Nefehs B’Nefesh posted the following account to their Facebook page yesterday:
“It has been a month since I came to the Nefesh B’Nefesh office to complete my Aliyah process and receive my Teudat Zehut (complete with the traditional unflattering ID photo). And here I am, plugging along with my Hebrew lessons, scrambling to complete my post-aliyah paperwork, and continually learning how much I have left to learn about being Israeli. But despite the inevitable bureaucracy that awaits any Olah Chadasha, and the fact that I am undeniably sick of Israeli cucumber and tomato salad, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I know that this is exactly where I need to be and the best advice I can give to anyone considering aliyah is to go with your gut and do what feels best for you.
In May 2016, I graduated from the Double Degree program between Barnard College of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary where I earned degrees in Archaeology and Jewish Art and Visual Culture. With this unique combination of interests and my deeply rooted love for the Jewish state, it came as no surprise to family and friends when I decided to pursue my career in Israel. I just had to figure out how to get there. I found a Masa program that placed me in an internship at the Temple Mount Sifting Project. This is no ordinary touristy archaeology site. In 2004, archaeologists received government permission to found TMSP and start sifting material in the Kidron Valley in order to recover and identify artifacts that were destroyed in 1999. My internship started with me working in the projects lab, researching unidentified finds. Within the next few years the Project will be publishing reports and I will have written an entire section for it on the use of slate pencils and tablets in the area. I also began to volunteer at the sifting site itself, where I have the pleasure of working with and informing Israelis and tourists alike about the undeniably rich history of the Temple Mount; a history which belongs to Jews and non-Jews alike.
Now that my internship is over, I work for TMSP full time; one day of the week I continue with research projects at the lab and the rest of the week I work at the site. I can imagine no better way for me to do my part to make things right.” – Hannah Ripps, NBN 2017