Israel Journey 5C: Update #4

Dear Friends and Family,

Today’s update comes from one of our teens, Sarah Wilner. Enjoy… !

This past Thursda, we visited a very special exhibit, the “Invitation to Silence.” Invitation to Silence is a deaf museum with tours lead by deaf guides. During the tour we were not allowed to talk or communicate through sign language. This took away our communication with each other and with our tour guides. They lead us with hand gestures and facial expressions. We walked through, and did many different activities to mimic what it is like to be deaf. At the end we sat with our tour guides and were able to ask them any question we wanted. We would speak and our question would be signed to our guide by an interpreter. It was an amazing experience that opened everyone’s eyes. We headed back to the hotel for dinner and then enjoyed Israeli dancing!! We had a fun time learning different dances!

Friday morning we began our drive to our new hotel in Jerusalem. We stopped at the Diaspora Museum where we explored the relationship between Jewish people around the world. We walked through the newest addition to the museum. We first saw replicas of temples from around the world. After examining them we realized we had been at some of these temples while in Europe! It was a really cool experience to be able to say we saw these famous temples just a few weeks ago. We continued through the museum where we listened to Jewish immigrant storie that illustrated for us all personal perspectives of immigrating to Israel. Our next stop was a room filled with information about famous Jewish people throughout the years. The whole group enjoyed this room since it was interactive and full of games and activities.

We then headed to the Carmel Market for lunch and time to shop. Afterwards, we drove to our hotel and began prepping for Shabbat. Unfortunately, we were unable to go to the Western Wall for Shabbat so we celebrated in the hotel. We were all disappointed that we could not have the special experience of Shabbat at the Western Wall so we made it special at the hotel! We said a prayer for the State of Israel expressing our hope for the future of Israel. We had a very delicious meal at the hotel. We finished the night with our oneg where we played Family Feud and ate a lot of food!

We had a late wake up so we could relax for Shabbat.  After lunch we all walked to a nearby park. We played cards, soccer, football, and even meditated. After a ten minute walk we arrived at the Knesset which had the symbol of Israel and a menorah. Later in the day, we relaxed at the hotel before dinner, participated in a Havdallah service and enjoyed some shopping near the Old City. Then we headed to the Western Wall to go in the underground tunnels! We walked through along the Western Wall underground and learned about the origins of this area.

Sunday morning we headed off to Yad LaKashish, a organization helping the elderly. They provide elderly people a job and a feeling of purpose. They teach elderly people new trades such as book binding, pottery, silk, and metal working. We learned that most of the people they help had unrelated professions earlier in their lives. We walked through all the workshops and then visited the gift shop. All the proceeds go to the organization since it was all homemade by the elderly workers!

Then we were off to Mahane Yehuda market for lunch and free time. We then visitied Mt. Herzl cemetery and learned about how it was founded. Before dinner we began prepping for Yad Vashem which we will be going to on Monday. After dinner we went to Ben Yehuda Street where we ate lots of ice cream and did some more shopping!

We can’t wait for another great week… !!

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