Israel Journey #6: Masada, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea

Please enjoy these updates written by our teen participants:

 

August 1
Monday we had the privilege of waking up at 5:15 am to enjoy a magical sunrise at the Kasui sand dunes. We then enjoyed rolling, flipping, and tumbling down these magnificent sand dunes. After eating breakfast at the dunes, we took a ride down to Eilat. In Eilat we enjoyed washing off through banana boating, kayaking, and paddle boating in the beautiful Red Sea. If this wasn’t enough fun already we took a ten minute drive to an Eilat beach where we went snorkeling. We got a first hand look at the beautiful sea creatures of Israel. After drying off we went to one of Eilat’s largest malls to eat lunch. Some of the kids even took part in a fish pedicure. On the way back to our kibbutz we stopped at a different kibbutz, Yotvata, where we ate their amazing home made ice cream. Once we arrived at the kibbutz we were given free time where most of the kids slept. After dinner we ended the day with kibbutz jeopardy to learn more about where we were staying.
– Aaron Erlich

August 2
Today we all woke up with enthusiasm because we were going to the Bedouin tents later on in the day. We have been looking forward to this experience for a while so it was really something nice to wake up to. Our morning started with some breakfast followed by a tour of our kibbutz. We saw donkeys, dates, and solar panels. After the tour we headed back to the kibbutz for more education on how it sustains itself through its various committees. We then hit the road! We arrived at the Bedouin tents and went camel ridding . We were then greeted with Bedouin hospitality of coffee and tea and got ready for our fun night under the breath-taking stars. Overall a 9/10 day.
– Skyler Stein

August 3
After an action-packed night sleeping in the Bedouin tents, we all woke up at 4AM so we could go and climb Masada and see the sunrise. We ate tea and biscuits and then were sent on our way. We took the Roman Ramp up to Masada, and then stayed up there and learned about its history. For our descent we took the snake path. Then our breakfast was waiting for us at the bottom of the mountain. After that treacherous adventure, we were all so moist with sweat that we needed some way to cool off.

 

Next stop was Ein Gedi, a natural spring in the middle of the desert, how unexpected! The waterfalls were flowing with the cold, wet, pure sustenance of a thousand rivers. After Ein Gedi we headed to the Dead Sea. It was very cool being able to float in the water and not sink without any effort. Although, some of us did have a more painful and burning experience than others from all the salt in the water. After we bought a bunch of the rejuvenating lotions and various body products filled with minerals from the Dead Sea, we headed back to the Caesar hotel in Jerusalem for a good sleep so we could be prepared for the next day ahead of us.
Noah Letwat

August 4

We started Thursday at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. In the museum, we learned about antisemitism, Nazi ideology, and Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. We concluded our tour of the museum with a gorgeous view of Jerusalem and made our way to a park where we had bagels for lunch. After lunch, we visited the Knesset. We learned about the Israeli Parliament, such as how people are elected to office. We saw the room where the entire Knesset has meetings and a small conference room for the committee of labor.

 

We continued our day at Ammunition Hill. This was a battle site for the Six Day War. We had a chance to learn about the war and talk to our staff member, Elie Genet, about his experience in the army and what this place meant to him. Then, we got to explore the battle site, which included multiple tanks and trenches. We then moved on to talk to Rabbi Chaim Shalom. He taught us about Jewish pluralism in Israel, and we discussed many dilemmas Israel has had between the different sects of Judaism. After a long, educational day, we had free time to shop and eat dinner on Ben Yehuda Street.
– Julia Schneider
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