Monday, July 11th

This morning the group headed to the Golan Heights. They had a morning water hike at one of the streams leading to the Kinneret. They headed to Kibbutz El Rom and visited the “Oz 77” monument on the very battlefield where the tanks clashed in 1973. There they viewed a short film about the heroic Oz 77 Tank Brigade which fought against overwhelming odds to successfully defend the Golan during the Yom Kippur War. This afternoon they went to an overlook from Har Bental where they learned about the importance of the Golan Heights for Israel. For dinner the group went out to Tverya and had some free time to walk around. Tonight they will have a “Gadna” program prepared by their staff.

Monday, July 11th

Today the group left Haifa and headed to Jerusalem to the Fuchsberg Center for Conservative Judaism, their home for the next few days. They put their bags in their rooms and left for The City of David to learn about the First Temple period. The highlight was walking through Hezekayah’s Tunnel, a water aqueduct that brought water to the city during the time of King Hezekayah (700 BCE). They had a wonderful time splashing in the water! Group 3 returned to the Fuchsberg center for some free time. After dinner they attended a session with Rabbi Paul Freedman.

Monday, July 11th

Today the group began their day at sunrise at the desert. They davened Shacharit separately, each finding their own space among the sand dunes and rocks. Later they learned to navigate their way through the desert with a hike. In the afternoon the group travelled to Eilat, the southernmost tip of Israel. After dinner they went on a disco boat ride with group 7.

Monday, July 11th

Group 1 woke up at 4 am and headed to Masada. They climbed to the top of Masada to watch a beautiful sunrise and daven Shacharit. They had a tour of the ruins at the top, guided by their Israeli councilors. After hiking down the mountain, they ate breakfast at Masada youth hostel. The next stop was the Ein Gedi springs, where they had a nice hike to a waterfall, and then floated in the Dead Sea. They returned to Arad were they had some free time and after dinner they had group bonding time.

Sunday, July 10th

Bus H had an enjoyable Shabbat complete with singing, davening, discussions and plenty of time to rest and hang out. In the morning the group began the trip to Phoenix. When they arrived they volunteered at the Jewish Council for Special Needs by holding dance party for the residents and helping them prepare gift packages for their Rosh HaShana fundraiser. The wheelniks then visited Rawhide Western Town where they saw the old west style shops and went to the petting zoo. In the evening, Bus H returned to their hotel for dinner and a lip-syncing competition.

Sunday, July 10th

Today Bus G made their way from Portland back to Seattle. Their first stop was at the Wild Waves theme park where they rode water slides and roller coasters. The group then attended the DragonFest which was an international Asian heritage festival. The wheelniks had a great time participating in the drum circles and dancing and also had the chance to try bubble tea. When the group returned to Seattle they watched a film that taught them about the Jewish history of Pikes Place market. In the evening, Bus G had dinner at a local shul and then met up with their host families for the evening.

Sunday, July 10th

This morning Bus E had a creative shacharit service where they used sock puppets to aid in learning about the content of some of the prayers. The group began their day of touring at the CNN Center where they learned about the media and watched the news being broadcast live. Next, the group toured the Center for Puppetry Arts.  Later, Bus E visited the World of Coca Cola where they learned how the beverage is made and got the chance to taste various flavors and Coca Cola products from around the world. Bus E then had dinner and headed over to a local Laundromat to do some laundry. For some of the wheelniks this was their first time washing their own clothes and the staff and other wheelniks made sure to help them separate the colors from the whites. After everything was neatly folded they returned to their hotel and headed to bed.

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