!מסיבת יום הולדת
Yesterday at HUC, we had a series of interesting "tradition workshops," the most engaging of which was a discussion about service choreography. We also received our academic schedules, which is very exciting. But the best part of the day by far was Jessica's birthday potluck!
Unfortunately, our potluck coincided with a concert that the HUC cantors were attending and a seminar for the education students - so the only HUC students who were able to join us were rabbinical students. Nevertheless, we had about a dozen people from HUC join us over the course of the night in addition to two of Jessica's friends from outside our "HUC bubble." Alex is a Russian-born Israeli who has been studying at Hebrew University since he finished the army one year after Jessica met him on birthright israel. Paola is a friend of hers from ulpan about whom she's written before. These two friends in addition to my friends from HUC made for a wonderful time, and I'm very glad to see that Jessica and the people I go to school with get along well!
Alex showed up first and brought a lovely pair set of candlesticks that we have added to our mantelpiece. Shortly thereafter, the HUC crowd started to arrive. Folks chatted, looked around the apartment (which we were proud to share), and eventually enjoyed some food. Jessica prepared a delicious combination of baked beans and roasted potatoes, and some other dishes (including a fancy chocolate cake) made the night a tasty one.
We also played a game of Charades and a game called Adjective and Noun, which is similar to the beloved game that Jessica and I call Paper Pass. It seemed that everyone had a good time, and our last guests left over four hours after the first arrived.
Overall, it was delightful to entertain guests in our apartment. Though we were sad that not everyone from HUC was able to decide to come to our place if they wanted, it turned out that this situation may have been for the best: although we have ample space in the apartment, it's spread into several rooms, so fitting everyone into our living room would have been a significant challenge. Hopefully we'll continue to have the privilege and joy of welcoming friends and neighbors into our home as the year progresses!
In a sad turn of events, this delightful party is being shortly proceeded by my departure. In just a few hours, a sheirut (shared taxi) will take me to Ben Gurion airport for my flight to Stowe, Vermont, where I'll be spending the week learning at the twice-annual Wexner Institute. I'm excited to be able to see once again the scholars I met during our orientation in May, and I'm also looking forward to being able to take a brief break from Hebrew ... but of course I'm also sad to be leaving home after spending such a short time here with Jessica. The Institute is only a week long, so I'll be returning soon enough. And hopefully I'll be able to post (albeit probably briefly) from the States!
If I don't have a chance to write here, I'll post an update upon my return. Otherwise, look for news shortly!