Israel Journey 5B: Update #4

Hello Family and Friends!

As our trip reaches its conclusion, the group has been enjoying every minute in this amazing country!

On Sunday morning we left Jerusalem and headed south to the Negev, visiting a munitions factory that was hidden in a kibbutz prior to the creation of the State of Israel. After stopping for lunch, we visited the tomb of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister whose dream it was to enable Jews to live in the desert region. As we drove to our kibbutz, we traveled through the Ramon crater, which is nearly 25 miles long! Once we arrived at Kibbutz Ketura we enjoyed an amazing BBQ and pool party to finish an exciting day!

On Monday, we visited Israel’s most southern point, Eilat! We spent time at the beach banana boating and then enjoyed discovering the underwater world through snorkelling. After stopping at the famous Yotvata dairy on the way back, we enjoyed the afternoon by meeting members of BBYO UK and Ireland and learning about the differences between our two regions!

On Tuesday we left Ketura and began driving north. But first, we had a tour of the kibbutz and learned how a kibbutz operates through a system of self-governance. After lunch we headed to our Bedouin experience. When we arrived we enjoyed a unique experience riding camels! We were treated to a Bedouin-style dinner and a bonfire. We then slept under the stars looking forward to climbing Masada in the morning!

We woke up very early and left the Bedouin tents for our sunrise climb up Masada! We were the first group up and had an amazing spot to witness the sunrise! We learned about how the Romans built the ramp to reach the top and how the Jews had committed suicide before the Romans had got there. Before it became too hot, we descended down the snake path to enjoyed a well deserved breakfast!

We then spent the rest of the day cooling off, first in the natural springs of Ein Gedi and then floating in the Dead Sea! After heading back to Jerusalem, we showered and rested, had dinner, and then ended the night by discussing our expectations and thoughts on visiting Yad Vashem the next day.

We woke up in Jerusalem and headed to Yad Vashem, the World’s Holocaust Remembrance Center. We had a guided tour of the museum and were particularly moved when visiting the memorial to the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis. We had a pizza lunch overlooking the Knesset before visiting in the afternoon. We later heard about modern Jewry in Israel and the struggle for religious pluralism being fought today. We finished an intense day relaxing on Ben Yehuda Street, eating and shopping for souvenirs.

Today we visited Mt. Herzl where we learned about Israel’s first pioneers and visited the cemetery dedicated to Israeli soldiers and political figures. We then had the opportunity to be a part of the pre-Shabbat rush at Jerusalem’s famous Machane Yehuda market before we enjoy Shabbat together!

– Your Israel Journey 5B Staff

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