Onward Israel Cincinnati 2022 Week 1: Hello from Tel Aviv!

Hello from Tel Aviv!

My name is Eva Fischer, and I am going to be the Cincinnati Onward blogger for the next two months. I am super excited to share with you all of our experiences and adventures. I thought the best way to start was to introduce myself a bit. I am a rising junior at the Ohio State University and am double majoring in Business and Public Affairs. A big part of our experience this summer is working at an internship in our field of interest. Since I am interested in policy and the nonprofit sector, I will be working at a non-profit called KeepOlim that helps new immigrants to Israel with social, financial, and health based programs. I am super excited to be starting my internship there tomorrow, so I will be sure to keep you updated on how it goes on my blog post next week. Now that you know a little more about me I am going to jump right into everything we have done since starting the program only four days ago.

Our group of seven Cincinnatians and over thirty New Yorkers met for the first time at the beach side hotel we will be staying at for the summer. After meeting our roommates--mine is the incredible Avital who also happens to be the Onward photographer! Once we settled in, we immediately headed to the beach and enjoyed our first of many falafel dinners of the summer. After a long day of travel, it was the perfect way to beat jet lag and chill. Since we have not started our internships yet, we have had a ton of time to explore the city and bond as a group.

One of the coolest and most impactful things we have done so far was attend the Pride Parade on Friday. It is a celebration for the LGBTQ+ community and allies in Tel Aviv--the gay capital of the Middle East--for people from all over. People came from all across Israel, we were representing the US, and we even saw some people from Great Britain. Over 170,000 people were there! The parade culminated in a huge concert with Iggy Azalea. I will admit I was a little tired and did not make it to the end of the event. I, along with many other participants are still acclimating to the Israeli heat, I was exhausted after the parade alone! I will say that I am very proud that I made it through the three hour parade sunburn free :) The parade itself was incredible. There were floats of music and dancers, and we walked right alongside them, so we were actually a part of the parade. The comradery and energy was unlike anything I have experienced.

I loved today! I was skeptical at first how Shabbat would be in Israel since I am not used to a city that observes Shabbat, with closed shops and no running public transportation. Avital and I found tons to do. We met up with a few of my camp friends from CYJ Midwest that are currently in Israel too. I have been so happily surprised by the community I have here after all my years at summer camp. I run into people I know here as much if not more than I do in my little suburb of Madeira, Ohio! Anyways, we went to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. We must have spent at least four hours admiring the art and savoring the air conditioning. My favorite exhibit was a modern art section called Desires, Disorders by Annette Messager. I do not know anything else about her besides seeing this exhibit, but I highly recommend checking her out. The work was very provocative. After seeing every exhibit, we headed to Sarona Market for a late lunch. It was my first time going there, while others like Avital went earlier this week for Vegan Fest, the largest Vegan Festival in the world. The food, like everything I have had thus far, was delicious. We took the long way home to the hotel admiring the hopping restaurants and view of the beach.

As I have learned in this short period of time, and I am sure has become very apparent to you, there is so much to do here in Tel Aviv. I am super excited to share the pieces that I experience throughout my time here. Because there is so much to do and I only have so much time, I obviously can't experience every single thing that Tel Aviv has to offer. That is why each week I will include a profile of one of the other seven Cincinnatians on this trip and tidbits about their favorite moments so far. See you next week!

<3 Eva Fischer


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