Western Europe Discovery 1: Update #2

Western Europe 1
Update #2

Friday
by Alyssa Miller and Elana Sharff

Friday morning we took the Tube and visited Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse built in 1599. Here we learned about the all male casts used during Shakespeare’s times, the “penny stinkers” or peasants who stood in the yard of the theatre, and staged cannon fire that led to the theatre’s burning down in 1619.

Next we headed to Borough Market, an outdoor market filled with exotic foods, freshly baked goods, produce, cheeses, and more. After a lunch of fun street food at the market, we visited GIFT (Giving it Forward Today). GIFT is a charity that provides kosher meals to over 2,000 people each and every week. We assembled both toiletry and food packages for needy families within  London’s Jewish community.

Friday evening we attended Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Western Marble Arch synagogue and were warmly welcomed by its rabbi. We learned that the former Chief Rabbi of the U.K. had at one time been a member of the congregation. At the synagogue we enjoyed a delicious meal and festive songs in the spirit of Shabbat. After a long and exciting day, we were very much ready for a day of rest.

Saturday
by Mathew Driben

Saturday marked our first Shabbat in Europe. Our group took advantage of the day of rest with a late wake-up and a leisurely morning. At noon we gathered in the park for sports and Shabbat activities, which included yoga and discussion questions about our Jewish identities. In the afternoon we walked to the British Museum,
where we participated in a museum-wide scavenger hunt as we took in highlights such as the Rosetta Stone. The Harry Potter fans among us rejoiced when we went to King’s Cross and took pictures at the magical Platform 9 3/4!

A superb buffet dinner followed and we marked the end of Shabbat with Havdalah in the park. Here is a limerick that I hope captures the essence of our fabulous day:

Last night we saw trains at King’s Cross;
The British Museum was the boss.
Though Friday brought challah,
Saturday–Havdalah!
Those back home are just at a loss.

Cheers!

Sunday
by Samantha Frank
Today in the morning we went to Oxford and walked around. Once we were done there, we embarked on a journey to Scotland by bus. It was a long ride with several stops, but we all got to see the pretty views of Scotland and got to spend more time with each other! As the day had come to an end, we hung out a little and then decided it was time to go to bed. We can conclude it was a great day!

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