August 10, 2011

Bom dia!

I just got back last week from Brazil and had a wonderful time! I traveled with two friends of mine (Miri from Uruguay and NY and Daniela from Lima, Peru). We went to the northeast of Brazil, and spent our time in and around Natal, Praia de Pipa (two hours south of Natal), and at Fernando de Noronha (an island an hour flight off the coast of Natal). We did a ton, but here is a brief synopsis. I recommend you check out my pictures… they pretty much explain the trip themselves.


We started our trip in Praia de Pipa, which is a beach town two hours south of Natal. We stayed at a fun sufer´s hostel called Sugarcane Hostel, which is close to the main street in Pipa that is full of fun and casual restaurants, bars, and shops. We ate great seafood and bought some fun bikinis and other beach gear during our stay.

During the day, we explored the beaches. One of my favorites was Praia de Golfinos (literally beach of the dolphins), where you are essentially swimming with dolphins. Another day, we did a boogy tour to see the beaches further south of Pipa, a few of which you can only access with a boogy because of the dunes.


After Pipa, we flew to the main island of Fernando de Noronha, which is technically an archipelago made up of 21 islands. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and only 450 visitors are allowed on the island each day. Visitors also have to pay an environmental preservation fee when they arrive.

We went to Fernando de Noronha for two nights and three full days. In my opinion, the island looks like the island featured in the show “Lost”, aka PARADISE! During the trip, we did a boat tour from the port to one end of the island, where we stopped and snorkeled for about an hour. It was amazing- clear warm, water and beautiful marine life! We had a great time. The other days we were there, we explored other beaches, snorkeled with turtles and “friendly” sharks, and relaxed in the Brazilian style hammocks at the hotel, which are the most comfortable hammocks ever! Miri even bought one with her to bring home. The only downside of the island is that things are expensive, from the local bus that takes you around the island to different beaches to the food.


We spent the last part of our trip in Natal (which literally means Christmas). We stayed in a part of town called Punta Negra, which has a nice beach area with a long boardwalk and a lot of stores and restaurants. In addition to exploring that beach, we also did another day-long boogy ride where we went north to Praia dos Artistas, Genipabu and the magnificent dunes, and Maracajau (which is a beach you can only get to via boogy at low tie known for its amazing snorkeling).

During the trip, we ate lots of fresh fruit and seafood (especially shrimp!). My favorite dish we tried was moqueca, a fish stew made with palm oil and coconut milk. We also drank caiparinhas and fresh coconut water (in the coconut!), which are sold on beaches all over Brazil. The limes in Brazil are AMAZING, and I wish they were as readily available here in BsAs. I miss them!

Now, I am back in BsAs and back to work. I technically end the 25th of September, when we have our big urban event for Rosh Hashana. I am then planning on going home right in time for Rosh Hashana to be with the family. I have also decide to stay on in BsAs for at least another year, so I will be back here at the end of October after my brother´s wedding. I am still figuring out what I will be doing for work, so hopefully I will figure that out sooner than later.

Here is the link to the photos again. Enjoy!

I also put some up on Facebook.

un beso grande

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Felíz día del amigo! Happy Friends Day!

July 21, 2010

Happy belated Día del Amigo (aka Friends Day)! It was yesterday, and basically it is a friend´s version of Valentine´s Day here in Argentine and it is taken VERY seriously. Last night all the restaurants were packed with groups of friends and all the bars and boliches (clubs) were open with special events. Let´s just say I bet that hardly anyone got to work on time today… not that that is too unusual.

So, since the last time I wrote, I have been busy with work and social plans. In June, I went to the Buenos Aires Limmud Event, which was great. As I have explained before, it is basically a day of Jewish learning and there are multiple options of lectures you can attend and activities in which you can participate (i.e. cooking classes, dance lessons, etc). I went to four different lectures, including one on Jewish young adults in BA and a Jewish-related standup comic show which was great and really funny! I was impressed by how well run it was (all the people that help out are volunteers) and how many people came. I would definitely recommend checking out where the closest Limmud day is near you if you are interested (they are in a lot of major international cities now). Here is a link to the BA website where you can see pictures and videos from the event this year, as well as the information about the sessions they had:

At the office, I am continuing to work on creating the community maps for different Jewish communities in Latin America. It´s been really interesting to learn about how the different communities. I am also helping to plan the YOK Rosh Hashana urban event, which will happen September 25. In addition, we are in the midst of thinking about how we can restructure our social media for YOK, so I have been working a lot with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. In today´s world, knowing how to utilize these social media networks is a really useful skill, so I am glad I am learning more about how they function.

On Fridays, I still go to Baby Help and now one of my Mexican friends comes and volunteers with me during the afternoon which is fun for the both of us.

Tomorrow, my friend Daniela from Lima (who I visited in November) is coming to BA and on Monday we are going to Brasil and meeting up with a friend of ours, Miriam. We will spend a little over a week in the north of Brazil (in places like Natal, Pipa, and Fernando de Noronha island).

Overall, all is well here and I can´t believe it is already July! I am loving living in BsAs and enjoying going out, being with friends, and meeting new people. Porteños are so social, and sometimes it is hard to keep up, but I do my best and try to sleep when I can!

I´ll write more when I get back from Brazil.


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Bienvenida al Invierno/ Welcome to Winter



Hope all is well where ever you are in the world. Here it is almost officially winter and it is getting quite cold, although nothing compared to a Chicago winter! I am counting down the days until I can get some sun in Brazil (I am headed up to the Natal region in July with two friends for about a week). Until then, I am here in BA keeping busy!


A few weeks ago, there was a group here from Tufts Hillel doing a short term service trip. For the first four days, they all went to Mar del Plata to do some service work and get to know the Jewish community there (while I stayed back in BA sick with the flu!) I joined up with them when they came to BA and did some interesting activities with them like going to Moishe House BA, going to an alfajor factory that received help from the Ariel Job Center (a JDC social aid program), Baby Help, and LDor VDor. To learn more about their Short Term trip, check out their blog:


On Tuesday, YOK had an event for Shavuot. We basically put on a “reading marathon”. We invited different people in the Jewish community to participate by reading different passages, and there was also a band that performed different songs during the night. Here is a link with some photos from the event:

For those who don’t know much about Shavuot, here is a short description…

Seven weeks after the second day of Pesach, we commemorate the giving of the torah to Moshe on Mount Sinai. Shavuot also has an agricultural significance: it corresponds to the time of year when the first fruits are harvested (particularly in Israel and in the northern hemisphere). According to tradition, the night before the Torah was given, the Israelites went to bed early to be well-rested for the momentous day ahead, but they overslept and Moses had to wake them up because God was already waiting on the mountaintop. In order to rectify this mistake, it is customary for religious Jews to stay up all night to learn Torah and listen to the reciting of the Tikun Leil Shavuot, a mystical text comprised of a selection of verses from all the versions of the tanach.

I also learned that it is customary to eat dairy products on Shavuot. This is because the Torah included the laws of kashrut (kosher dietary laws), which tell Jews what can and cannot be eaten and in which combination. For instance, dairy and meat cannot be mixed in the same meal and animals must be killed in a certain way in order to be considered kosher. Before the Torah was given the concept of kashrut did not exist. Hence, one explanation for the eating of dairy on Shavuot is that when the Jews received the Torah they did not have the tools they would need to prepare kosher meat. Therefore, their first meal after receiving the Torah was a dairy meal.

To celebrate Shavuot at work, we had a merienda (aka Argentine tea time) on Tuesday with lots of dairy products (cheesecakes, cream cheese, yogurt, etc). All of it was delicious:)


In BA, MEIDA is conducting different focus groups with particular sectors of the Argentine Jewish communities. There is one group of non-affiliated Jews (i.e. Jews that don´t belong to any institution), currently affiliated Jews, and Jews who were affiliated in the past. These focus groups are currently going on, and future ones are being planned in Chile and Ecuador. Currently, I am helping to create a map of the Jewish communities in Chile and organize them based on what category they pertain to (i.e. formal education, social aid, politics, etc).

I also continue to go to Baby Help once a week, which I love. It´s great to be with the same kids and to get to know them and watch them grow. There is this one girl who loves playing hairdresser and she loves to braid my hair! It´s all very cute.

Anyways, life is pretty good here in BA (despite the increasingly cold weather!). I was lucky to have my dad in BA for a few days last month, but unfortunately I had the flu while he was here! Luckily we were still able to do a few things together (like going to the MALBA and doing some dog watching)!

In addition to work, I am meeting people all the time, both Argentines and foreigners. I feel more and more settled every day and am definitely starting feel a bit more porteña every day!

Hasta la proxima…

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Europe Trip

April 30, 2011


Chag sameach! Happy Easter! Happy spring or fall depending on where you are in the world!
I recently got back from a wonderful 2 and a half week trip to Europe. I went for the purpose of attending the JSC midyear conference which was held in Berlin this year (and yes, this means that I have been in BA for six months now!). Then, because of Semana Santa and Pesach holidays, I traveled afterwards. There is no way that I can even come close to describing everything that happened in those two and a half weeks, but I will attempt to recap. Feel free to skim or ignore parts. It’s way tooo long (I know). Also, check out my photos so you can visualize these places if you want ( or ). It would have taken toooo long to put photos in throughout the blog…sorry!

The midyear session was an amazing experience. All of the JSC fellows met up in Berlin for a four day conference. We came together from Argentina, Israel, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, Russia, India, Turkey, Estonia, and Rwanda. I hope I’m not forgetting anyone! The point of the conference was to catch up with everyone, review what we have done, and think about ways to improve and take advantage of the six months we have left in our respective placements. The four days consisted of presentations by all of the fellows concerning their work, group conversations on work related themes, presentations by a few of the regional directors, and other opportunities such as a Q and A session with some members of the Berlin Jewish community (which was incredibly interesting and powerful). Also, given that we were in Berlin, we were all able to see firsthand the work that the two fellows (Molly and Sarah) do there for the JDC. If you are interested in learning about what they do, check out their blogs

Molly – Serving in Berlin, Germany:
Sarah – Serving in Berlin, Germany:

During the conference, we also had some time to explore Berlin. We all went on a tour of Jewish Berlin and visited some particular sites and monuments related to the community (both before and after WWII). I was particularly lucky that I decided to come to Berlin 2 days early because I got to see and experience much more of Berlin. I arrived on Saturday morning and by the time the conference started on Monday morning, I had spent 4 hours at the Jewish Museum (which I absolutely love! I could have spent all day there!) On Sunday, I went on a 4 hour walking tour of the city and saw lots of important sites and learned a lot about Berlin and its history. I was also incredibly lucky because the weather was amazing. It was about 70 and sunny! In Berlin, I also got the chance to see Andrew, a friend of mine from Pomona who is doing a Fulbright in Berlin for the year, so that was great!

After Berlin, I traveled to Stockholm with four other girls who are JSC fellows: Laura, Orly, and Helene (who all live and work in Jerusalem), and Ariana from Cordoba. We had a wonderful time in Stockholm and we absolutely loved the city. We had great weather (it was warmer there than in Berlin!) and we spent most of our time there walking around and exploring the city. Although we were only in Stockholm for a little over 24 hours, we mananged to see a lot of the city. We went to the old city (Gamla Stan), the Ostermalm district, and other sites such as the Royal Palace and the Stockholm Modern Art museum. Visitors often do a cruise of the 17 islands that make up Stockholm, but we saw these sights when we took the ferry to Tallinn.

Also, on the first afternoon we found this amazing Mediterranean cafe overlooking the port and the old city that had free coffee, delicious food, and a great outdoor area to sit and relax. Needless to say, we ended up going there two days in a row we loved it so much!


After Stockholm, we headed to Tallinn. We decided to take the overnight ferry there from Stockholm, which is a popular mode of transportation in Scandinavia and the Baltics. Let’s just say it was quite the experience. First of all, it was really a cruise ship with cabins, restaurants, entertainment, and more. The boats even have themes, and oddly enough, ours was Carnaval Latino. We thought it was hilarious! There were shows and salsa and cha cha dance lessons (which yes, we participated in), and there was even a Cuban themed buffet. We had a great time on the boat and we highly recommend it as a means of transportation in that part of the world.
So we arrived the next morning in Tallinn where we were greeted by Esther, the JSC fellow living in Tallinn. We went to her apartment, put our stuff down, and then headed out to the old town. We spent the day exploring and eating typical Estonian food (including Estonian pancakes and these flavored almonds that are cooked in the huge iron skillets in the street). We also tried some unique Estonian ice cream flavors, including rye (yes, like the bread) and Estonian berries I don’t remember the names of. Throughout the day we managed to see the main view points in the city and we even found a cafe built into an old medieval tower to relax at.

During our stay in Tallinn, we also got the chance to visit the local synagogue and the Jewish community center where Esther works. To give a brief background, there are about 3,000 Jews living in Tallinn today, and a majority of them are Russian. I am really not qualified to explain the makeup of this community, so if you are interested in learning more, check out Esther’s blog:

Esther – Serving in Tallinn, Estonia:

In addition to seeing where Esther actually works with her teenagers, we also checked out the Jewish museum that is housed in the community center and tells about the history of the Jews in Estonia. It was super interesting to learn about this community that I knew nothing about.

Monday we explored the old town a bit more, but spent most of the day preparing for our seder that Esther hosted at her apartment for the teenagers she works with. We prepared all of the basics (boiled eggs, charoset, horseradish, parsley and salt water) and then made a vegetarian “meal” consisting of matzah ball soup, deviled eggs, beet and feta salad, moroccan carrot salad, matzah toffee, and flourless chocolate cake. It was all delicious! Overall, the seder was a success and we had a great time being together and celebrating pesach in such a unique setting.


Tuesday morning we all headed out early to Helsinki, Finland, which is a two hour ferry ride from Tallinn. We got in around 930am and then spent the whole day walking around and exploring the city. Since Helsinki is known for being VERY expensive, we packed a picnic lunch with our seder leftovers and enjoyed it at Suomenlinna, a maritime fortress located off the coast of Helsinki where we ended up spending three hours. After we took a 15 minute ferry to get there from the Helsinki harbor, we walked around, learned about the fortress, and enjoyed the beautiful views . We also found a great spot to picnic right near the sea. Needless to say, we loved Suomenlinna (although I am sure we don’t know how to pronounce it correctly).

Later on, we headed back to the mainland where we saw some gorgeous buildings and churches, went up to a popular bar on the top of a hotel to see a great view of the city, and relaxed in a gorgeous public square. We were lucky again with the weather. It was about 60 and sunny most of the day.

Since Helene and Laura were leaving for Israel from Helsinki, Orly, Esther, and myself said our goodbyes and headed back to Tallinn in the early evening (Ariana had left early in the morning from Tallinn to go to Amsterdam).


Wednesday morning, I headed off to Riga, Latvia (Latvia is located just south of Estonia). I really enjoyed my experience there. It was interesting to compare it to Tallinn and Berlin (or at least East Berlin), which were also formerly under Soviet occupation. The Russian influence is still highly present, which really surprised me.

Anyways, in Riga, I saw a lot of important sites while I was there. I went to the Occupation Museum (which chronicles the Soviet occupation of Latvia) and saw prominent churches, soviet era buildings, and art deco architecture. I also went to the Central Market, which is a huge market that is partially inside old zeppelin hangars. They have tons of fresh fish, meat, vegetables, etc and it was super cheap! I was able to visit the Jewish Museum in Riga, which is fairly small but covers the history of the Jewish community in Riga and Latvia in general. The nightlife was also surprisingly fun in Riga. I went out with the people staying at my hostel, who were from all over including USA, England, Australia, Spain, and France. Traveling in Europe and staying in hostels is one of the best ways to meet young and interesting people. I highly recommend it!

After Riga, I headed to the last stop on my European excursion: Munich. Overall, I really liked Munich and found it to be an incredibly interesting city with all of its history and strong sense of tradition. In addition to being notoriously Bavarian with its love of pretzels, beer, sausage, beer gardens, and lederhausen, Munich is also known for being one of the wealthiest cities in Europe and for being extremely conservative and Catholic. Furthermore, Munich was known as the hub of the Third Reich, which adds another level of interest to the city.

During my time in Munich, I saw and learned a ton. Even though it was Easter weekend and most of the shops and restaurants were closed on Friday, Sunday, and Monday, most of the museums were open and the tours were still running (lucky for me since I ended up doing three of them!)

Anyways, when I got to Munich Friday afternoon, I went to the Jewish museum there. It’s a fairly small museum, but very well done and informative about the history of the Jewish community in Munich. I also ended up having a tour guide who was originally from Uruguay and his Spanish was better than his English, so he ended up showing me around in Spanish! It was a fun experience.

On Saturday, I took a day trip to the Neuschwanstein Castle, which is located in the village of Hohenschwangau at the foot of the German Alps. On the day tour, I learned about the history of the castle, which was built by “Mad” King Ludwig II, which is associated with a lot of romance, absurdity, and magic. It´s definitely worth researching if you are interested. We also went inside the castle (which I highly recommend) and then headed to this great lookout point called the Marienbrucke where you can see a picture perfect view of the castle and the gorge beneath it. We also enjoyed the view of the Alps from the Alpsee lake at the base of the castle. I highly recommend this Bavarian day trip!

Sunday, I went on a tour of Dachau, which was one of Germany´s first concentration camps located right outside of Munich. It was my first time visiting a concentration camp, and it was a very powerful and meaningful experience. To give a bit of background, the first 5,000 prisoners of Dachau were political enemies of the Nazi regime. In the following years, other social, ethnic, and racial enemies were imprisoned as Dachau went on to become the only concentration camp to remain active during the entire Third Reich period (1933-1945). When Dachau was liberated, the American soldiers discovered over 200,000 prisoners there, in a place designed for around 6,000 people! I can´t even imagine what the conditions must have been like. Anyways, in the 1960s, the Dachau memorial was founded at this site and it has been open to visitors ever since. I highly recommend going to Dachau. It may not be the most fun thing, but it is so important to go there and to be in the physical location of a concentration camp (it is also thought provoking to realize how close it was to civilization!).

Last but not least, I went on a general tour of Munich on Monday before I left for the airport. It was a three and a half hour walking tour, and I learned a ton about Munich´s history, including the royal family, its relation to the Third Reich, and what Munich is like today. We saw the basic touristic sights, like the Glochenspiel and Hofbrauhaus, the most famous beer hall in the world where they serve huge glasses of beer and pretzels the size of my head! It´s nuts.

In addition to the great tours I went on, I also loved exploring the city. There are absolutely beautiful gardens in Munich and the weather was perfect! I also made friends with a girl from Montreal and a girl from New Zealand during my time there, and we walked around a lot together and went to a great beer garden in the English Gardens. Now I understand why Octoberfest is so popular! It must be a ton of fun to go!

Overall, I had an amazing trip! I think one of the most interesting parts for me was learning about how Germany has dealt with its past. I was really impressed by its level of openness, and I was confronted about a lot of my own prejudices against Germans that have been constructed in relation to WWII. I think Germany is an amazing country to visit, especially for Jews. I think it is important to see how the people have reacted to its unfavorable history, and interesting to see how they have decided to memorialize it. In both Berlin and Munich, there are a range of memorials, from small to large and public to hidden, and they all honor those who suffered during the war. I also loved going to Scandinavia and the Baltics, which were completely new and different for me. This trip made me remember why I love travelling so much!

Anyways, sorry this post has been so long but there is so much to say!!!

un beso

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Feriados, Purim, and Visitors…

March 28, 2011


Once again, we had a four day weekend here in Argentina due to another national holiday. I think I’ve had about 10 or 11 days off of work due to national holidays since I got here in September. It’s pretty insane, and next month there are more holiday days for Passover and Semana Santa/ Easter. It never ends. Anyways, this feriado weekend was extra special because my parents came to visit! We had a great time eating, shopping, walking around, etc. And we saw all of U2 at a restaurant, so that was pretty cool.

So, here are some updates (I wrote most of this last week but forgot to post it…oops!)

So, two weeks ago now, there was a JDC Short-Term Service trip that came to BA. Thanks to the JDC website, here is an explanation of what the trips are:

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is seeking to connect young, North American Jews to the global Jewish community through Short-Term Service Programs for college students and young adults. Through meaningful volunteer projects directly connected to JDC’s global programs, participants take action to meet challenges facing Jewish communities abroad, gain insight into global Jewish needs, connect with local Jewish peers, and explore notions of global Jewish identity and collective responsibility. Participants return home feeling a real responsibility to care for their Jewish “family” overseas, and prepared to take action on behalf of the community they visited. By the end of 2010, nearly 800 North American Jewish young adults will have experienced a JDC Short-Term Service Program and served in communities around the globe, from Israel, to Kazakhstan, to Argentina, to Rwanda.

For more information on JDC’s service programs, visit

The particular group that came was from the Hillel at University of Wisconsin Madison. I was with them for most of the week, helping out with the volunteer work that they did at a local Jewish day school, introducing them to Argentine culture through tango dancing and making empandas, and just accompanying them while they were here for the week. It was a great experience for both myself and the students, and I am excited for the next group that comes in May. Also, if you are interested in seeing what the group did while they were here, here is a link to their blog:

The Agam memorial at the AMIA center

Madison Students doing rikudim (Jewish dancing) with the students at Tel Aviv School

Two weekends ago, I helped YOK out with promoting the Pesach Urban Event. We had a stand at the Festival de Otono (Fall Festival) that lasted two nights and featured 10 bands from all over the world, ranging from France to the US to Argentina to Colombia. Check out the program if you are interested ( So, basically we handed out fliers for the event and gave out knishes and wine. Let´s just say people are VERY interested when food is involved. In addition to working, I also got the chance to go see the bands for a bit, so overall it was a fun Friday and Saturday.

Purim was also last weekend, and I was able to go to two Purim parties. Last Sunday, I went to a party at BabyHelp for the kids and their families which was great. Most of the kids were dressed up in cute costumes, and they played different games and ate snacks. Then on Tuesday afternoon, I went to a Purim party at LDor VDor, the old age home. Many of the residents were dressed up in some way (ranging from just a mask to full-out costumes), and each table they sat at had homemade hamantashen (typical Purim cookies) and a copy of the megillah or “the Scroll of Esther”, which tells of the events of Purim. During the party, some of the kids from Baby Help came and entertained the residents by singing songs and showing off their cute costumes. Having the old and young together in one building definitely has its benefits, especially when it comes to celebrating Jewish holidays together. It was a great event to be at!

One of the staff members at LDor VDor dressed up during the Purim party

So, now that my parents have left, I am back to work for another two weeks and then I leave for Europe April 8th. Unfortunately I have to miss the Passover urban event because I need to be in Berlin for the conference, and it would be impossible to go to the event and get to Berlin by the time it starts. However, I am planning to stay for the Rosh Hashana event in September, so before I leave I will have time to experience at least one!

Tata for now

un beso


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Shakira, Shakira! And some work updates…



Here in Argentina we had another long weekend (a 4 day weekend this time) because of Carnaval, which is a season of festivities meant to mark the beginning of Easter. In South America, that basically translates to crazy party time and certain places, such as Brazil, are known for having insane celebrations that people flock to from all over the world. Anyways, for the first time here in Argentina, there are now 2 feriados (or public holidays) so that people can take time to travel and celebrate. However, I chose to stay in BA this long weekend. On Saturday, I went to see Shakira perform and it was AMAZING! She is a great singer and perfomer, and the vibe at the concert was great. There was actually a good mix of kids and adults, since she performed as part of an all day music festival. It was awesome to see her perform in a Spanish speaking country and to see everyone singing along with her. The girls that I went with (all Americans) loved it, and we really had a blast. I highly recommend going to see her! She finished with a great encore and the Waka Waka song (from the SA World Cup). My camera battery died, so I will post photos when my friends send me theirs.

In terms of work, I have been working on a project related to the 13/17 Project. Here is a short description from the 13 17 Project Website:

Developed by JDC during the height of Argentina’s economic crisis, the program today continues to provide Jewish teenagers with a nurturing Jewish framework for sports and cultural activities during summer and winter school breaks. The majority of participants are from families that are still part of the social assistance network. The teenagers get a daily meal, an outlet for their energy, a place to meet other Jewish youngsters, an opportunity to add to their Jewish knowledge, and a feeling of belonging to a caring community. Over the past year, a monthly Saturday night activity was added to the program with the aid of various partners. (

So, every year, MEIDA creates and hands out surveys for the participants. This year, they created a more in-depth survey and 6 individuals (including myself) went to a 13 17 event to conduct the interviews.

When the interviews were completed, a grad student did the data inputting and then I was in charge of organizing and processing the data through SPSS (a computer stats program), and then creating a Powerpoint presentation which I will be presenting on Friday to my bosses and the head of the 13 17 Project. I’ve spent a fair amount at the computer, which is not my favorite past time, but it has been interesting to experience the process of creating, distributing, and processing the surveys.

In terms of YOK, I am continuing to help plan the Urban Passover event which takes place on April 10th. It’s interesting to see how the planning is all coming together, and it seems like the event will be a hit as always.

Also, in exciting news, I am going to Berlin mid-April for my program’s mid-year reunion. Last year they went to Israel, but this year they decided to change it up and go to a different city where there are other fellows. I’ve never been to Berlin and have been dying to go, so I am super happy about their choice. Also, because of Passover and Semana Santa here in Argentina, I don’t have to be back at work until the 27th so I will be traveling around Europe afterwards (something I am working on planning at the moment!)

That’s all for now.

un beso a todos


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Summer Update



Hi all. Here is a brief update of what I have been up to in the past month. Things have generally been slow because it´s summer and lots of people are on vacation, so I have been helping out at Baby Help as I mentioned previously. Right now, the kids are in “colonia”, or summer camp. Basically, this means that in addition to play time, snack time, nap time, and lunch time, there is also pool time (aka when the kids go “swimming” in a kiddie pool outside on the patio twice a day).

One of my favorite times of the day is the beginning of nap time. After eating lunch, the kids go back to their classrooms for naptime, where they are each given a mat, a blanket, and a pillow. Then the “moras” put on some sleepytime music and then start to “hacer mimitos”. Basically, “haciendo mimitos” is tickling or rubbing their backs or faces to put them to sleep. Each “mora” does two at a time until they finally fall asleep, and it makes you realize how important the human touch is for these kids. Although I don´t know about the backgrounds of all of their home lives, I know that something as simple as rubbing their backs is helping them out in some way.

I was also able to go to Baby Help on a Friday and participate in their Kabalat Shabbat celebration. It was so cute to see them participate and perform their versions of the kiddush, etc. In addition to eating challah together, they also do some Jewish dancing which was adorable to watch.

Kabbalat Shabbat at Baby Help

I have really enjoyed being at Baby Help, much more than I thought I would. The kids are adorable, and I receive as much as I give. Not only am I helping the staff and the kids just by being there to help out, but I am also bettering my Spanish and learning how to take care of toddlers, something I wasn’t expecting on doing this year. Since I enjoyed my time there so much, I am going to try to go there more often from now on if I can fit it into my work schedule.

On another note, I went to Punta del Este two weekends ago just for a long weekend, but I ended up staying longer because of an unexpected, not-fun illness. I somehow contracted a contagious viral gastrointeritis, which caused me to full-on pass out at a restaurant and left me with a 102 degree fever (40 C) and incredibly weak and drained. I ended up having to take antibiotics, and basically spent a week recovering from it all. The last two days I was in Punta I was able to get out a bit thankfully and enjoy the beaches, the great weather, and our amazing family friends who helped take care of me. I am so lucky to have such great people in my life!

Anyways, back to reality now. Things should be picking up with the end of summer nearing and the return of all my coworkers. I also have things to look forward to, like my parents´ visit, a Shakira concert, and our Urban Pesach event in April.


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