Well last night I had the privilege to attend the first annual Nefesh B’ Nefesh conference (oh that sounds so official), and reached a milestone of it being the first time (I think ever) that I went to Yerushalayim without a backpack.
All right, so I showed up at the NBN Convention hall (that also sounds really official) and was given this sticker to wear on my shirt with my blog name on it (and for those of you getting this by email it’s Israel Fix-please visit apparently I have an interesting blogroll, as someone mentioned to me last night). NBN has this obsession with stickers, not sure where that comes from…
Anyways, I sat down to eat from the absolutely glorious spread of meat that the caterers had laid out for us. This was the real reason I came to the conference, free food. (Hey as a single guy I take what I can get!)
I thought the conference was a great success, and a great chance for the blogger’s to interact outside of the virtual world. I met the faces behind many blog’s. Including Treppenwitz, Hirhurim, My Right Word and others. I also ran into Frum Satire who was brought in by NBN for the conference. I have a video posted of his routine during the conference.
All right so I don’t bore you, I’m only going to tell one story from the conference (and this way when I run into some of you here in Israel I have some new stories to tell and won’t hear the becoming too often “I know that story, I read it on your blog.”)
The initial panel consisted of Treppenwitz, Hirhurim, My Urban Kvetch, and Jewlicious. While Treppenwitz was speaking, he was interrupted by the arrival of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Treppenwitz stopped talking as the room completely stopped paying attention to him. As he put it “nothing I say can follow THAT!”
Then Bibi spoke; he looked down the line of panels and stopped at Jewlicious, raised an eyebrow and said, “Jewlicious?”
To which Jewlicious responded in the same exact tone, “Netanyahu?”
Great way to open up, with the room rolling in laughter.
Bibi then spoke a little long, and a little off topic because, hey, it’s Bibi.
So today I went to Beit Shemesh to take care of more fun and interesting things, namely signing up for ulpan and dealing with some things at the Misrad Klita (which I’ll get to).
I had made my first trip to the Misrad Klita on Sunday. Basically this offices job is to give you stuff, like money, training (money for training), and ulpan (and hopefully some more money). I went in on Sunday to deal with the business that I had to do there, except there was only one small glitch in that there was some other piece of information she needed on the form from the bank. So I had to go back to the bank, fill out the form correctly and come back today.
One of the other things I wanted to do was get the name on my Teudat Zakaut changed to the correct name (this is different from the Teudat Zehut which is a card everyone gets-the Teudat Zakaut is just for people who have made Aliyah).
So the woman there told me to leave it there with her, she would get it to the Misrad Hapanim to get it changed and I could pick it up on Thursday.
So I go in today (Thursday) and what a surprise, the Teudat Zakaut is sitting right there on her desk with the same, incomplete name in it.
She told to wait and WALKED INTO THE NEXT ROOM, where the woman from Misrad Hapanim, HAND WROTE my name into the document.
I’m not angry (I thought it was hilarious) just another interesting insight into how things work in this country.
From there I took my bike to Yerushalyim to visit the shop I bought it in. I wanted to pick up a new bike seat (as the one they sell with the bike is meant for people who buy a bike, ride it around the block, complain that it hurts their back, and the bike then sits in their garage for 20 years until it’s thrown away).
I got to chatting with the owner of the shop, who made Aliyah at the age of 4 in 1951 from Iraq. We discussed quite a few things ranging from politics, to biking in Israel, and I mentioned that I write a blog and he asked me to do two things:
1. plug his bike shop-It’s Mercaz HaOfanaim on Agripas St. in Jerusalem
2. and (I promise this was him and not me) to ask all of the Jews in Chutz L’Aretz reading the to come home!! (And to buy a bike from his shop when you get here.
Heading to Beit El for Shabbos and will be by Yishai and Malkah Fleisher. Have a great Shabbos!!