After returning from a much needed visit to the states, Nate and I are trying to organize our new plans for our future. As my mom reminded me our plans change quite often, but as usual we hope this one will be more of a permanent plan. Let's hope for the best.
As Nate said he applied to Yeshiva University's Azrielli Graduate School Program, and we will hear within the next few weeks if he got in. He applied for their summer program which Nate no longer has as much of an interest in as he did before, due to their cancellation of the ability to do student teaching in Israel, and the deans suggestions that it was not their "greatest" program. We are hoping if Nate gets in that we can defer the acceptance to the following year (2010) to do the full two year program in the U.S. That's right in the U.S. Nate and I now have plans to move back right after I graduate from Hebrew U. These plans are exciting yet daunting. We will finally be able to be around more family, which we have truly missed, yet I will have to get a "real" job, full time, and enough to support us, while Nate will be in school. Nate hopes to do both graduate school for his Masters in Education and Smicha at Yeshiva University at the same time. The grad program is two years and the smicha is four. He is hoping to travel to the U.S. in November to attend his old roommates wedding (yay for Yoni) and have the necessary interviews with YU for smicha. Wish us luck!
I will be coming in later in the year, with hopes to have interviews set up for jobs (all suggestions welcome) and to find us a place to live. Our goal is to live in the Northern NJ area (Nate is not all that excited about this prospect) in order to be close to NY for Nate's schooling, but not actually in NY for my sanity. Hopefully I will be quite marketable having just finished an MA in nonprofit management and fundraising, in a time where hopefully things will be turning around.
Until we move back, however, we have a lot to deal with. First on the agenda is Nate's army service. He went in for what is called his "tzav rishon" his first call up meeting with army, where they did a number of psychological tests, physical-health tests, and he had a long interview, so the army could determine how healthy he is and ready for the army. As it turns out, he could not finish the appointment because the eye doctor was not in to do an eye test, so hence we do not have any answers yet. It was told to Nate by the physician, however, that he doubted Nate would be a combat soldier because of his ankles. As sad as it is, because we wish he could serve, we are actually hoping for Nate to get an exemption. We believe it is every Israeli's obligationt to serve int he army, and we plan to encourage our sons to serve in the army and our daughters to take part in what is called "Sheirut Le'umi," "national service," yet we now have a very real understanding of why most people who serve begin when they are 18 or 19. Nate is trying to move on with his professional career, and this would be quite problematic for that. Not to mention we are not sure how we financially would survive it. All these things, though, are supposed to be taken into consideration by the army when determining Nate's elligibility to serve.
After we figure out the army we are moving onto figuring out this summer. We both received camp counselor position offers for the summer, and they are in the U.S. My cousins, the Goldfishers, have kindly offered to let us house sit for them while they are away for the summer, in Teaneck, NJ. The camp we are leaning towards working at, Camp Shalom, is in Passaic, but they offer transportation to counselors from the Teaneck area, so it should not be too difficult. I, however, have a job, as many of you know, as a virtual assistant, and am nervous I would lose my clients due to my inability to work for them during day time hours (when they need me most) because I would be working for the camp. I am giving myelf a few weeks to figure out what to do, including trying to see if I can get enough work, and so too enough pay, as a virtual assistant to not work at the camp, and just continue as I am doing. Nate is also looking into getting work as a Mashgiach for the summer, since the pay is much better. At the same time, we are checking daily for tickets to fly into the U.S. which are not very cheap right now. Hopefully this part of our life will figure itself out soon too!
Lastly, we have started to try and figure out the lagistics of what it means to have just made aliyah and need to move back to the U.S. We have every intention of coming back to live here on a permanent basis. We love Israel, although it has proven to be difficult to live here, but we do believe ultimately this is our home. We very much hope that some family members will consider making aliyah (don't worry some already are) as well, so when we return we will not feel as alone. However, this does not exclude the fact that we did make aliyah already, received grants and assistance from the government and Nefeshe B'Nefesh, on the condition we were to stay, and now are returning to the U.S. We have already started to contact the necessary people and look forward to working this out.
Anyway, there is your update for now. Sorry, when we were in the U.S. for pesach we did not see many of you, but we truly just needed some family time with our immediate family, and since it was a short visit, that was our priority. Hopefully we will have a chance to see you all this summer.
p.s. Pictures of our trip will be posted soon!