Lunch & Learn & Ice Skating

Today I took a half day from my full-time job (I made up the time last week) for the Jewish Federation’s Lunch & Learn. The feature today was Israeli journalist Eldad Beck, who was born in Israel and later moved to Germany. The topic was Europe and the relationship with Jews. Before the talk, I found a seat and asked one gentleman if someone was sitting next to him since many people were reserving seats. His response? “The only person sitting next to me is you.” He was really nice, and we started talking. I told him what I did for a living and what I hoped to do. He said, “you sound like you would be a perfect journalist, which the person on the other side of you, is one.” He introduced me to the journalist and both gave me their cards. They were great to chat with and want me to keep in touch. šŸ™‚ The Israeli consulate was also in attendance.

Since the topic was Europe and the Jews, specifically how nationalism is on the rise all throughout Europe (and sadly, in the US as well). I knew it was, but never realized how dire the situation really was. I love learning about current events and history. I find joy in knowledge. I also had the opportunity to meet Mr. Beck afterwards and have a chat with him. He agreed to a photo for my Happiness Box.

After lunch, I decided to go ice skating even though today was 60 degrees. A 55 degree increase from last week! I lasted a half an hour on the ice because I wanted to avoid injury. There were a few melt spots, but still skatable. I was hanging out near the sides and when I skated near one of the ledges, I saw a man watching me. I said hi and he said hi, as he was switching his Face Time off. As he was doing it, he said, “say hi to my friend!” I overheard him speaking Arabic, I asked if they spoke Arabic and he said yes. I had a brief conversation with Omar’s friend in Arabic. It was too funny and Omar was surprised that I could speak it. I introduced myself, he introduced himself and explained that he works for one of the tech companies. I asked him where he was from, Algeria, and I smiled. He agreed to a selfie too – I seem to meet friendly strangers while I’m out and about. šŸ™‚

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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “Lunch & Learn & Ice Skating”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    Knowledge is joy and knowledge is power. You acquire more of both with every passing day thanks to your insatiable desire to learn about other people, countries and cultures in addition to your own. It was time well spent for you to attend the Lunch & Learn with Israeli journalist Eldad Beck as special guest. It was an opportunity to learn about the threat of overzealous nationalism here and abroad, to meet and chat with Mr. Beck and to add more pictures to your 2019 Happiness Box.

    That was quite a swing in the daytime temperature in only one week! We have been running the air conditioning around the clock for the last two or three days. I’m happy to know you found time to visit the skating rink. I am sure you surprise many people with your ability to speak Arabic. Learning other languages is a great way to make new friends, break down the barriers that separate us and promote peace and harmony around the world.

    Have a happy Tuesday, dear friend JM!


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