Update and Chag Sameach!
Today was another wonderful day out in the sun! After the successful day of picking clementines last week, EVERYONE opted to volunteer today – this time picking grapefruit. The bus went back and forth half full each time, with everyone spread out to take two seats each so as to abide by the health guidelines, and the students spread out throughout the orchard into small groups. The weather was beautiful yet again and everyone came back to Tel Aviv feeling great about the contribution to society that we made today. We invite you to view the photos on Facebook (you can click here to see the photo album from volunteering or go to our Facebook page.) We attached a couple photos to this email as well. While you’re on Facebook, check out the recent videos the students have made including one to thank medical workers (World Health Day) and a music video (I Want It That Way). You can find our video album by clicking here.
After they returned to Tel Aviv, the students were invited to come to the office to pick up Pesach supplies including a seder plate and everything that goes on it, haggadot, matza ball soup, dessert, and a side dish. The students are busy preparing for their seders by cooking all the rest and there is a lot of excitement in the air.
Yesterday, we assisted those who wanted to “kasher” their pots, pans and assorted kitchen utensils. In Israel, those who keep kosher do not have a complete separate set of supplies for Passover but rather go through a process of making these items kosher through cleaning and dipping in boiling water. Usually there are communal stations set up throughout neighborhoods but this year is different of course so we set up an Aardvark station on the balcony of our Markolet Street apartment building. Rav Josh also sent out a video helping to explain to the students who are kashering their apartments exactly what to do to kasher their ovens, microwaves, and other items.
This evening, the students also received their very special surprise from all of you! The booklet came out wonderfully. Thank you for your cooperation with this project. The students were really excited to receive the booklet and we loved your submissions!!! A copy is attached for each of you – we hope you enjoy it too!!!
Finally, we have a brief update for you regarding restrictions here in Israel… As of this evening, public transportation has ceased until Sunday morning (taxis are still available) and Israelis are not permitted to travel between cities until Friday morning. As of Wednesday afternoon at 3:00pm, all stores will be closed and individuals are not permitted to go anywhere outside a 100 meter radius of their homes until Thursday morning at 7:00am. These additional restrictions do not really present a significant change for our students (since they are staying at home for the next few days anyway), but the added restrictions do demonstrate the Israeli government’s proactive steps to prevent Israelis from “cheating” over the holiday by traveling to relatives for Seder thus increasing the risk of transmission which would lengthen the shutdown for everyone. The government has indicated they hope to begin to ease restrictions after the Passover holiday with a gradual return to normalcy as the crisis continues to be managed with positive results.
That’s all for now. Back to Pesach cleaning and cooking!
All the best,
The Staff of Aardvark Israel