Shalom from Israel!
We arrived safe and sound last week (if a little cramped from the airplane seats), and we have hit the ground running. For our first few days we stayed at Beit Yehuda hostel in Jerusalem while we got to know the other Career Israel participants, saw some of Jerusalem’s sights, and generally acclimated to Israel.
Last Sunday we moved to Tel Aviv and officially took up residence in our apartment on King George Street in Tel Aviv. We couldn’t have asked, or found, a better place to stay in Tel Aviv. We are a short stroll from Shuk HaCarmel (the open air market), Dizengoff Center (Tel Aviv’s main shopping mall), a host of bars and restaurants, and the beach.
Tel Aviv’s beaches aren’t like any beach I have ever spent time at. Taly frequently told me I’d never seen a real beach since I’d never been to a Mediterranean beach, and now I know she was right! Cape Cod beaches are stony and cold while the Pacific is freezing and windy across the Western coast. Where the Mediterranean’s waters lap Israel’s shores, however, is warm and sunny with gentle waves and sand like spun gold. I have only been in the water once so far, but I have run along the beach from Tel Aviv to Yaffo almost every evening. Watching the sunset over the sea, feeling the pleasant evening breezes, and seeing all of the people out enjoying the beach makes the miles fly by. I’ll be truly spoiled when the time comes for us to return to the U.S.
Besides relaxing under the Mediterranean sun and exploring Tel Aviv, we’ve been busy with Ulpan (Hebrew classes) and preparation for our internships, which we start in October. We’ll write more about these later. In the meantime, I am steadily, albeit slowly, improving my Hebrew, and I am very excited to start work at the Institute for National Security Studies.