As you can see, I didn't get a chance to complete the blog while I was in Israel, and after being at camp last week, I'm now sitting down to write about the events of the last week in Jerusalem (almost two weeks ago already!).
Monday morning the 17th, we departed Yeruham and headed back to Jerusalem for our closure week of Nativ. It started with a "birthday party" for everyone who had a birthday on Nativ this year and didn't get a cake – instead, we had a huge birthday cake, with amazing frosting, in honor of everyone (though of course I have a summer birthday, but whatever). As usually happens when there's an opportunity to create a mess, cake went flying into people's faces, etc. Then everyone cleaned up because then we took the group pictures and then an individual picture.
During the afternoon, we had programming by track. The program consisted of two parts: the first required us to creatively express an aspect of our year – be it related to Judaism, the Land of Israel, or friendship – and present it to the group. People did all sorts of art, poetry, interpretive dance, etc. The second part dealt with challenges at home, especially when it came to observing Judaism and synagogues. This discussion wasn't too fun for me because I was not looking forward at all to having to be observant in America.
In the evening, we had an all-Nativ talent show. Many of the acts were funny, a couple a bit inappropriate, and Mazakas' stand-up comedy about his stuttering stole the show. Wow.
Tuesday morning was Erev Shavuot. I went shopping at Pomeranz and then had lunch at Cup o Joe with David and the Freedmans. Afterwards, I met Aryeh Bernstein out in Talpiyot to get the book Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building Vibrant Jewish Communities. It was good catching up with him and I'm enjoying the book a lot so far. Then I came home and got ready for Chag.
Next post will discuss Shavuot. The tone had been set at this point for the last week being packed with different things to end Nativ on a strong note, and the end was in site.