Our first day in Israel…

Hello Everyone!

We are staying in the beautiful Jerusalem Hills, and our day began with a panoramic view of the city from Mt. Scopus, learning about the various sites from that lookout position. It was a spectacular view and the teens were able to appreciate the city even more.

From there, we made our way to Mt. Herzl, the national cemetery for fallen soldiers and dignitaries.

“At the end of the day, all Jews buried at Mt. Herzl were fighting for the same cause. It didn’t matter what rank or background they had, they all were buried in identical graves.” – Daniel Nadel (Houston, TX)

For lunch and some shopping time, we visited Mahane Yehuda, also known as The Shuk, because it’s the largest shopping market in Jerusalem.

“Walking around Machane Yehuda was so much fun, from eating authentic foods to bartering with shop owners. We were able to really experience what Israel is like on a daily basis instead of seeing touristy landmarks.” – Becca Carin (Rockville, MD)

We attended a special memorial program tonight at the Latrun tank museum to hear stories from the families of men and women who lost their lives. It was a truly touching memorial and one that brought to reality all that Israelis have endured and how precious life is, and to cherish every moment we have with those we love and care about.
 
Today’s ceremony for Yom Hazikaron sparked some tears for me. We listened to the stories of soldiers who decided to dedicate their lives to serving the State of Israel and unfortunately, passed away too young. Being in Israel among people here to learn and love the state, felt like a new home and opportunity. I now have a new appreciation for those who fight for our people and their families.” – Hannah Dolen (Bexley, OH)
 
“Tonight was really special, considering that in America on Memorial Day, only people who’ve been directly impacted, think deeply about it. Since everyone in Israel serves in the military, there’s more of a unified feel and sense of connection that everyone across the nation is mourning together.” – Hannah San Sebastian (Olney, MD)
 
“The memorial service we participated in tonight was incredibly moving. I found myself tearing up as we heard stories of multiple soldiers who had fallen while serving in the IDF. Israeli culture encourages people not to clap during the service, which created an uninterrupted chain of beautiful music and memories, making the stories even more powerful as they built on top of each other, one after the other.” – Abigail Klipfel, (Providence, RI)

We’re off to the Jewish Quarter tomorrow, and we will still be observing Yom Hazikaron and visiting the Western Wall.

B’Shalom,
Sherrie

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