Trek Israel: Shabbat in Tel Aviv and Neve Ilan

Please enjoy these updates from our participants:

July 7, Trek Israel Day 9

I was woken up by my roommates Josh and Lior complaining about my alarm. The hostel provided us with a variety of breakfast option, but I stuck with eggs and pudding, by 9 we boarded the bus. The first activity of the day was river rafting on the Jordan. After separating into groups of six, we were thrust out upon the water with two paddles and very little advice.


Among my raft, Josh A, Matthew, Ethan, Grant and Lior, Josh and I took the paddles and sat in the back of the raft. Josh felt that his skills from crew/rowing would carry over and I felt the same about my kayaking in Wisconsin and California. Every person in my raft got a chance to paddle, but Grant preferred the method of getting out of the raft and dragging it behind him. While on the water we had water fights with other rafts, including Israelis, Brits and Americans!


One raft belonged to our other group and war was declared. We went back and forth attacking and defending our watery territory. There were a bunch of families on the side of the river partying and playing music as well. Following rafting, we had pizza of all things for lunch. Our second activity of the day was a stop at a shoe factory for authentic Israeli made sandals and some ice cream.


Our third activity was picking squash for the needy in Israel, through Leket Israel. We filled 12 crates of squash witch turned out to be 4.8 tons; enough to feed 1000 families. While picking, we were making jokes and having fun, although it was incredibly hot out. Our guide, Meir, learned about Thanksgiving as well. We had a two hour bus ride to our next hotel between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.


Upon arrival, we got laundry ready, yay for clean clothes. At dinner, my table of photographers complained about not being able to take photos of the sunset because their devices were charging in their rooms. After dinner, Lior, Grant and I sat on a trampoline with ten other people from the other BBYO trips getting to know each other. Ps. During hot seat interviews on the bus, I learned that Sasha and I have the same taste in music which was awesome.
Good Night,
– Koby


July 8 & 9, Trek Israel Days 10&11
This weekend we celebrated Shabbat in Tel Aviv and Neve Ilan. Well only some of us celebrated with the group because some of the people were on host family weekend. For those who did not go, we started the day by going to the Yitzach Rabin Centre. However, as a surprise, went went to Rabin Square instead; the site where he was assassinated.
While there, we asked Israelis questions about Israeli culture. My group ended up talking to two girls our age and it was so interesting because they told us so much about Israeli culture as well as being interested in our lives back home. After Rabin square, we had the opportunity to go to the shuk. It was very crowded, but so cool to go to an actual shuk, because I have always learned about them in Hebrew school.
We the walked to Banana Beach and enjoyed our last Mediterranean beach. Then it was time to say Shabbat Shalom, pray, and eat a delicious Shabbat dinner. On Saturday we were able to sleep in which was very nice and necessary. Our Shabbat service was a yoga class with our very own Drew. We did not do much for the rest of the day, as we truly relaxed on Shabbat. Later at night we celebrated Havdallah with Journey 3 and traveled to Azreli Mall in Tel Aviv. It was so cool to see American stores in an Israeli mall. There we reunited with our friends who went on Host family weekend. It was truly a great Shabbat and I am so excited for our journey in Southern Israel.
– Rachel
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