This semester at UHIS is drawing to a close as Spring in Israel turns to Summer in Israel, which is… not that different, really. But though the weather may stay the same, the faces around me are changing as people move out of the dorms, or out of the University, or out of the country entirely and onto the next stages of their lives. After 8+ months in Israel I’m starting to realize that there are a lot of unexpected things I’ll miss! The current working list:
Lemon and mint were made by some higher being to always go together and I will not be convinced otherwise. Whether in juice, ice cream, or cool summer slushies Limonana is the simplest, most sensible flavor combo and I don’t understand why the rest of the world hasn’t picked up on it yet (looking at you, Ben&Jerry’s).
Featured: Thank you Mother Nature
2. Chabad dinners on Shabbat
Nothing says “end of the month” like 50 people gathered in the Moadon tremulously guessing numbers when it’s their turn to pick out a song in a language a lot of them can’t actually read. As someone who has been attending Shabbat dinners for approximately 23 years it’s really lovely to share that experience with people who haven’t and are excited to earnestly engage in and learn about Jewish culture and tradition. Nothing quite beats the experience of hearing my international friends excitedly debate over whether to sing “Lecha dodi” or “Oseh shalom” while eating magically pareve heart-shaped ice cream.
3. Academic tours
If you’re the type of person who loves being shuttled around from place to place and told exactly what to look at without paying any money to do so, these tours are perfect for you (and me). Not having a car in Israel makes long-distance traveling more than a bit of a hassle, and don’t get me started regarding living on top of a mountain. Waking up at 6:30 in the morning is a small price to pay to get to see and learn about the Golan Heights, Yad Vashem, and more along with cool company and a comfy bus.
Featured: The most recent trip to Metula and the border of Lebanon
4. Zumba & Krav Maga
Because the 15-minute hike up from the dorms to the classrooms just isn’t enough.
5. Parties on the quad
Wednesday gets a bad rap for it’s position in the dead center of the school week, but not at UHIS. Here Wednesday means lunch out on the quad in the sunshine with free beer, and cotton candy, and ice cream, and iced coco, and cheese squares, and music, and need I go on?
6. Poppies, lavender, rosemary, sage
Israel lives up to New Jersey’s legacy not only in size but also in name; if anything is to be called a “Garden State” it’s this place here, and that doesn’t stop on a college campus. I’ll miss idly picking at a leaf and then realizing it smells like my favorite dishes, or salt scrubs, or essential oils. It’s like living in a giant Bed, Bath & Beyond only better because there’s cats.
Featured: Not a stock photo- see Eshkol in the background! (credits to Elisa Krieger)
I’m positive there’s more (and bigger) things that I’ll miss about living here, and I’ll most likely realize a good chunk of them only after I’ve moved away. But in the meantime it’s nice to have another month or two to fully appreciate what I’ve got with an awareness of just how lucky I am to have it.