Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back In Israel

So after a long and very exciting summer Nate and I have moved back to Israel. We made aliyah (officially became Israeli citizens) on Tuesday, August 26th. It was a short flight in comparison to the flights we had taken to Australia this summer, but yet still pretty long at 10 hours. We landed in the Ben Gurion airport and were straight away taken to the old terminal to have a small reception and have our first meeting with the Office of Immigration. We received our immigration i.d. and forms allowing us to sign up for a bank account and health insurance. We then were provided with a taxi ride back to Hamivtar where we had lunch and dinner with friends from last year and got a good, but short, night's sleep. The next morning at 8:30 am the movers showed up to move all of our belongings from Hamivtar, where we had stored them over the summer, to our new apartment in Jerusalem. They were done moving us in by 9:45am (a record of what I have heard), and they did a really good job. Our new physical address is 24 Shai Agnong, Jerusalem, in the Goldstein Youth Village. Our new mailing address however is:
P.O. Box 4180
Jerusalem 91041, ISRAEL.

Nate and I spent the day unpacking and then got a very good nights rest in our own bed in our new apartment. As the week went on we set up a bank account, received our permanent identity cards, met with the Office of Immigration to make sure we were in the system and receiving all of our benefits, set up our health insurance, and unpacked and set up our new apartment. We now have a brand new fridge, a washer and dryer of our own, and a carpeted and insulated apartment. We did all this while we started our new job as the Av and Em Bayit (dorm parents) at Yeshivat Shvilei Hatorah. We helped prepare the school and the dormitory for the boys arrival, and created all necessary databases of the boys information. Basically it has been a very overwhelming, yet exciting, first week back in Israel.

Yesterday, however, the boys arrived. We have ourselves set up, with the exceptions of a few boxes left to unpack, but now we have to spend our time getting to know the boys and making sure they get what they need. Nate has spent most of today with them helping to run orientation, and I will get to spend meal times with them. I am organizing the events for this weeks shabbat, at which we will be having a kiddush (snack) with singing and words of Torah Friday night after dinner, and a small kiddush (snack) after prayers in the morning. Nate and two of the other Rabbaim will be speaking at each of the meals respectively and the boys will have their first downtime to just hang out with each other and us. Next Tuesday night we will also be having an open house for the boys, for which I will make some desserts, just to let them get to know us and let them stop by and see our apartment. It is our hope that they will feel comfortable coming over as often as they like.

There are 48 boys, and as our new boss put it, you guys just had 48 boys without the 9 months of being sick and the labor, but now the work really starts. We are excited for the job, and look forward to updating you more on what is going on!

Shabbat Shalom!