Israel Journey 4: Update #1

Shalom from Israel!

After our flight to Israel, the teens continuing from Central Europe enjoyed time to relax in the hotel in Jerusalem. Wednesday afternoon was a great start to our time in Israel! We enjoyed free time and lunch in the Machaneh Yehuda market where many bought souvenirs and authentic Israeli foods. We continued on to the Sataf Caves where we explored the natural formations and learned about the different types of stalagmites and stalactites. From there we returned to the airport to greet our new friends arriving to Israel on the group flight from New York. After a full group welcome, the teens met our wonderful guide, Henry, and the medic, Tal. We shared travel stories and got to know each other over dinner at the hotel, which was followed by staff introductions and some icebreakers. We have loved seeing the two groups mesh together so much already.

On Thursday, we started our day in the Old City of Jerusalem! We said a Shecheyanu together overlooking the Old City, and played a couple more fun group games. We then entered the Old City through the Zion gate, where we ran into a bar mitzvah celebration. Our teens had a great time dancing, singing, and clapping along. After the exciting start to their Jerusalem visit, we explored the Jewish Quarter and had more time to get food and shop. After lunch, teens visited the Kotel, slipping personal notes into the Wall and saying prayers. We had discussion about the male and female sides of the wall, and some boys chose to wear tefillin. This was a highlight of the day for many. We then took a trip underground as we walked through the water aqueducts under Jerusalem. With views overlooking Jerusalem, within Jerusalem, and under Jerusalem, teens gained a holistic understanding of Jerusalem’s history, culture, and people.

After a long and exciting day, we returned to the hotel where the group had a couple hours to relax and freshen up before dinner and a fun night on Ben Yehuda Street. Teens enjoyed watching and dancing along with the many lively groups performing outside! Many took time to buy ice cream, snacks, and souvenirs while they strolled along this famous street.

We are excited to continue our journey tomorrow up North as we head to Akko for Shabbat. Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom and a restful weekend! Laila tov!

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