This post is a continuation of “August in Israel (Part 2 of 3)“…
On that note, my experience working with Bat Melech has been very positive. Bat Melech is the only religious shelter system in all of Israel for victims of violence and domestic abuse. I work with them three days a week on press / publicity, website and strategy/fundraising initiatives. I’ll likely be teaching a weekly yoga class at the shelter when I am back in the winter, and have been fortunate to get to know these very strong women.
Last week, I joined the Bat Melech women and children for a summer retreat in Yerucham where we indulged in spa nights, chocolate-making, meditation sessions, educational workshops and children’s programming. It was momentarily sad as the trip marked the one-year anniversary of my and Yair’s get (religious divorce), and it brought up memories of really not wanting the split to happen at all, but being with so many strong women – who I supported, who supported me, half of whom were being denied religious divorces by horrible husbands – really put things in perspective, and the quiet time in the desert was just so spot on and right.
Otherwise, I’ve integrated into the organization quite well. I was gifted a book by the director and attended the Bat Melech holiday party last week. I’ve been offered a full-time job, but am holding off on employment and the corresponding commitments for now. That said, I may accept the offer upon my return to Israel in the winter if / when I sell the RV. (No final decisions yet – just musings!)
Family Time, Jessie’s Aliyah and Assorted Augustness
The time with family and proximity to family has been wonderful. Perhaps the biggest news is that my little sister, Jessie, made aliyah! She has been dreaming of emigrating to Israel for some time and is now a full-fledged Israeli citizen. Congrats, Jess!
What else? I have tried to schedule myself just a bit less to allow time for reading and naturally-unfolding adventures, like Shabbat dinners with friends and mischief-making with ever-changing groups of strangers in Gan Sacher (Israel’s Central Park / Zilker Park, a five-minute walk from my house).
Just prior to Jessie’s arrival, I joined my family in attending the wedding of family friends… on my wedding anniversary. I found it ironic to be invited to a wedding on the first wedding anniversary that I wasn’t celebrating (and those dates really get drilled into your head!) and davka to be dancing to my wedding song at the event (ha!), but it was a beautiful outdoor ceremony and – though parts of the evening could have been sad – they just weren’t.
Otherwise, I have the ever-surfacing challenge of not trying to spread myself too thin, both socially and projects-wise. I haven’t figured out how to tactfully do this as so many projects interest me, but moreover so many people do! It’s difficult to say “sorry, I need to focus on family, work and reading, so I can’t hang out with you” especially after a lovely interaction, but what will hopefully make this line-drawing a smidge easier is that I intend to take a complete break from dating for the coming months.
Particularly after reading this article vetted by my medically-oriented sister, I feel the pressures of the biological clock even less and feel utterly freed to not date, to not look for a partner and to not rush to the next phase of my life. I am loving living on my own and, especially with my family and close friends living in the neighborhood, there is no shortage of excellent company.
In short, things here are going really well! There are periodic dips or scares (e.g. “holy sh**, is Syria going to launch an attack and where do I get a gas mask?!”), but they’ve been nothing more than scares of the moment and then life carries on. I certainly don’t have it all figured out yet, but things are coming together for me step by step and I can’t ask for more than that.
Wishing you all a shana tova (happy new year) and I will see you Austin folks in just a few weeks!
posted by ayo