Friday, October 3, 2008

Marine Ecosystems

The last two days have been spent mostly in class. I like our professor. He's very passionate about our work. He's Israeli, but he's been living in Germany for a few years now, so his accent is very interesting. It's hard to absorb the reading and keep up in class sometimes. Marine ecosystems are not like genocide... mostly. But it is pretty interesting stuff. We've been talking a lot about coral and the degradation of the seas, mainly the Gulf of Aqaba, which is the part of the Red Sea that Eilat is on. I'm so excited about our trip to Eilat on Sunday.
Last night, we had a MASA program on identity. It was supposed to be impartial Jewish identity, but of course it became a lot about Zionism. It was led by our program director, and I thought it odd how clearly he showed his biased. Maybe he's only the MASA program director, but if he is the Arava program director, he should work on that in the next week before the other students arrive. As facilitator, I think it inappropriate of him to express a resentment toward Jews who do not come to Israel, and his distrust of Arabs, as well as his distaste for the Orthodox who pray rather than fight in the IDF. He also didn't like it when I said I thought central to Jewish identity was the fact that we are a diasporic race. The program really revved up our group, but as I said, it is an amazing group of students, so there wasn't any arguing with each other or anything. Just a lot of continued chatting for the rest of the night about the program and about its facilitator.

Peace and love.

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