Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Stateside Adventures

Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin Rubenstein
Family together in Philadelphia
The last few weeks of our sabbatical - May 1 to June 9 - were spent back in the USA, and featured trips to Concord and Portsmouth, NH, Boston, the Adirondacks, Northampton, and New York City (3 times). But the highlight was just this past weekend in Philadelphia, where our daughter Ruhi Sophia graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and received the title of Rabbi. It is difficult to express the joy and pride that we feel in her accomplishment, and in seeing this amazing person begin such a significant new phase in her life. At the end of June Ruhi Sophia and her husband Jacob Siegel will be heading to Eugene, OR, where she will begin her position as Rabbi of Temple Beth Israel on July 15. With Shira flying in from Buenos Aires, the weekend provided the rare opportunity for our whole family to be together.
Ari and Brent - The Esplanade on the Charles

By the George Washington Bridge
In fact, these last six weeks have been all about family and friends, and the sabbatical adventures and new experiences continued. We spent time in Boston with Ari, his boyfriend Brent, and our good friends Gail and George Strassfeld, kayaking on the Charles River during a spectacular weekend. Other weekends we biked along the New Hampshire coast while visiting Jonathan's sister Judith in Portsmouth, and had a couple of great bike rides along the Hudson River Greenway on the west side of Manhattan.

Casa Azul, Mexico City
Casa Azul, New York Botanical Garden
Before going to Philadelphia last weekend, we picked up Shira at JFK on Thursday morning and went to the New York Botanical Garden to see the exhibit "Frida Kahlo - Art, Garden, Life." We were intrigued by this because on our trip to Mexico City in April, one of the highlights was a visit to Casa Azul, where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera lived, and which is now one of the most popular museums in Mexico. The artists constructed beautiful gardens at Casa Azul, and the NY Botanical Garden created a reproduction of those gardens and some of the features of Casa Azul, as well as a gallery show of Frida's paintings.

Not a day went by during these last six months without our feeling profound gratitude for the amazing opportunity we had been provided by our community. This gift of time to travel, explore, rest and reinvigorate ourselves has been a great blessing. We return to work today inspired by our experiences and enthusiastic about the work ahead.

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