Israel Journey 1: Update #6

Dear Friends and Families,

On Tuesday, we spent the day learning about Kibbutz Keturah. We learned how the Kibbutz thrives in the desert and how it protects its ecological treasures. We explored all the grounds and learned about how Kibbutz society works. We even got to solve some real life kibbutz issues.

From there we traveled to the Judean desert and enjoyed a wonderful dinner feast at a Bedouin tent. We even went camel riding! It was totally fun! After dinner, we star gazed in the beautiful desert sky. Then we had a bonfire and smores and sang songs around the campfire.

The next morning we woke up at 4 AM and traveled to Masada. We climbed Masada and watched the beautiful sunrise. It was a hard climb, but we did it! The sunrise was breathtaking. We learned all about the history of Masada and even enjoyed some role-playing. Then we descended from from Masada down the snake path. It was hard and taxing but we felt very accomplished when we got to the bottom!

After breakfast we went to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and hiked to a beautiful waterfall. Then we went to the Dead Sea and floated in the salty water.

We travelled north for an evening in Jerusalem. It was nice to get out of the desert sun and back to more pleasant weather!

Thursday morning we started at the Supreme Court and toured the Knesset. We even got to sit in on a live court session. We didn’t understand all the words that were being spoken, but we did understand the intonation of the lawyers and the judges.

From there we went to Yad LaKashish, Lifeline for the Old. This is an organization in Jerusalem that employs Russian elderly immigrants, teaches them new skills, and allows them to craft Judaica gifts for everybody. We had a lot of fun shopping in their Judaica shop. You can look up Yad LaKashish on Google to learn more about it. It was very inspiring and the teens loved being there.

Then we went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum. We toured and  really learned a lot.

From there we went to Hebrew Union College to learn about pluralism in Israel, the Law of Return, and issues happening at the Western Wall. It was very interesting.

Then we went shopping and for dinner on Ben Yehuda Street. It was a long day and a fun night out!

This morning, we began at Mount Herrzl National Cemetery. Then we went to Machane Yehuda, the open air market place. We shopped and had lunch and really saw the culture of Jerusalem before Shabbat. Now, we are preparing for Shabbat at the Wall. We can’t believe this is our last Shabbat together. We are already getting sad about it.

Shabbat shalom!!!
Israel Journey #1 Bus

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