Reut & S volunteering at FFLC (Photo Cred: ME!)
Reut is much more than a friend to me, she has become an adopted family member, something that's sorely needed when you move across the country from your actual family! While there is so so much that I could write about, I decided to give a Top 5 for why Reut deserves this particular blog post.
5. Reut is an incredible pre-Birthright educator. Reut has one session of every Birthright pre-trip orientation rounds since I started at Oregon Hillel in November 2012. Utilizing her love of images (she's an incredible photographer), Reut recognizes the beauty that Israel has to offer and the different perspectives that each unique photograph gives to our own students. She always aims to be compassionate and balances the class she teaches to the needs of her students: she is always up for a challenge and always ready to challenge others.
4. Reut loves all things art-related. This is more of a concentration on beauty. Reut will sit with me for hours (and smile as she starts and finishes her second project in the time it takes me to do one) and paint pottery, head to the Hult Center to enjoy comedians, color pages that I've brought her, and does it all with a smile. While she probably won't admit it (there's the humility), she's an incredible artist and I love seeing her creations come to life as gifts for her loved ones.
3. Reut loves Ellie. You need to have a decent sense of balance between accepting craziness and adoring sweetness in order to truly, truly love Ellie. However, Ellie is always welcome in Reut's house (and shout out to Izar who treats her as his own!) to play around with her boxer boyfriend (hi Hammy!) and shower S with kisses! Ellie is always given her own treats, water dish, and lots of love from Reut and family--when Ellie had her emergency surgery, it was Reut who distracted me with breakfast and hours of art therapy.
2. Reut is an incredible community organizer and teacher. Every student I've met that's had a class with Reut (in fact, most people who have ever had a conversation with her) tell me that she is an incredible professor and community member, teaching everyone she interacts with in her own positive and personal way. Whether she's introducing me to friends from Boston when I accidentally crash a family BBQ or bringing flowers to graduating seniors at Shabbat or volunteering with S at Food for Lane County, Reut's presence brings a type of harmony to those around her. Again, she's probably denying this, but that's the humility talking--ask anyone, she's pretty awesome.
1. Reut made me the only food I could eat when sick. When I came down with double pneumonia (that's pneumonia in both lungs that hits you REALLY hard), Reut made me food and did grocery runs for me, bringing me cough drops, soup, and a lasagna. At the time, I couldn't keep anything down and had very little appetite. She requested that I have small pieces of lasagna at a time, freezing the majority and coming back to it later. It was the only thing I could eat when I was ill. And that was a beautiful thing.
While this blog may be one of my longest (the "bullet points" were meant to make it shorter, whoops!), it's worth it. Reut, thank you for EVERYTHING you've done. And tell Izar not to worry...his post is coming up soon enough :-)