Trek Israel: Update #5

Trek Israel… Update #5!

Friday
On Friday we went to Tel Aviv’s Diaspora Museum to learn about how the Jewish people have been spread around the world, learn about what temples are like in other parts of the world, and walk the Jewish Hall of Fame complete with interactive games and displays about various Jewish figures. The teens also very much enjoyed the exhibit specifically dedicated to Robert Zimmerman, more commonly known as Bob Dylan. After the museum, we stopped for a quick lunch in Carmel Market, and then headed straight to the beach for surfing lessons! We were impressed (and maybe a little jealous) of our teens who were pros and stood up way quicker than we did! While half the group surfed, the other half practiced team building activities relating to balance and memorization. Surfing lessons took us straight to dinner time, when we headed back to our hotel for Shabbat services. Our own Anna, Allie, and Ethan W. did an awesome job leading services in a nice outdoor area outside our hotel. We reflected on our week, remarking on our wonder at completing our four day trek and our excitement for the week to come…

Saturday
On Saturday we had a much needed day of rest. I don’t think we’ve ever truly appreciated Shabbat the way we did this past weekend! After so much activity and hiking, it was amazing to have a day to relax on the hotel’s beautiful grounds. After a quick morning activity where we assessed the value of various Jewish artifacts to determine which one we would want to bring with us to Mars to represent the Jewish people, teens were allowed to choose one of three “shabb-options,” (see what we did there?) of peaceful activities for the afternoon –  book clubs, card games and frisbee. After a nice dinner, and havdalah service with two other BBYO Passport Israel groups, we headed to the Azrieli Mall, where we welcomed back our kids participating in the homestay weekend, and did a bit of shopping, too!

Sunday
On Sunday we went on an archaeological dig! We went down into underground caves to help uncover artifacts from over two thousand years ago. Participants found bits of pottery and bones, and by the end of our time there our “finds” bucket was pretty hefty. From there we headed to a few different lookout points, including one by the Tomb of David Ben Gurion and his wife, which offered an amazing view of the desert. After the lookout, kids napped on the bus before arriving at our final destination of the day: absolutely gorgeous outdoor accommodations in the Negev Desert! A large dune near our camp offered a spectacular view of the surrounding desert, and many of us ate dinner watching the sun set in the west, and stayed as the moon began to rise in the east.

Our very best,
Emily, Nina, and Koby

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