Group 8: Eastern Europe/Israel Pilgrimage
July 25, 2012
Group 8 spent the morning in the Western Galilee; their first stop was at Kibbutz Lavi. They had the opportunity to see how a kibbutz operates and functions. Their next stop was an overlook from the top of the Carmel mountain. This was followed by lunch at the Usafia Druze Village where they were hosted to a kosher and delicious Druze meal, which is one of the food highlights of the summer. They learned more about the Druze religion and the unique rules in the small community. They visited the ancient city of Acco and had the chance to explore a crusader fortress. After, they made their way to Rosh Hanikra where they walked through beautiful grottos that were formed by water hitting the rocks for hundreds of years. In the evening, they returned to the base to enjoy free time and a Social Action and Tikum Olam program.
July 24, 2012
Group 8 started their day in Tel Aviv, where their first stop was Independence Hall, where David Ben Gurion declared Israel an independent country. They went to Dialogue in the Dark where they were led by an experienced tour guide who was blind, through darkness. After lunch they went to Kikar Rabin, the site of Yitzchak Rabin’s final hours, as he went to a peace rally and was then assassinated. Then they headed up north to Kibbutz Hannaton where they will have some free time and games in the evening.
July 23, 2012
Group 8 started their day at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Then they went to the Herzl museum, located on Mount Herzl. They learned about Herzl and his dreams. They walked around Mount Herzl, which serves not only as the Israel Defense Forces’ official military cemetery but also as the burial site for prominent Zionists, Israeli politicians and figures who have greatly influenced the development of the state. They stopped at the graves of Herzl, Yoni Netanyahu and Michael Levin. After having lunch, they drove to Tel Aviv and had a tour of the Olympic museum where they heard stories about the Olympic winners from Israel and their achievements. In the evening they had some free time in Tel Aviv.
July 20, 2012
Today, the group learned about “New Jerusalem,” which traces the line that was Israel’s border with Jordan before 1967. They first went to the Armon Hanatziv promenade which overlooks most of Jerusalem and offers a beautiful view of the city and from there they saw a checkpoint on Derech Bet Lechem. They then visited Ammunition Hill, walking through the trenches that used to be part of a Jordanian bunker that was the center of battle in 1967. In the afternoon they stopped at Shuk Machane Yehuda to buy treats and good before returning to base and preparing for their first Shabbat together inJerusalem! Shabbat shalom.
July 19, 2012
Group 8 left Arad this morning and headed to Tel Maresha for an awesome archeological dig! Someone even found a bowl from hundreds of years ago still fully intact! They also engaged in an interesting dialogue about Israel’s history. Then they went spelunking, which is the exploration of caves, in ancient tunnels. They arrived at Beit Guvrin, ate lunch and went swimming. After, they made their way back to Jerusalem where they had some time to rest and have a BBQ dinner before going to the lapid event. This event takes place in Modiin, organized by the Jewish Agency. Together with 1500 youth from Israel and the Jewish communities around the world, they celebrated the 152nd anniversary of Herzl and enjoyed a performance by various Israeli musicians and dancers such as Tararam. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
July 18, 2012
Group 8 woke up at an early hour of 5:15am to continue their desert experience with a hike before sunrise where they davened shacharit and watched the sunrise. They ate a delicious breakfast and went to visit Sde Boker for a swim and lunch. Then they toured Ben Gurion’s home and grave while learning more about his dream to make the desert as green as possible by planting many trees. Next they drove to Arad and had some free time before having dinner and a group bonding program in the evening.
July 17, 2012
Group 8 left Eilat this morning and headed to the Alpaca Ranch, Ranch which is the only farm in the world where over 400 exotic alpacas and llamas are raised and where the entire process of growing and spinning their fur can be observed. Then they got to go rappelling down the side of a mountain; everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience! In the evening their desert experience began: they learned how to prepare their own dinner, they went on an evening hike and had a pleasant night star gazing program.