The Shnatties have made it another week. This time our week was spent entirely in the wonderful city of Tel Aviv. We started Thursday with a tour of the city focusing on the disparity between north Tel Aviv and south Tel Aviv. After lunch, we participated in a wonderful Tikkun Olam session that was created and led by Sima and Joe. Then it was out and about the city for dinner. Friday was a very chill day. In the afternoon we had a lovely talk with the Rabbi of Beit Daniel which was followed by a kabbalat Shabbat service.
On Saturday evening the Shnatties got so-called ‘woke’ and attended their first political protest of the year. Across the country, in various cities, thousands of Israelis have been marching the streets every Saturday evening protesting corruption claims charged at Netanyahu. The issue, which has become a flashpoint of Bibi’s regime and ultimately might lead to his indictment, has been brought to the political fore by these protests. The Shnatties are proud to stand with the Israeli people against corruption and it’s inspiring to see thousands upon thousands of people marching every single week.
The next morning we began our daily schedule for the Tel Aviv period. Emily, Sima, Talia & Gideon are volunteering at Chimes who run an after-school club for special needs children; Harley, Jack and Joe work in the LGBT centre; while Alyssa and Sam are volunteering at an animal shelter.
Now that ulpan and volunteering has started we are getting used to another daily schedule. Wake up at 7ish (7:30), breakfast, ulpan, lunch, volunteering, make dinner, eat dinner, clean up dinner, go to sleep, repeat. We're getting into habits that will benefit us throughout our lives like spending money on a budget and living in our own flat with people who we aren't related to. And even with all that the atmosphere is different in Israel. The air feels peaceful and fresh. The people are friendly and happy. Now that we're in such a major city we're really starting to get the Israeli vibe. We're meeting all kinds of people and seeing all sorts of sites. And now that we're intensely learning Hebrew, we can start experiencing everything in Israel as an Israelis. We're all loving our stay in Tel Aviv and are trying to forget about how short it is so we can enjoy what we have of it.
Alyssa, Gideon & Harley