Musings on Passover

As Pesach draws closer, I’ve been thinking a lot about preparations for it. The cooking, the cleaning, organizing guests. The more I think about it, the lonelier I get. I live in Florida now with my fiancé and we don’t have many Jewish friends here. All my family is back in MA and I can’t afford to take the time off to fly back up. I miss the people, traditions, and fun we would have every year growing up. Especially because I don’t really get to see or experience them anymore. I know it wouldn’t be the same even if I did fly back up because several of my family friends whom I miss terribly have moved around the country and won’t be there regardless.

I’m trying to establish new traditions here and invite the few friends we are close to and/or invite friends who don’t have a seder. I still feel lonely. I worry because I haven’t gotten official rsvps from those we’ve invited and I’m worried it’ll just be the two of us for one, if not both nights. I love my fiancé, but the thought of chag with just the two of us is depressing. He’s not Jewish and is still learning about each holiday as it happens. So the intuition and knowledge isn’t there yet. I belong to a shul here too but don’t feel connected to it.

Last year we had one set of friends over the first night and just the two of us the second night. I honestly don’t remember if I did a proper seder the second night.

Maybe these depressing thoughts are punishment for not going to barre class this week (so I can clean, shop, and cook for Pesach around my work schedule). Any other people experience similar thoughts near Pesach?

I am excited to cook again this year, even if it’s a bit daunting. I found some new dessert recipes I’m interested in but am unsure if I’ll genuinely have time to cook them. Whatever I end up making, I’ll share next week so you can enjoy for the end of your Pesach.

Shabbat shalom v’chag pesach sameach! L’shana haba’ah b’yerushalayim!

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On Taglit Birthright

Happy New Year Everyone!!

While we were still in South Florida I participated in Taglit Birthright, which is a (almost) free trip to Israel for about 10 days for Jewish young adults (18-26) whom have never been. I’m so glad I went and miss everyone dearly! (Happy one year friend-aversary IR33149!)

Mind you, I’ve been to Israel before in high school on TRY/USY High through Ramah (which I also loved and will wholeheartedly recommend to anyone still in high school or for their children). I’m lucky enough that Taglit Birthright changed the rules that if you went on a high school program but were there for less than 3 months you are still eligible to participate. I did the USY High portion of TRY (which I think has been renamed since but that’s what the shorter program was called then) that was only 2 months long so I could return to the US in time for exams and graduation.

Back to Birthright:

I went through Israel Experts on their Culinary Program for 21-26 year olds, so everyone on our trip loved food or worked with food in some way, shape, or form. Me personally, I had previously worked in the food/beverage/hospitality industry and was looking to get back in it. On my trip we had everyone from self-professed foodies and bloggers to personal chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, and sommeliers. We came from all sorts of Jewish backgrounds too. Some grew up religious, but most didn’t. Some had many Jewish friends, experiences, knowledge but not everyone did.

What I will say about the marvelous people I were with, including the Israeli soldiers on mifgash with us and our staff, that everyone was wholeheartedly themselves. We were very open and accepting of each other. Throughout our journey across Israel that is something we would bring up occasionally: how free we were to be ourselves and how positively it was accepted across the board.  And it was beautiful.

For me personally, as someone who came from a decently strong Jewish background, it was occasionally difficult to remember that not everyone on the trip had even a foundation of Judaism to ground themselves it. But we all learned and grew together.

To this day we’re all still friends, talking on Facebook and planning meet ups. Unfortunately (for me at least) most of everyone is in the NY/NJ area or CA so those people get to hang out more, but I’ve managed to hang out with the few whom have trekked my way since we all started parting ways at Tel Aviv International Airport.

I plan on coming back to staff, and would have applied already, but I have since changed jobs, moved, and gotten engaged!!! So I think I should probably plan my wedding first and then come back to staff after all that planning is done. (Or who knows, I may change my mind and staff first, then get married. We’ll see!!)

In the mean time, I’d be happy to answer any questions about the trip and you can totally put me down as a reference if you choose to apply 😉

Shavuah tov l’kulam and see you on the flip side

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Things are Finally Coming ‘Round

I did it! I made the move to Southern Florida and I now live happily with my boyfriend.

My resume needed a major overhaul but I was FINALLY OFFERED A JOB ON FRIDAY! So excited!!! I’m going to be a Barista at a local Starbucks 🙂

Originally I [thought] I wanted a stereotypical office 9-5 job but I realized a lot about myself over the past few months job hunting.
1. I love food and beverage as much as it loves me, and as often as I try to leave, I always come back.
2. I need a fast-paced work environment. I can’t sit bored at a desk all day, it’s just not me.
3. I need a work environment that has some stability and repetition, but still varies day to day. Kind of like a play: you know what to do and the script generally stays the same day to day but the every night the production is different.
4. I want a place to grow. I’m a loyal employee and I want to work in a place that appreciates and encourages that (which both Starbucks and Disney do, so there’s a win all around).

***

Last weekend my boyfriend and I flew to Texas for our friends’ wedding. It was very nice and pretty (even though I got pelted with lavender, which I’m allergic to). My boyfriend was the Best Man so we got there on Thursday to help with setting up and to be there in time for the rehearsal Friday morning. The wedding itself took place Saturday night. We flew back Sunday night and are immensely grateful to two of our friends who grabbed lunch with us, helped return the groomsmen suits, and drove us to the airport. We had rented a van with the bride, groom, MoH and her boyfriend, all of whom were sharing a house with us, the bride’s parents, and sisters, all of whom were staying until Monday. So until our friends volunteered, we weren’t sure how we were going to get back. Didn’t know who was going to pick us up when we got there on Thursday but it turns out the grooms parents arrived a little before we did so they took care of us.

And took care of us well they did. His parents and their friends are some of the kindest people ever and will do anything they can to help you. And they feed you more than all the food (and drinks) you will ever need.

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I’m finally going to start posting about my crafting/Pinterest attempts so keep an eye out for that.

I guess that’s all for now folks.