A month in time

Before moving to Israel, I remember being concerned that I wouldn’t have a life–work, structure to my day, meaningful-ness. A year and a half later and, much to my surprise, I have realized that my concern was for naught. Here is my story of the past month–where we’ve been, what we’ve been up to, how to explain my absence two Sundays ago. Below are some of the highlights:

  • On Sunday, March 17, Philippe and the girls flew to France for five days of skiing. School vacation had begun and they were intent on taking full advantage of it. I stayed home to work. While they were gone, I: taught yoga 7 times (twice in Hebrew, first time, subbing for a friend); practiced yoga 4 times; swam once; saw 2 movies (The Sessions and Chinese Take Away, both very worthwhile); went to a 7am breakfast networking meeting in Hebrew; went to occupational therapy twice, as usual; taught the final class of a 6-week Memoir course and wrote the curriculum for my upcoming Memoir, A Continuation class; did NO laundry; went grocery shopping once; barely cooked and made Benjamin pancakes one morning.

Homemade pancakes, Trader Joe's syrup, fresh strawberries and whipped cream, last time before Passover

  • On Monday night of erev Passover, we hosted Philippe’s parents, his brother and sister-in-law and their six kids, all of whom spent the night and next day.
  • Thursday afternoon that week, I flew to Copenhagen, where I met a French friend Berthe. We strolled through the snow, stopped at Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid statue, ducked into museums and ate in charming cafes, sipped wine by the fake fireplace in our hotel lobby, took a boat ride, climbed to the top of a not-very-high tower to see the city’s skyline, visited Scandinavia’s biggest modern art collection outside the city and shopped.

Berthe and I overlooking the Copenhagean skyline

  • My cousin Marty and his daughter Sofia spent  3 nights with us and we visited the Palmach Museum,  walked around Basel Square in Tel Aviv, hosted our second cousins for a traditional Israeli meal of felafel, fresh pita and chopped tomato-cucumber salad.
  • My partner, Vanessa Malka, a Canadian-born holistic nutritionist, and I kicked off  a 4-week yoga-detox workshop called Spring into Spring. We first partnered last fall and our program was so successful we decided to try it again. The energy in the room is fantastic, and I love that this move has made me think and work in a more creative way.
  • I began teaching Memoir Writing, A Continuation, a 6-week course in Tel Aviv.
  • Daniella turned 16 on Holocaust Remembrance Day so we celebrated later in the week. Last Thursday night, she invited 20 girls to come dressed up wearing their maddest hats for a tea party. Simone, Philippe, three girlfriends and I baked and prepared all day long. On the menu were individualized onion and Mediterranean quiches, crudites, chocolate chip and cinnamon scones, Simone’s signature lemon cake and Philippe’s French strawberry tart. The tea selection was plentiful although limited to herbal and green.

    Tea party time

  • Hours before her friends arrived, our pool was filled. It is 90 percent completed and 100 percent stunning. Anyone want to come for a swim?

The final product--almost

  • Simone and I went to visit her close friend Eden, who just arrived from White Plains on her school’s 2-week trip. They sat at a table in Eden’s hotel lobby talking while I made some phone calls nearby.
  • I subbed another two times for my friend Shani in her studio and surmounted a great obstacle–teaching yoga in Hebrew. Now I know I can do it. Not that it’s easy, but it is possible.
  • My parents arrived in Israel for 5 weeks and came to our house for Shabbat, Memorial Day and Israel Independence Day. It is one of the most intense times of year to be here, one that touches me deeply. Tonight, while my parents are with my cousins on their moshav, Philippe and the girls and I will attend the city’s annual ceremony to commemorate every one of its soldiers who has fallen in previous wars or acts of terror. At precisely 8pm, the 2-minute siren will wail to mark the beginning of a sad day. Here, no one mourns alone.
Life is full and good and I am deeply grateful. What I would give for a couple of hours one afternoon to sit on my deep red sofa or by the side of the pool with a good book and a cup of tea.


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19 Responses to “A month in time”

  1. Shuli April 15, 2013 at 2:25 am #

    Such a talented writer. Feel exhausted from reading your escapades. Probably a good thing I have a bad memory myself!

    • Jennifer Lang April 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      And you in Holland for the week. Tres cool!

  2. Jeanette April 15, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    Wow and I thought I was busy. You sure lead an exciting life . Happy birthday to Daniella and your pool is stunning enjoy it!

    • Jennifer Lang April 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

      Let’s hear what you’re up to… I’d love to know. xo

  3. Jill April 15, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    You have done more in a month than most do in one year! The pool looks fabulous! So… I’m thinking your next “writing” project should be a cookbook of sorts to share some yummy family recipes! Xoxox

    • Jennifer Lang April 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

      In fact, I am so, so tired that in a few hours time I will get my pjs on for Friday night dinner and just chill-ax as Daniella says. xo

  4. Jody April 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Wow Jennifer! Life is sure full here, isn’t it? So many offerings and so close to Europe. So glad you feel good in Israel. Love reading about your life!

    • Jennifer Lang April 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      Thank you, thank you. Met Lisa Richelin today on a walking tour of South Tel Aviv. Another common connection between us. Shabbat shalom and love to your gang.

  5. Auntie Mona April 15, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    Numerous things to say:

    1. the pool looks great!!!!
    2. you’ve come a long way, so, just keep up the good work and “you go, girl!!!”
    3. Daniella’s sweet 16 pix looks great; why do they all show up upside down when I click to enlarge them, is my technological question of the day??!~!!!

    breathe and enjoy, in as many languages as it takes!!!!


    • Jennifer Lang April 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      I do indeed feel like I’ve come a long way… time helps. xo

  6. Barbara L. April 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    How casually you all go to Europe! Teaching yoga in Hebrew? I love that 16-year old girls dress up and have a tea party and that Mom and Dad do all of the preparation. Your yoga detox workshop sounds incredible. Everything you write about sounds exciting and fulfilling. And how fabulous that you are busier than you ever expected.

    • Jennifer Lang April 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      I love the proximity to Europe. We know lots of people who take off for 3 day weekends to capital cities. It’s phenomenal. Love to the man of the house.

  7. Doris Fankhauser April 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Wish I could go back in time and have such a lovely 16th birthday party! You are indeed a very busy woman!. Your pool looks fabulous, just go and see how it feels to sit a poolside for a couple of hours….! You might just like it and do it more often!

    • Jennifer Lang April 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      And I don’t have any idea if turning 16 was a big deal or not… I do remember driving shortly thereafter, which, thankfully, is not the case here. She’ll start learning in 6-9 months so there’s still time. How are you?

      • Doris Fankhauser April 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

        Doing well thanks! Off to a trip out West next week. We will be visiting Grand Canyon, Zions Nat. Park, Bryce Canyon, antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Lake Powell area and Valley of the Fire National Park! Should be a beautiful trip! Still doing a lot of yoga, all new teachers at the gym now! But change is good too and I like the classes!

  8. Idana Goldberg April 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Wow you’re busy! The whole family is heading to Israel next week for my nephew (in Tel Mond’s) bar mitzvah. We’ll be around for about 10 days. Maybe this time we can all see eachother? I’ll message you or call when we get there.

    • Jennifer Lang April 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

      I am really, really hoping we can see each other this time around… please let me know. xo and nisiah tova

  9. Berthe April 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    I am jealous from your pool, and would be please to flight to come to try it.

  10. Aurélie July 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Well 3 things: Nice to see you and Berthe in Copenhagen, Coldpenhagen; Daniella looks amazing in her dress, she grew up amazingly fast, I need to get married 😉 ahahah; You have a pool at your place??? Coming very soon!!! 😛

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