By Loui Dobin, Director of Greene Family Camp. Loui travels the world as part of his job. This is part two of his travel blog and explores who he sees and what he does while in Israel.
Shabbat Shalom from Israel!
It has been an incredibly busy week so far in Israel. After leaving Atlanta and the Olim Seminar on Saturday, I spent Sunday in New York with Paul Reichenbach and Danny Freelander before flying out to Tel Aviv, arriving on Monday afternoon. After a quick dinner, I met up with Sammi Donchin (GFC staffer and former NFTY-TOR President) who is participating in a program that will take her to Kibbutz Lotan for a few weeks and then back up to Jerusalem. On Tuesday, I started my meetings, first with Zohar Forte (long time staffer and Kibbutz Unit Head) and then Yehuda and Amira Bar-Shalom. Later that evening, Bobby Harris (director of Camp Coleman) and Yaron Lipshitz (former Kibbutz Unit Head) joined me for dinner at the newly renovated old train station in Jerusalem. Wednesday morning found me in the NFTY office meeting with the entire NFTY in Israel staff about the coming summer’s programs for our URJ camps, including Garin Greene. Guy Bar-On met me for a meeting after that. Then I met over lunch with the staff of the Jewish Agency, the organization that sends the Shlichim (Israeli summer staff) to us. In the afternoon Simone Schicker came to see me. She is an HUC-JIR student from Temple Sinai in Houston, over here beginning the Rabbinic program. Later that day, Assaf Lubin and Dana Gal joined me for coffee at the hotel to talk about the coming summer. One of the high points of the day was a concert at Zappa Club in Jerusalem featuring Ehud Banai, one of my favorite Israeli singer/songwriters, and his band. They were absolutely incredible!
All day yesterday I met with current and former members of the GFC Mishlachat culminating with supper at Foccacia Restaurant for all of the Vatikim (last year’s Mishlachat) of Greene Family Camp. Today I met with Aia and Erez Margalit (Rosh Mishlachat 2012) and then the Horovitz Family, Josh, Kayla and her parents.
That has been my life in Israel this past week. I can not believe it is already time to leave. This evening I will depart and head to Temple Emanu El in Dallas and then URJ Biennial production meetings in San Diego. I hope you are having a great time following me as I travel around for GFC.