Friday/Shabbat – Day 159/160

January 7, 2013

Friday and Shabbat were unfortunately more of the same. Singing and dancing without end. As a result this post is going to be kept very short. Unfortunately my Shabbat was mostly without the Shabbat and while everyone else was going out to eat their meals I was eating a supply of fruit and pita that I had purchased beforehand. Suboptimal.


The above photo portrays a fun moment of me being dragged around the rehearsal space, a definite highlight.

After rehearsal on Shabbat everyone walked to Nord’s (our director’s) home for snack and a little time to relax. Amongst the activities was a screening of the ‘newman’ scavenger hunt video which revealed just how poor our singing was that day. Thankfully the oldmen cut us a little slack.

Back we walked through the dangerous neighbourhoods of northwest Philly and late that night I finally made it back to Hamilton Court, my new residence!

Friday – Day 29

August 19, 2012

Friday was our second, ‘last’ day with Nicole and thus we spent it in the best way possible. Walking around the city together and spending time as friends. Unfortunately for most of the day I had forgotten my memory card so some of the photos and videos aren’t mine.

First up was a visit to the photobooth to take a series of pictures in which we all scrambled to get into the frame, mostly unsuccessfully. These photobooths are scattered all around Berlin and apparently quite popular with Theresa having taken photos with every ISSI group to visit.

Following that we walked in the direction of the city, aiming for a park dedicated to the memory of the Berlin wall, with an intact section still along it. On our way we came by a fantastic market, in which there were fromageries with a gallery of european cheeses, a fish stand with fresh fish being tossed onto a grill and eaten nearby. Fruiterers, artisanal pastas and jams lined the sides and Theresa and I jumped to buy some fresh fruit for our lunch.

We walked the rest of the distance to the park carrying our load of fruit: blackberries, plums, apricots, grapes and two German squished looking peaches that were naturally fat.

When we arrived at the park we found swings lining the wall, and after a heated discussion about the benefits and costs of nuclear power we set a-swinging. After my turn on the swing I sat back to try and calculate the frequency of the swing when it was not being driven (given by sqrt(g/l) ) but the estimate was a bit far off and I left the swings dissatisfied. Maybe I should’ve taken a look at it as a non-linear oscillator.

From there we wakled to Potzdamer Platz, another big public square, and visted the Sony Center, a large construction with nice restaurants and shops inside, before settling down

on the grass nearby.

Potzdamer Platz

Much of the rest of the afternoon was taken up following round an akapella group around the U-Bahn and to tourists locations while they were promoting themselves. One of the singers was Theresa’s friend from her frisbee team and thus we were committed to staying the whole time.


Israel – Day 10

July 31, 2012

Today was my first really late wake up! 10AM!

After waking up and eating a delicious Israeli yoghurt for breakfast, Sarah and I went off to the Carmel market. There I purchased some dried fruit (plantains, pineapple and peaches) and wandered the lanes in the oppressive heat.

Carmel Market

It was there we ran into Ashley Chapman of Hineni fame. Though we were supposed to be waiting for one of Sarah’s friends from MDA (Magen David Adom/Israeli Ambulance Service), the humidity and heat proved too much to bear so we retreated to her apartment (stopping for a felafel) where Sarah took a nap and I chatted to the participants of the program in the girls’ apartment.

Sarah’s Felafel


Ashley Chapman




Kabbalat Shabbat was held at the boys’ apartment off Rechov Arlozorov where my brother Adi was staying with his friends. Though it took a good deal too much effort to get it started, the minyan (prayers) was very nice! Packed full with twenty people, far more than the apartment was ever meant to hold, Sarah, Daniel Serebro and I retreated to a corner to chat. Sarah and I went back to our apartments to sleep.

© 2012-2024 Shaanan Cohney