Birthdays while Abroad- Sofia Freedman
It’s crazy to believe that I have already been here for two months and am already halfway through my time here in Israel. When I first arrived here, there were questions and concerns everyone had regarding Covid and what we would be able to accomplish during our time here in Israel. But, even in the face of these challenges, we have been able to continue to go on breathtaking tiyulim (field trips) every week. From the Old City to Atlit I have been able to explore so much of the history, hikes, and tasty food Israel has to offer. Not only that, but I cannot express how wonderful it is to have made such meaningful connections with peers, from times spent together as a group hiking on the Yam l’Yam trail, spending Shabbat in Tzfat, and climbing through sand dunes. I dread the thought of returning back home and spending long days in classrooms reminiscing back to these times. Because of this I try my best to make the most of every moment I have here, trying to savor every second of the wonderful adventure that is my day to day at AMHSI.
A moment that stuck with me was my birthday on October 31, which happened to land on our open weekend, something we were unsure would occur due to the Covid regulations. I was overjoyed when I found out I would be able to spend the open weekend, the two days leading up to my birthday, with family I had not seen for years. Afterwards, when we all returned to campus, I also got to spend my birthday with the friends that I have made since coming to Alexander Muss. Being able to celebrate my birthday with family and friends gave me the best of both worlds. Aside from my birthday, I feel like these past two months have been a time of personal growth, reflection, and connection to my Jewish identity. Since reaching our halfway point of my time here at Alexander Muss I have come to learn that it's the experiences I am having and the people that I am meeting that are shaping the person I am becoming, and will leave a positive impact on the rest of my life.