July 1 - Our Jerusalem Adventure Begins

It was fun having a quiet morning while Sandy was busy getting the kids ready and then out to their first day of camp.

We got all packed-up, again, kissed Sandy goodbye when she got home, and headed off to Jerusalem.

Our apartment is wonderful! Spacious and modern with just enough personality to be an Israeli apartment.

Also, Jerusalem offered the opportunity to see friends we hadnít seen in a long time.

LeAnne, Abe, Marion and Ella came over shortly after we arrived. It was wonderful to see them. It is hard to believe that we havenít been together for over a year.

They have had an incredible year! Abe has spent his sabbatical year teaching at Hebrew University and preparing a number of other books for publication. Marion and Ella have grown up a lot! They have learned Hebrew, made new friends, and experienced a level of freedom and responsibility unheard of among their peer group in San Diego.

And LeAnne has enjoyed the most remarkable year learning and growing at the Fuchsberg center (web address). She has been learning, in a traditional setting, and in true LeAnne fashion, every thing she learns only excites her even more!

Ohr Shalomís incredible educator has radically increased her knowledge and skills and, even with the sadness of leaving Israel, is thrilled at the new opportunities for her at our Religious School, services, adult education and other aspects of our shul!

And it was a party! They went with us to the supermarket in our neighborhood, Mister Zul, and shared with us their insights considering various important aspects of modern Israel, like the nuances of the different flavor of Milkies (pudding).

Of couse, we were so engrossed with them that I never took a single photo!

After a little while, other friends of ours joined us as well. Adam and Melissa Wergelies, and their daughters Maya and Emma were good friends and congregants when we were in Los Angeles and we hadnít seen them for a long time.

The Wergelies family is towards the end of a six month world tour, including volunteering in Africa, visiting the Far East, and spending three months in Israel. They are wonderful people, good friends and it was great to see them.

In a funny, small Jewish world story, Abe and LeAnne became good friends with Adam and Melissa over the last few months in Israel. Special people have a knack of meeting other special people, and in the case, in a very special place!

We were also joined by my dadís first cousin Reuven (Randy until he made aliyah a few years ago). Reuven is a fascinating individual, a genealogist by training, who spent a number of years in Los Angeles working with survivors through Spielbergís Shoah Foundation.

Randy brought a variety of materials about the family that he has been able to glean through family in Israel over the past twenty-five years. Including a picture of my father, my Uncle Gerry, and my Great-Grandfather, which he found in a distant cousinís apartment in Herzliyah while trying to confirm she really was a cousin.

He also shared a wonderful article he published many years ago about his discovery of family in Israel.

Through all of this crazy chaos on the first day in our new apartment, we put away groceries, unpacked and tried to get settled.

After everyone justify, we hit the road for a 30 minute walk (which took us about 45 minutes thanks to my navigation skills), to catch up with San Diegoís Scott Stone Teen Trip to Israel. We joined them for dinner in a wonderful Mizrachi (Middle Eastern) restaurant, eating salads, shwarma and shipudim (kebobs). Shayna, Nadiv and Maital were excited by all of the teens, and the teens enjoyed seeing the kids.

The Scott Stone trip is an important program of our community, and every year Ohr Shalom sends a number of children on the trip. It was a treat to get to catch up with Eyal Dagan (our San Diego shaliach) and to see the teens. Their summer is off to a great start!

After dinner, we jumped into a cab and drove home for our first night in our new digs!

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