Do it for the Anglo teens: Sponsor my 10k run for Team Crossroads

Hello, it’s that time of year again where I get off my ass, get motivated by some grace of god, and run a 10k and then feel awesome about myself (then stop and procrastinate another 3-6 months).

This time, I’ll run as part of the Jerusalem Marathon, and I’m going to do it as a member of Team Crossroads.

Crossroads is a safe-haven for Anglo immigrant teens in Jerusalem; often their families have made aliyah to Israel but the kids come from dysfunctional homes or have major difficulty adjusting to their new setting. They’ll turn to Crack Square and lose the way. In their words…

Crossroads provides critically-needed programs and social services for at-risk English-speaking youth in Israel that are homeless, struggling with drug addiction, violence and domestic abuse, as well as social, emotional and educational difficulties. Crossroads offers an alternative to the streets, with the aim of instilling every at-risk teen with hope, motivation, tools, and a direction for a better future.

No need to get specific about why this organization strikes a cord; I’ve heard local friends tell their tales of Jerusalem Anglo immigrants in their teen years. Someday my kids will become teenagers (you mean they aren’t now?!) and I’ll be thankful there’s an English-speaking team of social workers and therapists out there on hand to guide their peers…

I’ve pledged a modest $180; I’d love to reach it and I’d love to surpass it; the organization is looking to collectively reach $25,000. Thanks on behalf of Team Crossroads for any help/inspiration you can give!

Sponsor my 10k and help Crossroads continue!

 

 

Fifty-Two Frames: Tell a Story

Did you know? Romeo & Juliet are frozen in time, trapped in a cave on the Israeli hillside.

There’s an inside joke in my family: got visitors coming from abroad? Take ’em to the stalactite cave. Ok, it’s not funny. But we find ourselves at this fascinating, nerdy, science-ridden cave of wonders once a year or two.

Soreq Cave, Avshalom Cave, מערת הנטיפים or just plain old stalactite cave (poor stalagmites always being put down) is a natural wonder hundreds of thousands of years in the making. It was discovered accidentally while workers were blowing up hill sides for quarry.

Week 4: Tell a Story

So close, yet frozen in time…

[From the Soreq stalactite cave, considered the ‘Romeo & Juliet’ of stalactite/stalagmite pairs, formed over thousands of years as water dripped down but eventually dried up, alas, causing the star-crossed pair never to meet…]

 

If you’ve never been, definitely check it out. It offers a trippy hour or so of entertainment. It’s located between Nes Harim and Bet Shemesh, off road 3866. I’d hazard a guess that most kids under three won’t enjoy/appreciate it much. FYI, the floor inside the cave is slippery, it’s obviously quite dark, and also humid/cool. Good for a hot day.

 

“It’s a wonderful country.” Did you vote in Israel today?

On this beautiful Israel election day, in our eretz nehederet, let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that we get to choose who screws us over.

It’s actually amazing. Did you feel it today?

Did you feel the country, divided, coming together? Did you feel we were united, at the very least, in feeling some sentiment, any sentiment, towards block letters on pieces of scrap paper?

Did you feel disillusioned? Did you feel disillusioned as a nation?

Do you feel overwhelmed with energy, with pride, knowing that you are able to vote in a democracy today?

If you’re Jewish, did you feel the empowerment? The control we have of our destiny? Of openly participating in a society we built… Of declaring our views, hopes and representation as free Jews?

We joke. And we rant. We’re angry and we’re apathetic. We’re frustrated and we’re hopeful fools. Or hopeless optimists.

But we’re here. We’re mostly free. Our lives (if not our sanity) are not under constant threat… by our own leaders.

Did you bring your kids to vote with you? Did you explain to them what it means to be a citizen with representation, in whatever language or level they speak?

Did you explain what a strong leader is? What a good leader is?

How to become one?

Maybe they listened. Maybe our redemption is closer than we think.

 

Tu B’Shvat in Tzur Hadassah: Pave a parking lot, put up paradise.

Yesterday, in the morning, walking through Tzur Hadassah, I noticed this:

And was all, WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Why you gotta touch my beloved valley? Why do we have to dig up the pretty parts of Tzur Hadassah we clearly don’t need for more housing or community centers? Why can’t we haz a little nature left over?

Why a week before Tu B’shvat?!

Yesterday, in the afternoon, I got this email from the Va’ad Tarbut of Tzur Hadassah:

ט”ו בשבט בצור הדסה – יום שישי , 25/1/2013

השנה יתקיים לראשונה בצור הדסה אירוע ט”ו בשבט בו יקחו חלק כל בתי הספר בישוב.

האירוע הוא לכבוד חנוכת “הפארק הנעלם” בו ינטעו מאות עצים ושיחים מקומיים אשר יצרו חורש טבעי מרהיב.

10:00 חנוכת “הפארק הנעלם” צור הדסה – תלמידי והורי בתי הספר בישוב נוטעים בוואדי

And was all, oooooooooh.

Bottom line: They cleared the area because the students of all Tzur Hadassah schools will come together on Friday to plant new trees in what will be called ‘HaPark HaNe’elam’ or Hidden Park. The trees and shrubs to be used are local varieties. After the damage we’ve done so far to the view, in building the new school/community area, it’s nice to see some natural payback. Reason #95245 to like Tzur Hadassah: community appreciation for nature and values-building for our students.

To be continued…

Koala update: Tale of the horse prince.

Koala has been going through some stuff at gan lately.

Boy stuff, school stuff, three stuff, soon-to-be four stuff (stuff Dr. Seuss didn’t write about this one so it looks like I may do the job for him).

Anyway, on Friday I took him for a mother-son ‘adventure’ (his word, not mine) through the valley that splits Tzur Hadassah. It’s my favorite place in our area; it looks small and insignificant on the outside, but it’s an illusion… When you’re in it, it’s suddenly this untouched world of rare grass, thick bushes, climbable rocks, blue mountains in the backdrop. A unicorn might bound past you at any moment.

Quiet, serene, and the perfect place to let a boy think out loud.

We chatted about some of his gan troubles, and held a quick hippie therapy session:

“When this kid tries to hit L, she says to him, אל תרביץ לי!”
“That’s a great thing to yell. Let’s do that.”
“What?”
“Yell, don’t hit me! Just the way L does. Go, do it.”

He stares at me.

“I’ll do it with you. Ready?”

We stop walking, I look at him, and together we yell at the forest: אל תרביץ לי!!!

Koala took my hand and we climbed up rocks, took in the view, sought out flowers, discussed trees, and my little boy even broached the subject (once again) of why girls don’t have penises.

Our moods were good – his troubles off his chest for a bit, and I was finally getting some fresh air after a long depressing week.

We walked deeper into the valley, along the muddy road, which had frozen horse tracks in soft ground leftover from the week before.

‎”Hey, Koala! Check it out! those are the footprints of a horse – horse prints!”
“Yeah! I see so many!”

We live next to a horse farm, but Koala hadn’t put the two together. To him, this was magical.

“Let’s count. Wow. Horse prints everywhere.”

…15 minutes later…

“So Ima, where is it?”
“What?”
“This horse prince…”

Searching Naftali Benn- oof, go home, Bibi, you’re drunk.

Wow. So, this just happened.

Heard HaBayit HaYehudi front runner Naftali Bennett got snotty on his Facebook page today, so I went to check it out. Typed out his name and –

Oh, hello, Bibi Netanyahu. You crashed yet another party. Living your meme, much?

Or are you a lil afraid you will one day soon* no longer be the life of the parties?

*after another term with Avigdor and Shas, of course, thankyouverymuchfellowIsraelivoters.

Naftali Bennett - oops - Bibi

Disclaimer: I’m not voting for either guy. But here’s a fun way to choose your fav.

Disclaimer #2: I swear I didn’t see that tiny gray text under the drop down in the screenshot until just now (but answer the question, Naftali).

THIS JUST IN!

Chuck Norris endorses Bibi – for real, yo. You’re screwed now, Bennett.

(h/t @mordecaiholtz)