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Sharing Israeli culture, learning about U.S.

Danielle Levy and Shay Friedwald (Courtesy Weintraub Israel Center)

Shalom shalom to all of our readers.

Let’s catch up:

We celebrated the High Holidays away from home.

Although we kept thinking of our family in Israel, we still had the honor of celebrating here, with our new Tucson family.

To be honest, seeing cars driving on the streets on Yom Kippur was strange. Not having pomegranates on the table for Rosh Hashanah was strange. But strangest of all was reading from the Torah, next to each other, as we did at Congregation Bet Shalom — in Israel, we’d never seen a girl and a boy reading from the Torah together.

After gaining a few pounds and raising our cholesterol, we went on a hike in the beautiful “Alps” of Mount Lemmon. To share that beauty we invited our parents to visit — and they actually came!

We’ve also been busy in classrooms all around the Jewish community. At Tucson Hebrew Academy, we led cooking classes for almost all of the grades, K-8. We made pita using a taboon, a covered clay oven, and made hummus from scratch, and an Israeli salad of tomatoes, and cucumbers.

We’ve been singing and dancing, teaching Israeli music, everywhere from the Tucson Jewish Community Center kindergarten to Hebrew High. At Temple Emanu-El, we also talked about the Eurovision song contest. At Congregation Anshei Israel, we’ve been teaching new Hebrew words every week, including nishmatov — sounds good, kef — fun, and mushlam — perfect, and the slang version mush, which young people in Israel say all the time! We’ve also been helping to teach Hebrew at Congregations Chaverim and Or Chadash.

It’s a busy schedule, but we can’t wait to share our new experiences next time.

— Danielle Levy and Shay Friedwald