Israel Journey #4 (Bus A): Our Final Days in Israel

We ended our amazing journey with a busy weekend filled with lots of activities. Friday morning was a bit heavy because we started the day at Har Hertzl museum and Mt. Hertzl national cemetery. This was a really moving experience for everyone having the opportunity to visit the grave site where many fallen soldiers now lay. We heard stories from Shlomi, our medic, and Elad, one of our staff, Israelis who had experiences serving in the IDF. It was a rough morning but we left the site with a new appreciation for the soldiers who risked their lives on a daily basis.

We visited Machne Yehuda for pizur lunch and time for shopping before heading back to the hotel in Jerusalem for Shabbat. Our Kabbalat Shabbat was planned by our Shabbat committee comprised of a few participants. We walked to the western wall for one last Shabbat celebration as a family, which was a favorite activity for many! Kids had the chance to sing and dance with friends and strangers alike and remember why we all stand for the land of Israel. We finished up Shabbat with dinner at the hotel and a few fun team building games before bed.

Saturday morning programming started after a late wake up at 10:30am! We allowed the kids to reminisce on everything we did these past three weeks together and talk about all the special moments. We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting the Israel museum to learn a little about the history of Jerusalem and the state of Israel. The Shabbat committee planned a wonderful closing activity for the group before dinner where everyone shared their “lows, highs, and heroes” from the week. It was a great conclusion to Shabbat. We had havdalah then was led on a graffiti tour around the streets of Jerusalem.

Sadly, our trip is coming to an end and Sunday is our last full day as a group. We started the morning at Machon Ayalon, where we learned about how and where ammunition was made underground for many years. We had pizur lunch back at Carmel market in Tel Aviv to give everyone a little extra time for last minute shopping. Next stop was Independence Hall, where we learned about the creation of the state of Israel. We headed to Neot Kedumim for our final activity to plant a tree (our legacy) in the land of Israel for future generations. We had a closing activity where we all drew on a map of Israel to commemorate the travels from our time together in Israel this summer. Our night ended with some sad goodbyes but lots of “see you laters!”

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