Tuesday, Dec. 29: Update from Max Lerman
Today we went to a synagogue in Tiberias and learned about some of the city's history. We walked and shopped around Tiberias. It's a beautiful city. Then we had lunch and some coffee at Aroma. Afterward, we went on a jeep tour through the mountains and had an amazing view of the Sea of Galilee. Later we toured Mekorot, which is a water purification plant. There we learned about Israel's water problems and how the country is dealing with them. To end the day, we went back to the host family's house. It was a great day!
Monday, Dec. 28: Update from Rachel Brod Farber
Today, we woke up in our host families’ houses and met early in the morning to go on the bus. Most of us stopped at Aroma, an amazing Israeli coffee place. We then went on a boat ride on the Kinneret. This was an incredible experience and unlike anything I have ever done in Israel before. We went really fast on the boats and flew over waves while looking at beautiful scenery. We then went to the Israelis’ school, and we were taught by their ecology teacher. We took a tour of the school and helped build a piece of art using mud! Then, because we don't get enough food, we stopped to have lunch at a restaurant with an amazing view of the Kinneret. Then, we went to Kibbutz Degana Alef and went to the chocolate factory. We made our own chocolate, which was really fun. Afterward, we went on a tour of the kibbutz and finished our day with a trip to the hot springs of the Jordan Valley. We all got to go into the hot springs and then enjoy a potluck dinner from our Israeli hosts. It was a really great day!!
Friday, Dec. 25: Update from Ben Savin
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. We have had an action packed first few days. After a lesson in the flexibility that travel can require, we've been reunited with our luggage. More joyful, however, was reuniting with our Israeli teen counterparts. Today we explored the Citadel of David, Machaneh Yehudah, and Shabbat at the Kotel. We also spent time in the Jerusalem mall, buying a few necessities for the day. So proud of this group for keeping the most positive and optimistic outlook even in the face of travel delays and luggage delays. We've looked at it as part of the adventure, and kept smiles on our faces. Looking forward to more fun to come! The food is great and the weather is sunny brisk.
Saturday, Dec. 26: Update from Rachel Bloom
Today we spent Shabbat in Jerusalem. We got to sleep in and then went to optional services at a beautiful Orthodox synagogue. We then went on a guided walking tour through the Old City. We stopped at Mount Zion and looked over the Old City. We then went to the Kotel for the second time and walked through the Christian quarter. We went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This was a really great experience because it is not something most Jews do when they come to Israel. It is important to be knowledgeable about other religions and accept that Jerusalem is a very holy city for Christians and Muslims as well. We then walked back to the hotel to have down time and later enjoyed a nice conversation lead by people from Stand With Us. We ended the evening with a nice dinner and a shopping trip to Ben Yehuda Street. It was an amazing day! Hope everything is good back home.
Sunday, Dec. 27: Update of the day from Sam Gantman
Today was a lot of fun. We started with breakfast at 8 a.m., and then we left the hotel. Leaving Jerusalem was a little sad, but we all were excited to go north. On our way north, we stopped at Lido Beach to talk about how the Dead Sea was drying up and how the problem needed to be handled. After that, we went to Casa el Yahud. There, we talked about the Jordan River and pollution. Next, we went to Naharin and we saw the zero canal. For lunch, we stopped at the Afikim Kibutz. All the food was amazing, but my favorite was the schnitzel. Our last stop was at Ilaniya. We took a walk through nature, talked about many different plants and herbs, and we made poyke. After this, we went to our host family's house. For dinner, we all went to Burgus Burger Bar. It was so much fun to explore the parts of Israel that I had no clue existed. My favorite part about this trip has been hanging out with the Israelis. I did not expect them to be so similar to us, and it has been such a great time getting to know them!