The HUC-JIR Year In Israel Program is not the only group of people that use the space here in Jerusalem. There is an Israeli Rabbinic Program and a Gan (Preschool/Kindergarden) that are on campus too.
The Israeli school year started back at the beginning of September and we've had tons of little kids on campus since then. They're really cute. It always makes me smile to see how excited they are to be going to school. It was kinda funny last week though. I had arrived to school early and was getting a cup of coffee in the Moadon and there was this very little boy who clearly wanted to get something from the shop, but they clerks couldn't see him.
I asked him, in Hebrew, what he wanted to order. There was a minor problem though. In his very shy, high pitched voice, I had no idea what he was asking for. When it was apparent that I didn't understand him, he looked at me like I was crazy. I finally asked a passing classmate to help. It turns out the words I couldn't understand were, Mayim Ta'im (Flavored Water). But then he didn't have enough money, so of course I helped him out.
Although I have a hard time understanding the kids, it always puts a smile on my face to see them with their parents in the mornings.
Then, Yesterday was the first day of the IRP (Israeli Rabbinic Program). Another 20 something students showed up on campus to start their studies this year. It was really cool to see them all coming back from a summer off. A first observation, the IRP students are in a much different stage in life. I haven't talked to many of them (but I hope to soon), but they seem to be older. Not old, but older, as in, not just a few months to a few years out of college.
I'm guessing that they have a very different life experience and I can't wait to learn from them.
With all of the schools back in session, it's great to see all the different people on campus right now.