The Europe Tour

      These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of adventures. Every week brought something new and different, either a new country or something I have never done before. I am sooo glad I got the opportunity to travel and see uncharted territory (at least to me). Here is a recap of my amazing adventures. (This is going to be LONG)

      London: Back in October/November my friend Andrew texted me out of the blue… “Do you want to go to London in April for the European Union Progressive Judaism Conference with some other NFTY alumni?” I thought why not? That would be AWESOME!!!!! I have never been to London and I get to learn from other progressive Jewish people from around the world. Well Andrew made it happen and there were 5 NFTY alumni in London for a week for the EUPJ (European Union of Progressive Judaism) and learning about the Progressive Movement of London.

       The first full day that we were there we went to the Jewish Museum in London. We saw the many different artifacts that have been collected over the years of Jewish London history. Then we wandered over to the Camden market. Which is a whole bunch of street food carts. You get to go around and try all of the different things that they are selling, then decide what you would like to eat. It was probably my favorite places that I have been to. It kind of reminded me of the shuk in a way.

      After a great hour at Camden Market we met some of the Rabbinical students, some movement workers, and the Director of the Leo Beck College, the London Rabbinical school in London,  from the Reform Movement. It was great learning about one of the Progressive movements in London. That night we went to go see Charlie and Chocolate Factory. It was a great show and another show to check off my musical list!

      The second full day in London we started our day with a walking tour of  what the past of Jewish London. We had a great tour guide who also was part of the Liberal Jewish movement London. After our tour we met with different people in the Liberal movement. We had a presentation about what the Liberal movement is doing and what their values are. It was really nice meeting people from the different Progressive movements. We got a chance to see the differences and similarities between Reform Movement and the Liberal movements, but also the Progressive movement in America.

      After meeting with the Liberal movement we went on a London Eye river cruise and then the London Eye. From the river cruise we saw a lot of the main attractions that you hear about: London Eye, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Palace of Westminster, and the Globe Theater just to name a few. I got a front row seat on the boat. It was a great time!!! Then we went on the London Eye and got to see a beautiful view of London from the top! That night we had a meet up with NFTY-Alumni that might have been in London at that time. It was a great night!

       The third day in London we had the day to ourselves before the conference kicked into full gear. I met my friend for breakfast at this place called The Breakfast Club. It was this cute little place that had a line out the door to try and get a table. After breakfast we went to platform 9 and 3/4. Though I am not Harry Potter’s number one fan, I am still a fan and needed to show the world I am going to Hogwarts to become a wizard. (JUST KIDDING). I loved having the morning to catch up with an old camp friend. After I made my decision to go to Hogwarts, I went to met the others for high tea. Though I don’t like tea and I couldn’t eat the finger sandwiches, it was worth the experience.

       That night the conference started. There were trumpet fanfares from the Royal guards, lots of many speakers, and the mayor of London. I was excited to see what else the conference had in store.

        Overall the conference was very interesting. It was nice to see what the Progressive movement is talking about around the world and mainly in Europe. There was a lot of talk about the missing generation, 20s and 30s. There were a handful of us there, but I wish there could have been more so we could be part of the conversation and not the missing generation. London was great, but time to move on to a new city and new week.

       Copenhagen: Well Andrew and I found out that basically everything is closed on a Monday in Copenhagen. So we walked around a bit and ended up at a church that you can pay to go see the amazing view. It was quite the view that is for sure. This church kind of looked like the a building right out of a Dr. Seuss book. The next day we went to go see changing of the guards. It was very awesome being so close to them while they were changing. We then headed over to the Carlsberg Brewery. Where we went on the tour and had lunch. I got ciders because 1. I don’t like beer (yeah clearly not from Wisco) 2. Gluten free. Everything was really good. That night we went and had dinner with Rina. We decided to keep the NFTY-Alumni travels alive while in Cope. The next day my trip turned into a solo trip. I went to a famous bakery that everyone told me I needed to go to. Then took a tour of the this building called Round Tower were it is a spiral ramp all the way up and then you see another beautiful view of Copenhagen. I also went on a canal tour of the city. It was really beautiful.

       The next day I went to see my second favorite princess. There is a statue in Copenhagen of the Little Mermaid. It is right on the water in a beautiful park. After I got to see my second favorite princess, I took a water taxi over across the canal and went to Papiron, which is Copenhagen street food. It was sooo good. So hard to decide what to get because there were so many good foods that were there. I think maybe if my dream of working in Jewish communal life, I will become a foodie=) My last day in Copenhagen I spent at Tivoli Gardens which is a mix between central park and six flags. I enjoyed walking around and seeing all there was to see. Copenhagen was a great city, glad I got to experience it.

      Amsterdam: Well Amsterdam was a whirlwind of a city and trip. I was only there for 48 hours, but it was a great 48 hours. The first day I was there, I met a NFTY-Alumni and we went to see ALL of the beautiful tulips!!!! It was fields and fields of tulips, literally it was so beautiful and wonderful. After we went to second seder at a Progressive synagogue. It was so nice being able to be at a seder that felt like home to me. I also loved the siddur that they used. It was English, Hebrew, and Dutch, so cool!!! The next day I went to the Anne Frank House. It was very surreal seeing the place and how they lived for so many years because they had to. After the Anne Frank House, I went to the cheese museum. Being from Wisconsin, I needed to go. I got to try all of the cheeses and see their awesome museum. Following my wonderful cheese adventure, I went to the Iamsterdam sign. A big touristy spot, but got some great photos.  To finish off my day I went on a canal cruise. Seeing all of the different gems of Amsterdam.

This was such a great trip. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to be part of three different societies, even if it was just for a little while. Below are lots of pictures from my trip, ENJOY!



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