Sisters here or there

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By Julia Friedman

While some students, upon coming to college, leave siblings behind at home, there are some students with a sibling on an entirely different continent. Maggie Weinreb ‘13 and her sister Allie stay in touch with 5582 miles separating them. Maggie’s sister has been living in Tel Aviv, Israel since 2007, where she is the department head of a high school English program. After studying abroad in Israel during her junior year at Colgate University, where she majored in Peace and Conflict studies, Allie, now 25, knew that she had to get back soon.

“She loved it and wanted to stay,” says Maggie, “but knew that she had to finish college first.”

After graduating from Colgate, Allie attended Tel Aviv University, where she earned a degree in teaching English as a second language. “All Israeli students have to learn English starting in third grade,” explains Maggie. “She works anywhere from 10 to 12 hours a day, but when she’s not working, she rides her Vespa scooter and goes scuba diving.”

So, how do these sisters stay connected with busy schedules and a seven-hour time difference?

“We usually instant message or video chat. She has an iPhone, so we email a lot. I talk to her at least once a day.”

Seeing how much Maggie and Allie talked with the vast distance separating them left me truly impressed, considering that I talk to my own sisters, who all live in New York State, about once every two weeks…with a Facebook wall post.

“Technology makes it easy to stay connected. [My family] Skypes together, but it’s hard to coordinate everyone’s schedules. She’s an Israeli citizen now and only comes home about once a year,” adds Maggie. “But we’re good at staying connected from a distance. We’ve always been really close.”

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