could have waited until the actual school year to do) but the view was amazing. To our right we were able to see the wall that divided Israel and the West Bank and to the left we were able to see the old city. But here is the best part, none of us really knew where Tayellet was in relation to anything else especially since we took a bus there. At the end of the activity there were no buses and the school essentially had has find our way back to our apartments from the middle of the desert! are they on drugs?! It was a 45 min walk back to my apartment and I was one of the people that lived "close" to where we were.
So orientation overall was good but bad. It gave us all the opportunity and time to get to know one another but at the same time they wore us out for school tomorrow.
Last night we did Shabbat all together at HUC. I really enjoyed that. We had a discussion first about the Kiddush of Shabbat and the different parts of it. I am not going to go in to detail now but a quick piece of trivia....did you know that Polish and Russian Jews are the ones that started using candles for their shabbat light because it's too cold their during the winter, and everyone else uses olive oil. (i don't know who everyone else is since I know at Isaiah and other Synagogues they use candles...) anyhoo, I thought that would be of interest to you :) After the discussion we all went in to the Synagogue for services. I loved them! They reminded me a lot of camp. From services we went to Dinner which was amazing! Very yummy. Then SONG SESSION! I tried to take pictures but since it was so dark out they didn't come out very well...sorry! But I do have video so I am going to try and figure out how to upload videos on to facebook and for all you lucky ducks that are friends with me on facebook you will have the opportunity to watch the video.
Today I chose not to go to services. I was so tired from the week I needed to take the day off. So I slept till 1! I honestly don't remember the last time I slept that late. I got up and finished my paper that is due on Monday and now I am typing for all you lovely people :) .
Tomorrow we start the regular ulpan and since I know everyone was VERY concerned about which class I would be in I am happy to announce that I am in Kitah Bet. yay me! Here is a quick hebrew lesson, kitah is the hebrew word of class and Bet is one of the letters of the hebrew alphabet. the different kitot (plural for kitah) are: aleph, bet, gimel, dalet, and hey. (these are all letters of the hebrew alphabet). I got placed into Bet! Some people from the pre-ulpan got placed in Alef, some in Bet, and some in Gimel, I am more than happy with my placement!
What else is new....? OH! I made friends with my nut guy! (i feel like I may have told you all this before but here we go again!) His name is Moshe and he is orthodox. He works at the convenient store / nut stand right next to my apartment. He works in the evenings so every time when I am walking home and he is working I say "lila tov moshe!" and he says "lila tov Jaqui!" The other night I went downstairs for something to drink since I ran out of ice tea up here and he was working and we started talking. And by talking I mean attempting to talk since he doesn't speak English and I don't really speak Hebrew. So we were able to make plans for me to teach him English and he would teach me hebrew and then we would play playstation! (the convenient store has a tv inside in which we would have been able to hook up the play station) so I was VERY excited about our play date and then he wasn't at work! I was not so happy so Moshe and I will be having a little talk tomorrow...and by little i mean very little since he won't understand what I am saying. It will probably consist of "where were you? Ok." It will be a GRAYT conversation.
So tomorrow is the first day of school and I am excited. I am really excited about the different people that are going to be in my class. It has been really nice getting to meet everyone that is going to be part of the program. I finally know all my classmates that are going to be in LA and I am very excited. :) Anyhoo, it is time for lunch and then I am going to meet some girlfriends at a park near by to hang out play some music and just chat. It will be a very relaxing Shabbat. I will TRY and write tomorrow after school to let you all know how the day went. Shabbat Shalom!