Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hello Everyone!

Sooooo we have not kept up with the weekly thing. We are sorry. We really want to say that a weekly update will be what’s happening this year, buuuuut who knows. We will try our best.

Jon just started his second year at JUC and had his first class today. The classes that Jon is taking this semester are:

-Rabbinical Thought and Literature

-An introduction to the literature and central themes addressed by the Jewish sages. Particular attention is given to the early periods of rabbinical Judaism (Tannaitic and Amoraic) and to possible parallels to the thoughts and teachings of Jesus and early Christianity.

-Prophetic Landscape

-Learning all about prophetic literature and how the prophets surroundings was integrated into their message

-Inter-Testamental Literature

-A focus on Old Testament Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and their contribution to our knowledge of the varieties of religious thought in the Second Temple Period.

-Introduction to Aramaic

-History of the Jews from the medieval times to Modern times (he is auditing

this course so he just has to show up for the classes, no homework or exams)

-An examination of Jewish history from the rise of Christian Europe in the fifth century to the present by addressing such topics as medieval Jewish

communities in Babylonia, Spain, Germany and Poland; Jewish relations with the church and crown; Jewish communal structure; modern changes such as enlightenment, emancipation; new Jewish movements and ideologies; modern anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; Zionism and the rise of Israel.

He is very happy to be back in school and having some organization to his life again. It’s weird to think that Jon is “top dog” so to speak because this school only offers a 2 year program.

Today Jon tried to get out of his Aramaic class by talking to Dr. Wright this morning… it did not work; however, he did have a nice chat with the president of the school (Wright). On a more positive note, Jon got his final history paper back from last semester and got 100% on it! The topic was: Hellenization with a focus on how it influenced Judaism.

On his way home today, Jon ran into a girl that had just arrived in Jerusalem a couple days ago. He helped her buy some veggies and found out she was from Vancouver, B.C. Canada. They had a nice little chat once why they were there. She knew about Trinity Western University—the university that Kasey and Jon graduated from. Just goes to show how small a world we really live in.

Kasey started teaching on Monday (August 30). She had been in ‘teacher orientation’ for about two weeks prior, which is essentially all the teachers getting together to discuss policies and teaching methods, and to get the school ready for the students. Orientation is pretty tiring, since the teachers aren’t just responsible for what they’re teaching, but for preparing their actual school, from moving lockers to hanging posters.

This year, the structure of the school has changed. Each grade is always split into two classes. Last year, each grade would have their classes at the same time. For instance, when one class had biology first period, the other class also had biology. This meant that two teachers taught the same class and each teacher averaged around 5-6 classes. If you’ve never taught before, know this: that’s a LOT of prep work, and extremely exhausting.

This year, the classes are split and occur at different times, meaning that one teacher can teach both classes. Kasey is teaching Life Science and Earth Science (all of the 7th and 8th graders), as well as a Study Prep Elective. This narrows her prep work down to only 3 classes instead of 6. The students are also rotating from classroom to classroom this year (whereas last year the teachers had that job), which takes off an enormous amount of stress over moving in-between classes.

Having a less stressful schedule (although she DOES wind up teaching or supervising breaks for 5 hours straight), combined with actually knowing how school goes now, makes this year look promising. (If you’ve missed out, Kasey was homeschooled grades 4-12, so she doesn’t even have her own high school experience to draw from.)

Prayer Requests:

-That we get enough money to pay for Jon’s last semester tuition and plane tickets back to North America – about $5000-6000 depending if Jon gets a scholarship

-For Kasey to have a very fulfilling teaching experience this year

-That Jon study’s hard and well, remembering everything he study’s, etc…

-That God would open doors for job opportunities:

-Jon wants to be a Bible Teacher at a college or university, and/or he would like to teach as a high school teacher

-Kasey wants to teach as a junior high/high school teacher

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


We spent the day at the beach in Tel Aviv with our visitor, Joel. This was taken in Old Jaffa (Joppa), facing Tel Aviv.