Tuesday, June 4, 2013

German Word of the Day

Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz - meaning "law delegating beef label monitoring" - has been excised from the lexicon. All 65 letters of it.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Long, thin, slimy ones; Short, fat, juicy ones....

Thursday afternoon brought the group to Worms, home to the "Holy Sands" cemetery, which is considered the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe (the oldest grave dates back to 1058/1059--38 years before the First Crusade decimated the Jewish community there).

Thursday morning mist

the view of Heidelberg from the Castle at the top of the hill...

On the way to Speyer...

It turns out there was a little, um, issue on the bus trip from Heidelberg to Speyer: the bus broke down. For some, nature called (behind the bus as it turned out) but technology won out and they sent out a new bus. Here's the group waiting for that happy time:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ready for a dip?

It was a series of adventures getting there, but here's most if the group perched on the mezzanine overlooking the medieval mikveh in Speyer:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The wide reach of medieval thought

stretches aaallll the way to Heidelberg's Hochschule fuer Juedische Studien (Academy of Jewish Studies)

It was a long, long, long travel day

The schedule called for a 6am departure from our hotel in Berlin and some were eager to get on the road:
while others gave into the lure of the train:
But it was heartening to see their reaction to Frankfurt all the same:

When you get back to Berlin...

hopefully, the sun will be shining and The New York Times is on the case: After the Thaw: Outdoor Fun in Berlin.

On top of the Reichstag!

After a very full day of engaging representatives of the government (including Wolfgang Drautz, the former Consul General in Los Angeles), the group made it to the seat of power itself, the Reichstag. Despite the crazy security guard who tried to push Jason into an overcrowded elevator, the visit ended up being pretty good. (Thanks Arjan for having our back!)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Neither rain nor...uh...rain....

Nothing can keep us down! We had an incredibly interesting morning at Berlin's memorials but none more iconic than the Brandenburg Gate. Aren't we a good looking group?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Oh, what a night....

It was a lovely end of Shabbat dinner (despite the unrelenting rain!!) with a group of 8 theology students from the Humboldt University. Here we are as we wait for them to arrive at Cafe Orange:

Friday, May 24, 2013

The long, slow dinner

At Casalot, on our second night--once the food came (3 hours later) it was pretty good!
And best of all? Our friend and teacher Reuven Firestone joined us!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

And then, after lunch

a walking tour with Dr. Dagmar Pruin, the director of Germany Close Up, through Berlin the city of contrasts

Four future rabbis in front of Rabbinerin Regina Jonas' former apt.
Berlin's new Barbie Dreamhouse Experience

Hard to believe it's only been a single day...

On our first day, as we enjoyed a somewhat abbreviated bus tour, we saw the memorial to the Berlin Wall
the incredible memorial to the Berlin book burning in 1933
and the amazing neighborhood (Mitte) where we'll be staying for the next five days.

On our first night...

After a quick "first impressions" session and a hilariously sleep-deprived introduction to the Germany Close Up support team--including our guides Arjan and Gregor--we headed down the street for a long, slow dinner at Cafe Oranien. See? You can hardly tell anyone's jet lagged....