Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Someone Else's Words

Here is a link to my friend Yoni's blog post about his reflections on last night's terror attack that happened very near where he lives and learns. It is very touching, and it very clearly reflects how I feel in a very eloquent way.

I am still having some trouble with my arm from the tennis elbow. Sorry I am not writing more.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mid-Dig update

I'm procrastinating getting my bag packed for my third week of digging and figured I might as well write an update :)
This week I am going to be participating in the Archaeological Sciences Field School through the Weitzmann Institute and I am very excited!
On a less exciting note, I was diagnosed last week with Tennis Elbow (an inflammation in the tendons around my elbow-tendinitis like) . It's not that bad other than the fact that its really painful and will take some serious physical therapy to make it better. It also means that I won't be doing the last week of digging that I had planned because it is simply not worth injuring myself any more.  It also means that I'll be spending much less time in front of the computer because it just hurts too much.

Have a great week everyone!

Ps. I was walking around today running errands...and its BOILING outside with plenty of humidity...and there was a girl wearing a jean jacket. I almost passed out just looking at her. People are nuts.

Friday, July 9, 2010

National Community Service Award

This past week I received a scholarship and award in recognition of the community service I did this year at Beit Noam. The community service was under the auspices of the Office of Immigrant Absorption and the Student Authority. The government provides an academic scholarship to all new immigrants, and in return asks for 120 hours of volunteer service. I, along with 49 other immigrants, was chosen from among over 1,000 students who participated in this program to receive the award. On Tuesday there was a ceremony. At first I wasn't really sure how I felt about the whole thing and I wasn't really sure what it all meant. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that it is a big deal. I didn't realize how few people were chosen to be recognized for their work. In addition, I didn't realize how emotional and proud I would feel being there with my immigrant peers, all of us working hard toward successful absorption here, and all of us giving so much to the country we want so badly to be a part of. I was the only American chosen, and that made me very proud on the one hand. On the other it made me a bit sad to see that there were many countries well represented (including Ethiopia and many South America countries) and that no other Americans participated in the program to a level that deserved national recognition. I wish I would hear of more Americans like me enjoy their community service and feel that it really changed them, like mine changed me.

David, Aunt Marilyn, and Cousin Lia came with me to the ceremony. It was really nice to be able to share with them, and I know I made them very proud. It is such a great feeling to be recognized for something that I loved anyway. I took a few pictures, but haven't had the chance to upload them to the computer yet. Hopefully some time in the next month in between the digs and tests I'll put some up.

Digging Week One

I just got back home from my first week of digs for the summer. I was at Tel E'ton and had a great time. It was the last week of the digging season for this Tel, and even though it's usually a really stressful time I really enjoyed myself. The whole waking up at 4am and then working a more than full day in the sun on little sleep and sometimes only marginal food thing is pretty tough, but considering I'll be spending a total of four weeks on digs in various capacities I tried to make sure I mostly enjoyed. It was physically challenging and I decided to treat the work like a free gym membership for the month. Hopefully by the end of this month I'll be in amazing shape!
This was a really great week. The atmosphere was fun and really enjoyable despite the hard work.
Next week I move to Tel Safi which is a whole different type of beast. It should also be a great experience... Hopefully I'll have the energy next week to give another update!
Shabbat Shalom

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gone Digging

Ok. In a few minutes I'm off to dig for ancient things for the next month! I'll be spending one week at Tel Eiton, where I dug last year, and 3 weeks at Tel Es Safi (Gath). One of the weeks at Safi I'll be participating in a Weitzmann Institute Archaeological Field School and I'm really excited. I took a course this year on Archaeological Sciences and this is the optional field experience continuation of the class. We get to do fun things in the lab and help the archaeologists answer burning questions about the chemical makeup of finds in real time out in the field. We can even determine at what temperature pottery was originally fired in about 5 minutes!!
For more information on the projects, check out the Safi blog :
i'm not sure that Tel Eiton has a blog yet (at least not in english) but you can find information on the Bar Ilan website :

Happy 4th of July and Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Two weeks ago David and I took a very very much needed vacation to Paris. It was our first real vacation since we got married (sorry mom and dad, coming to visit you is nice, but its not vacation!) and we were very excited. We went for 5 days and had an amazing time.
The weather was a bit chilly, but we got to see all of the sites and really enjoyed being together.
I am now in finals mode- I just got out of my third in the last week. It has been really really intense and highlighted how important the time with David was.
Next week I start an entire month of archaeological digs. That should also be intense, but hopefully a lot of fun and educational too!
Here are some pictures from our trip:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

O How I Hate Beni Brak

This is the first time since I've been in Israel that my experience GETTING TO a bureaucratic office has been more unpleasant than my time spent in said office.

This morning I walked to the Interior Ministry Branch in Beni Brak to get my first Israeli Passport (I had a legal travel document that was only valid in Israel.) All told, it took me only an hour, but the walk through Bnei Brak is just so unpleasant.

I can't stand Charedim and am completely disgusted by their way of life. The streets are filled with garbage and it reeks everywhere. I almost got hit by cars at least 5 times because they all drive as if they don't value human life. And to top it all off, they are rude. When I crossed the bridge over the highway that separates Givat Shmuel from Beni Brak I took a huge deep breath of the "clean" air and felt so relieved to be home!

On the other hand, my experience at the Interior Ministry was really really refreshing (ironic as that is). I didn't even have time to fill out the passport request form when it was my turn at the counter. The lady was really really nice and helpful and I was finished within 7 minutes. Unlike in the American system, I will have my passport within a week (probably sooner). Definitely a mixed up way to start the day!