Regev Ortal: Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Regev Ortal: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
My story
In July of 2020 I left Israel for what at the time I thought would be a month and a half visit in Colorado to see my partner. As COVID-19 restrictions in Israel became stricter and my University in Tel Aviv announced classes will continue over Zoom I found myself living in the US de-facto and quite unexpectedly, for nearly a year. Being somewhere new in the middle of the pandemic proved to be quite challenging - I didn't go to school here, I worked from home and despite my attempts to connect with the local Jewish community, I couldn't become a part of it through Zoom. This year has posed a real challenge and placed much more weight on my Jewish and Israeli identities as a way to remain somewhat social - I've looked for community events for Passover, met for (socially distant) coffee dates with some of the Israelis in town and ended up relying much more on my local Hillel to engage with other people through online communities. Since the beginning of the semester I've helped manage an online only leadership for Hillel Israel which allowed 12 students all across the country to get together, listen to some of the most notable personalities in the field of Jewish Peoplehood and become surprisingly close to each other without ever meeting in person. I hope this next year will bring much more community into my life, but in the meantime I feel so fortunate to have my Jewish family around me, online and in spirit.
Current status
University Student

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