Israel Journey #1: Lending a Hand and Learning About the Holocaust

Hello everybody!

We have been up to lots of different things over the last few days! Day 10 started off with a gorgeous view of the Bahai Gardens, located on Mt. Carmel. It was truly a beautiful sight and gave us lots of picture-taking opportunities. The gardens are also known as “The Terraces of the Bahai Faith.” This is because the gardens are the spiritual center of the Bahai religion, so we got to experience some more of the religious diversity of Israel. 

After witnessing the magic of the Bahai gardens, we continued on and had lunch in Zichron Yaakov. This city was one of the first new communities established in Israel because of the hard work of Jewish, European immigrants in the 1880s. We all thoroughly enjoyed being in a place that had such a major impact on modern Israel. 

One of the most impactful moments of the day was visiting Atlit Detention Camps. Here, we discussed the adversity that Jews in Israel faced after fleeing Europe, during the post-Holocaust era. As young Jews, it is extremely important that we continue to educate ourselves on the Holocaust and that we continue to listen to survivors. Today’s visit to the detention camps allowed us to gain perspective on an aspect of the Holocaust that is not always considered.  

After learning about the experiences that were had at Atlit, we got to head to the beach! We took surfing lessons, hung out on the beach, and had a BBQ. Even though we all had a blast while surfing, the best part was being able to bond with one another and watch a beautiful sunset. We are so excited to spend the night in Tel Aviv. 

Day 11 was also a jam-packed day! We started off in the lively city of Tel Aviv. Being in the city allowed us to gain a lot of insight into Israel’s cultural and economic capital. 

Next, we participated in a volunteer project where we packed fresh produce for the hungry of Israel. Together, we were able to pack over 2000 watermelons! Participant, Chloe, explained how, “It felt really good to give back to those in need.” We are so fortunate to have the chance to travel around the Jewish homeland, so it was our turn to help out and lend a hand. 

For lunch, we went to Dr. Shakshukah, and it was AMAZING. This is located in a city called Jaffa where we were also able to explore a local flea market. Jaffa is one of the oldest parts of Tel Aviv, so it was really interesting to be able to witness historic Israel and modern Israel come together. 

Following our Jaffa tour, we went off to Rabin Square. This is the memorial site of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Rabin was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel who served two terms in office, and it was so nice to learn about his life and legacy. 

Finally, we ended the day with a delicious, traditional Ethiopian dinner at Balinjera. While the food was outstanding, the best part of the meal was being able to hear the life story of the owner of the restaurant. Traveling around Israel has been amazing so far, but being able to hear the stories of those who lead lives different from ours is so eye-opening and beautiful. 





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