Somehow it all came together - with Sharon in Israel, Assaf, Joelle and Mischa in France, and Michal moving to Romania, the obvious place for the first UriFaR [Urieli Family Reunion] vacation was to spend 10 days on the Greek island Naxos.
The kids went back, and Nili & Izzi went on to spend 6 weeks in Russia, from St. Petersburg (visiting with family for the first time), on to Moscow and then a 400 mile bicycle tour around the Golden Ring of Russia followed by a Trans-Siberian train ride to participate in a Yiddish program in Birobidzhan (on the Far East of Russia), stopping off briefly in Irkutsk for a visit to Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal - whew!
Moscow and Cycling the Golden Ring of Russia
The "Vostok" train from Moscow to Irkutsk
Lake Baikal, Olkhon Island, and Irkutsk
The "Rossia" train from Irkutsk to Birobidzhan
The Yiddish Summer Program in Birobidzhan
Finally, home again in Athens, Ohio with a 15 hour time zone lag behind Birobidzhan and straight into the Fall quarter teaching (for both of us) - no wonder that we are only now recovering enough to write this summary - it will be enhanced and updated periodically - promise. [9/30/2007]
Nili & Izzi somewhere on the Golden Ring of Russia tour (Photo by tour director Vladimir Filippov)