How about that, it seems my last post was September 19th… and today is November 25th. Well, in my own defense at least it’s not November 26th or worse yet November 27th… right.
What to say what to say? Ukraine is amazing. My Russian is steadily improving and I am continuing my lessons 3 days a week. I have been working to get to know some ins and outs of the Kiev Jewish community and have met some very encouraging successes. I have been fortunate to travel a bit in the country including (pictures coming shortly):
-Shetyl tour with a Jewish educators conference. It was interesting both for the sight and to meet so many interesting educators from all over Ukraine. most notably we visited Mezubush, where the very famous Rabbi, the Baal Shem Tov is buried. His grave is a very spiritual and very famous site.
-a weekend in (what felt like a haunted) old Soviet sanatorium helping with a teen shabbaton weekend in a village about 5 hours outside Kiev.
-Spending Rosh Hashana in Dneiperpetrosk, one of Ukraine’s largest cities home to a very impressive and warm Jewish community. I was fortunate to stay with a Peace Corp volunteer who has been in Ukraine just over a year now, Avitol. She and another Peace Corp volunteer hosted a very inspirational Rosh Hashana Celebration. It was interesting to see the contrast between the very soviet city of Dneiperpetrosk compared with Kiev.
and the best for last..
-I went to a Limmud conference in Odessa. I will devote a whole post to this soon. It was a turning point for me in my life in Ukraine and I can’t say enough about what a cool city Odessa is. I really hope to go back in the summer when the famed nightlife and beaches are in full swing. more soon.
Beside these excursions I have been busy in Kiev doing many different things. I am teaching an American Coffee class in the Hillel. This week I taught about Thanksgiving and don’t think I did justice in explaining just how lovely a holiday it is. I have also recently begun teaching a Jewish cooking class at my apartment. In the first class we made Mandle bread. It was good, next week we will make Latkes!
more soon, love!