Life gives Michael lemon, Jewish organizations backed by the might of Jewish finance quickly assemble to make Michael lemonade. Michael feels special.
So, with the recent loss of my apartment (probably not underwater), my job (Hebrew teacher at synagogue probably now underwater), my favorite kosher Moroccan joint (Casablanca), and my city (definitely underwater), I’ve been a little at a loss at how exactly to go about dealing with my newfound refugee status.
The first thing that of course crossed my mind was, being a refugee, I could fulfill my lifelong dream of joining the Fugees. I approached them with my blazing new track “Even a Damn Jew is Better than Pras,” and while Wyclef was receptive, a shrieking Lauryn Hill reacted by staggering into the room covered in blood holding the headless carcass of a chicken and throwing a Bible at me (damn Lauryn, why you gotta be like that?).
So with that plan out, and inevitable musical stardom shelved for at least a few more months, I decided that instead of four months of PS2, attractive as that may sound, I would attempt to continue my amusing attempt at higher education in a different city. A city that replaces Mardi Gras, blaring tourist jazz and hurricanes with severe ethnic strife, blaring muezzins and a potentially incendiary Muslim population:
greater Detroit Jerusalem.
Yes, as it turns out, occasionally being a member of the world’s most widely despised minority group pays off. Thanks to the generosity of certain organizations and donors and the general fuzziness of My Fellow Jews, the Hebrew University (in addition to the other major universities in Israel) have decided to accept all interested students displaced by Katrina, and furthermore to waive all tuition fees. In addition, the Jewish Agency has made available funds to pay for the (morbidly expensive) price of a plane ticket from your home to Zion.
That’s right. I’m going to Israel for free. Doesn’t it make you almost wish your city was underwater?
So I really just wanted to use this forum to thank the generous people at Hebrew U, Tel Aviv U, U of Haifa, Ben Gurion U, Bar-Ilan U, the Jewish Agency and MASA for making it possible for Jewish students exiled by Katrina not only to in some way continue with their lives, but to do it in Israel without having to worry about where the money’s coming from. Isn’t it a beautiful thing when our people work together?
In addition, as soon as I compile some sources and talk to some people, I’m planning to write a detailed, serious post about the current and future state of the New Orleans Jewish community and how the hurricane has affected it. I have a vested interest after all.