You know that feeling when, after a long drive, the end is in sight and it’s only a few minutes until you’re back in your house again? The streets look more vibrant and welcoming, you feel the familiarity of the roads and the street signs, and it feels all new and happy again to be coming home.

It makes you feel kind of warm and fuzzy, and also a little thankful.

Well, tomorrow I am leaving home and heading to Haifa for the Boston-Haifa Steering Committee meetings. It’s a long, 6000-mile journey that takes the better part of a day, but it’s not just the travel that’s hard, it’s the empty feeling as I hug my wife and kids goodbye and drive down 93 towards Logan.

Over the past thirteen years I’ve been fortunate to spend the equivalent of five or six months in Haifa in various capacities. I was an Otzma volunteer, I went on the 2002 CJP Solidarity mission, I’ve led six groups of kids on Israel trips, and this will be my second Steering Committee meeting.   

In truth, I’ve probably spent more time driving and running around the streets of Haifa than I have in any city not called Boston in the world. I know the cut-throughs from Ahuza to Carmel Center, I can get from the University down to Hof HaCarmel speeding down the side of the mountain through Ramat Eshkol, and I know how to map out massive runs up and down the mountain and along the beach.

It’s the feeling you only get when you truly feel at home. And luckily, if I’m not going be with family in Boston, there’s no better place to be than in Haifa. My second home.

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