Friday, June 29, 2007

Jerusalem of...

I wonder if platinum existed when they coined the phrase “Jerusalem of Gold?”

Throughout this past week, life in Jerusalem has taken on various hues. My apartment is what we will call “Jerusalem of Mold.” Despite the need for an intense elbow grease cleaning, it’s a wonderful place – with great balconies, fully furnished, and a beautiful cross-breeze.

The past month has been a flurry of goodbyes and hellos – a meaningful conclusion to an intense year as a Hillel International Fellow; a final late-night outing with my closest friends from the RAC; a wild going away party in my apartment in DC; spending the weekend with my family and friends at URJ-GUCI – where I found myself songleading, life guarding, and sitting Shmira, as though I’d never left; a tearful goodbye with my mom at the airport – such that the security let me pass through and then return to hug her some more…

For the week prior to my arrival in Israel, I traveled with a NFTY trip to Prague and Poland. It was wonderful to be back in Prague after living there for a semester in college – I ate my favorite foods and drank a few of my favorite beers. We drove to Krakow and Warsaw, visiting various historical and cultural sites that exhibited the rich Jewish culture that thrived in pre-WWII Poland. It was especially meaningful to travel with NFTY to Auschwitz and to listen and help the NFTY kids process their understanding of the Holocaust and surrounding historical events.

The Jerusalem sun is HOT. We’re building blisters on our feet as we walk everywhere, eating delicious falafel, getting lost in the old city, and running into friends – old and new. I’m lucky to have two close friends visiting already – helping to smooth my transition.

Tonight is Shabbat and I look forward to a needed day of rest….and on Saturday night/Sunday morning, I’m heading to a sunrise concert on Masada featuring David Broza and Shawn Colvin.

Throughout the year, I hope to use this space to share funny stories of life in Israel, pictures, and links to other interesting reads….you can sign up for email updates on the right side of the webpage.

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Shalom from Jerusalem!

Shalom from Jerusalem,

I hope this email finds you well!

On July 10th, I will begin my first year as a Rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion ( ). The first year of HUC is spent living in Israel, with a primary focus on Hebrew language and a few other important topics, namely the Torah.

After arriving in Israel last Tuesday, the past week has been full of meeting new friends, visits to the shuk, a sunrise concert on Masada, and a restful Shabbat.

Until classes begin, one major agenda item is to spend time volunteering with NFTY's ( Tikkun Olam program as they make visits to various group homes and the Hadassah Hospital Cancer ward.

Throughout the year, I will be posting to a blog which can be viewed at You can sign up for email alerts on the website. I will try to keep the posts short and readable, as well as accompany them with pictures.

My contact information is:

Jennifer Gubitz Rules
13 King David Street
Jerusalem 94101, Israel

Skype #: (865) 223-5847
Israeli Cell: 052-457-9652

If you're ever in Jerusalem, we have a makeshift 'guest room' with your name on it.

Much love from 'raeli town,