Dig Volunteer Report: Scott and Erica Fox
When Scott Fox was a young man, he wanted to become an archaeologist. But his mother had other ideas. “Being a good Jewish mother, she told me I shouldn’t do it because archaeologists didn’t make any money,” he says. “So I became a doctor, then a lawyer.” In retirement, however, Scott was looking for a reason to go to Israel. When he saw an ad in The Jerusalem Post for the Tiberias excavation in 2006, he saw his opportunity and signed up. He liked it so much that he decided to return in 2008, and this time he invited his 24-year-old daughter Erika to come along.
With a college degree in business marketing, Erika hadn’t yet decided on a career path, so she agreed to go. “She really enjoyed the work and learning about the concept of archaeology. She volunteered for extra work every chance she got and was very involved.” The two spent another season together at Tiberias in 2009.
Like Jerry Jewell, Scott discovered that having his daughter there changed his experience for the better. “She’s the same age as many of the Israeli staff members, and so she gets socially involved. We got invited to someone’s home for Shabbat, so it wasn’t just an archaeological experience, but a cultural one too.”
Both father and daughter worked in the trenches, but Scott made sure they worked in different squares so Erika would have the opportunity to meet others and be on her own a bit. At the end of the day, though, Scott liked having Erika there with him because it gives him someone with whom he can talk about the findings and share the experience of the dig, even long after they’ve returned home. He also appreciates being able to share his knowledge of history and his Zionist values with his daughter. “Like any parent, you enjoy it when your child shows an interest in your passion—it gives you a common bond.” For him, the benefits are intellectual, cultural and religious, and both he and Erika hope to be back at Tiberias in 2010. Scott advises others to consider taking the same opportunity. “In today’s world, it’s hard to find things to do with your adult children—especially one-on-one. Having a common interest is wonderful.”
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