Israel Journey #1: Adventures in the Western Galilee

Our first Shabbat in Israel was relaxing at Lochmei HaGetaot. We experienced a creative service using contemporary music and lyrics provided by our students and a Torah study that helped them explore their Jewish values. But mostly we rested and enjoyed the kibbutz swimming pool. After Shabbat we enjoyed the night out on a disco boat ride on the Mediterranean. Sunday we toured the Crusader fortress at Acco and learned how it served as a prison during the period of the British Mandate.

After Acco we made our way north to the very top of Israel where it borders Lebanon. We toured the grottoes of Rosh Hanikra and marveled at how the waters of the Mediterranean Sea have carved out these majestic caverns.

We enjoyed lunch at a mall where many experienced their first Israeli McDonalds. That night we checked into our new location – Kibbutz Gonen.Monday we explored the mystical city of Tzefat and learned and saw firsthand from an Israeli artist how he depicts the concepts of Kabbalah in art. We had time to stop by the famous Tzefat candle factory and tour the artists gallery.

Following Tzefat we spent two hours rafting down the Jordan River. And as we ratted we participated in our first community service project of collecting trash from the river as we rafter. The amounts we collected truly helped beautify the Jordan and Israel.

Today we were to participate in our next community service project and glean vegetables for Israeli food pantries. Unfortunately we had to cancel due to the unusually hot temperatures we’re experiencing. Instead we toured a museum at the kibbutz showcasing the kibbutz’ active role in secretly collecting and hiding weapons from the British prior to the War of Independence. Now we’re off for lunch and a relaxing and cooling swim at the beautiful fresh waters of Sachne. The adventure continues…
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