Israel Journey Kingswood/JORI: Masada, The Knesset, and Yad Vashem

Hope you all had a good weekend! Our week has been crazy! After waking up at 4:15am on Wednesday, July 13th, in the Beduin tent, we got ready for our very busy day. We had a quick breakfast of sweetened tea and crackers to give us enough energy to start our day with a twenty minute hike up to Masada, the mountain with a famous 2000 year history.
We climbed very early in the morning, so we were able to see the sunrise together. We then toured the mountain, learning about its Jewish history, and it’s Roman history. After our one hour hike back down Masada, we had breakfast in the Masada Café. In over 105°F weather, we all gladly swam in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve Waterfall.
We then drove to the lowest place on Earth, and swam in the saltiest sea on Earth, where we all effortlessly floated, and washed the mud off of our bodies. The long drive back to Jerusalem was mainly quiet as many slept off the long day. We arrived at our new accommodation, the Caesar hotel, and went to sleep after having one of the best days of our trip. Jesse Gordon’s favorite part of the day was the pre-dawn hike up to Masada. She feels that at that moment, every person on Bus 3B was connected through their eagerness and excitement of climbing the mountain that some of us have learned about our entire lives.

On Thursday, we started our day with breakfast at the hotel and then took the bus to the Knesset where we learned about Israel’s parliament. We took a tour and saw a lot of interesting art and mosaics. We were able to see where leaders from other countries have their speeches and address Israel. Then we went to the Hebrew Union College to listen to a speaker about Jewish Leadership.

After, we went to Yad Vashem which is the Holocaust Museum in Israel. We watched videos of different stories about the Holocaust, including videos of Holocaust survivors. We viewed different artifacts and we’re all touched by the powerful images throughout the museum. In the evening we went to a BBYO Passport party to celebrate a summer in Israel with all of the groups. There were bumper cars, roller coasters, henna, and so much more. Everyone danced and it was a great night for all!
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