Onward Israel Cincinnati 2023 Week 4
Date: 07-10-2023 | Category: Blog,For Students | Reading Time: Minutes
This week has been the most routine “normal” week so far of the program since it was a straightforward week without any formally organized trips. That being said, that doesn’t mean nothing was done!
For starters, this week my employer expressed interest in hiring me on as a full time employee at the company! Some logistics will have to be solved first, but the potential opportunity to move to Israel and pursue a full time career has been opened up to me. I bring this up to say that the Onward program is not only a fun and engaging internship experience for undergraduate students, but a great way for recent graduates to “test the waters” of working here in Israel. I went from having no understanding as to how the Israeli work environment differed from what I am familiar with in the USA to having a firm understanding and appreciation for how the Israeli work environment operates and having a newfound active desire to remain here to work for the foreseeable future. Additionally, it allowed me to make a personal connection with the company I wanted to work for rather than blindly sending out an application to a company overseas. This gives you a great chance to show a company what you are made of! Another thing I want to mention is how many legitimate friends I’ve made here in a very short period of time. I feel the social climate in the US is such that it takes a long time to feel that you’ve become friends with someone. Often there is a substantial period of being lukewarm acquaintances before you take the next step of becoming friends. Another difference is when you become friends with someone here, people tend to be “all in” and honest with you in your interactions, something that can take a substantially longer amount of time on average in the US. For example, I have friends in the US that I’ve known for years and I’ve never once been to their house, I don’t know their family all that well, and when I want to hang out, I need to schedule a time to see them. In my experience here, when I become friends with someone, without fail, I am invited to their house, invited to spend time with them, asked to meet their friends and/or family, etc. The genuine attitude of “I am your friend and I want to spend time with you” is refreshing and a welcome change from the social hurdles in the US.
Today (7/7) I went out for some lunch and coffee at my favorite local bakery, Lehamim, making sure to enjoy a sampling of their freshly baked pastries. I sat outside and soaked in the nice hot weather, while I looked curiously at the large flea market that had set up shop right in the courtyard outside the bakery. Apparently, every Friday morning, there is a large flea market called “The Vintage Market” that predominantly sells second hand and vintage clothes as well as vintage and antique things including vinyls, jewelry, currency, and historical memorabilia. It is a ton of fun to look through all of the things people have to sell, as well as see a whole different landscape of “vintage” than what we would typically think of, since “vintage” varies from country to country, and is heavily influenced by their history. I definitely see myself returning to the vintage market with some friends for a fun day of unique shopping.
Finally to bookend the week, we all got together for a lovely Shabbat dinner in Independence Park near the beach. For this week’s Shabbat dinner, we ordered a feast of Italian food including a generous range of pastas, an array of salads, and some additional accouterments. We enjoyed one another’s company with great food and conversation as we watched the sun set over the Mediterranean Sea!
When you think of good bread and pastries, you likely think of France, not Israel. In the past decade, Tel Aviv has been demonstrating they are just as capable (if not more so) of making fresh delicate French-style pastries and extremely flavorful bread.
Lehamin translates literally to “breads” which is a pretty apt description of what they do. For over 15 years now, Lehamim has been serving daily baked bread, pastries, and freshly brewed coffee to the citizens of Tel Aviv. Their French-style breads have really nice crusts that are firm, but not hard, giving a nice crunch and character to the loaf’s lighter airy inner crumb structure. Plenty to choose from when getting bread for making sandwiches, eating with preserves, cheese, etc., or just eating as is. As for their pastries, they range from sweet to savory, all with flaky delicate outers that nicely complement whichever type of filling they added. To top it all off, you can pair it with any style of coffee you prefer; espresso, cappuccino, etc.