BALTIMORE, MD — The greater Baltimore Jewish community is well aware that Jonah Reitman spent the last year in Israel.
Since Reitman, age 19, returned from his 9-month journey in Israel, he has brought it up many times.
A week after arriving back in the United States, he attended synagogue wearing a kippah he bought at Machane Yehuda market, according to every single member of the congregation who happened to bump into him that day.
“He never used to even come to shul,” reported Herschel Jaffe, a long-time member of the synagogue. “I hadn’t seen him since his brother’s bar mitzvah. But he cornered me for 20 minutes to tell me about how he was more religious now, after spending the year in Jerusalem.”
“I got that story too,” said Amy Plotkin, another congregant. “But he also told me all about his food blog, and showed me the Star of David necklace he bargained for in the Old City.”
“We get it, Jonah,” said Plotkin’s 15-year-old son Harrison.
By the following week, Reitman’s high school friends had given up on inviting him to hang out at their favorite restaurant. His friend Adam Schiff said, “He’d just lecture us about how the kosher food there is so good and tell us how we have to get Blundstones, or something. I love the kid, and I love Israel too, but I just can’t anymore. Like dude, we get it.”
When asked if he would ever make Aliyah (move to Israel), Reitman gave a 14 minute answer that seemed like an emphatic yes, followed by about 100 reasons that he actually wouldn’t, if it really came down to it.
Reitman then proceeded to list his favorite “hidden” alleys to take pictures of at sunset (for example, the one right after you enter Jaffa Gate on your way to the Western Wall) and shared his personal thoughts on the status of the Knesset.
Jonah, buddy, we get it.