Israel Journey #1 1st Shabbat in Israel

Shalom Friends and Family,

On Friday we spent the day in Jerusalem where we went on a walk from the Jaffa Gate to the Zion Gate. While on our walk we met an amazaing man named Albert who spoke to us about the Bible and the Christian’s belief of Jersualem with a connection back to Judaism. After that we explored the Jewish quarter and ate some Israeli snacks. This was our first opportunity to explore new culture on our own. Afterward we headed north toward the Golan Heights on a beautiful drive on the way to our kibbutz to preprare for Shabbat.

We had a lovely Shabbat experience where we started with a Friday night service led by Amanda, Jordan, and Theo overlooking a stunning sunset and view of the Kineret. Then we joined together for our first Shabbat meal where the group disconnected from their phones and enjoyed th eprseence of each other. Friday evening consisted of much lauhter as we did a taletn show consisting of a handstand contest, singing, dancing, and more1

Staturday morning, we truely embraced Shabat and had an opportunity to sleep in and relax which was much needed for evreyone. We broke into small groups to have discussions about what Shabbat looks like for everyone at home, wha thtey want to experience in Israel, and what htey want to bring home. The afternoon was spent playing basketball, spending time by the pool, or taking an afternoon nap. We closed Shabbat with Havdalah and an amazing boat cruise filled with dancing and music on the kineret.

Today we went on Jepp tours through the Golan eights enhjjoying the views and each other’s presences. We even stopped at an old hospital that is filled with graffiti art and enjoyed a nice watermelon snack. We then went on a waterfall hike and springs where we spent the afternoon hanging out in nature. We ended the evening learning about the Druze and eating at their village.

We are very excited to see what the next couple of days hold as we head toward Tzfat, Haifa, Akko, and more!

Here are some quotes from the teens from the last few days:

“My Shabbat was very memorable, I tried to stay off my phone as much as possible and spend time with the group. I love Shabbat.” Noah F (Dallas, TX)

“I thought Shabbat was more meaningful being here, as I had the opportunity to connect in ways I haven’t before. I can’t wait to see what else this trip has to offer.” Caroline S (Youngstown, OH)

“I conquered a swarm of bees on a nature hike. This trip is getting me out of my comfort zone.” Madeline A (Kansas City, KS)

“it’s been a blast, I’m having a lot of fun. Very grateful to be here and making a lot of friends.” Noah W (Cincinnati, OH)

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