2-months in — the kids are happy

A beautiful day-trip in Jerusalem just 2 weeks ago (before the craziness escalated)

It’s been a little over 2 months since we landed in Tel-Aviv. After barely surviving the August heat, the school year thankfully started and we deposited the kids in their respective schools. We had heard horror stories about schools in Israel being crowded, loud and aggressive and so we came in expecting chaos and stress. This doom’s day scenario did not materialize in our case. In reality we found our children had warm but authoritative teachers and they fit right in socially and made a bunch of friends in the first few weeks. In our neighborhood, there is a amazing sense of local community that inspires a feeling of belonging in the kids (and in us). Add the loving embrace of the extended family to the mix and you get two extremely happy kids.

Not everything is perfect of course. In the past weeks the multiple stabbing incidents have left us all with a badly compromised sense of personal safety. We try hard to limit our consumption of the crazed media reporting and rumor mill in the social networks, but the situation certainly brings up unavoidable fear. Living here as part of the secular, upper middle-class, you adopt an unbelievable dissonance between the daily life (which you are generally happy with) and the longer-term prospects of life here (which look grim given the current political leadership). Hope and optimism are badly needed, on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides, but it does not look to be in the cards anytime soon. Here’s to hoping…