I just wanted to send you a short note to let you know that I am performing Aliyah is less than two weeks on August 14. In case you don't remember, I was the guy who was re-indentifying himself as a Jew or returning to the faith-- and you men welcomed me with open arms "back into the tribe".
Until last month, I was a member of Temple Sinai synagogue in Saratoga Springs, NY. One of the more secular highlights of participating there was taking three baking classes where I learned how to make real NY Bagels, babka, and challah of course.
I will be living in Tel Aviv; I have a furnished sublet for the first 5 months. I suspect that I will be busy at with Hebrew Ulpan which starts at the end of this month. Although I still consider myself mostly secular, I am considering attending an Orthodox conversion ulpan in Israel after I complete Hebrew ulpan.
So in case you (and the larger community) need a reminder of the residual value of the Jewish Men's Retreat, the hard work that goes into the event (planning, registration, and implementation, etc.) and the ripple effect that it can have upon its participants, I thought that it would be appropriate to share. You may remember me as the person smiling all the time. I still am.
Of course there were multiple factors surrounding my Aliyah decision including a trip to Israel in March/April of this year, but the fellowship that was exhibited at the retreat helped me further realize that I both like Jews and I am proud to be a Jew.