Group 5: Israel Pilgrimage/Poland Seminar (2nd Departure)

July 9, 2013

Today the group had an exciting and fun day in Eilat! They went snorkeling and observed the sea landscape in the Red Sea (which is in fact blue!). Then they went to the underwater observatory, where they saw sharks, tortoises, and an entire array of fish. They had a delicious lunch in the Hallelujah restaurant followed by a little time to relax. They all then spent some time practicing for Ha’event before going on an awesome disco boat ride around Eilat!

July 8, 2013

The group spent a wonderful night at the Bedouin tent and woke up bright and early for a delicious breakfast before heading out to climb Masada. On top of Masada, they davened a spiritual shacharit while looking at the beautiful view. They continued to Ein Gedi, where they got to spend some time in the fresh water spring. After that, they headed to the Dead Sea, painted themselves in mud, and enjoyed floating around in the water! Eilat was next and they will staying there for the next two nights. In the evening they will be spending some free time on the promenade of Eilat.

July 7, 2013

This morning the group headed to the City of David to learn more about the First Temple period. They were given a tour of the area and then walked through the Old City. Their highlight was walking through Hezekaya’s Tunnel, a water aqueduct that brought water to the city during the time of King Hezekayah (700 BCE). The group then began their journey down south to Kfar Hanokdim where they enjoyed camel riding and Bedouin Hospitality which promises delicious food, a fantastic bonfire, and time practicing and preparing for Ha’event which is just around the corner!


July 5, 2013

This morning, the group did an archeological dig at Tel Maresha at which they got to find some ancient artifacts! Then, they went spelunking, which is the exploration of caves, in ancient tunnels, and had an opportunity to go swimming at Beit Guvrin. The group then had some free time at Machane Yehuda, the open market in Jerusalem, where they bought fresh fruits, vegetables and delicious treats before Shabbat. They then returned to the Fuchsburg Center to prepare for Shabbat, where they will be joined by Rabbi Dave Levy, USCJ’s Director of Teen Learning, and his family. They are all very much excited to be spending their first Shabbat together in Israel, praying, singing, learning and just relaxing together. Shabbat Shalom to everyone!

July 4, 2013

The group was greeted this morning by mitzvah hero Danny Siegel, who came to talk about Mitzvah Day. They then headed to the Southern city of Sderot and went to a lookout point before continuing to the town of Sderot to hear firsthand accounts from the local residents of the city about what it is like to live there. Following that, the group split up to two groups and went to two different kindergartens, where they helped to clean up, paint fences, playgrounds and to beautify the campus. They then returned to the Fuchsberg center to sum up the day with Danny. The group will be enjoying a social, relaxing evening activity this evening.

July 3, 2013

They began their morning with a visit to the Israel Museum where they learned about things such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The group then visited Oscar Schindler’s grave ,which was a really moving experience for them as they had learned about Oscar Schindler’s activities in Poland.  They then continued on to the Herodian Mansions, remains of a house of priests from the Second Temple period. They toured around the Jewish Quarter and visited the Southern Wall Excavations and the Davidson Centre. They also climbed the stairs  where the Temple Mt used to be. They ended their tour with an exciting visit to the Kotel where they spent some time davening. The group returned to the Fuchsberg center for a shiur with Rabbi Paul Friedman. This evening they will be having some free time on Ben Yehuda Street, a lively street in the heart of Jerusalem.

July 2, 2013

The group safely arrived in Israel this morning and were extremely excited to finally be here! They headed straight to Agron, where they got settled in before going on a short tour of the surrounding neighborhood. The group then made their way to Ben Yehuda street, a lively street in the center of Jerusalem for some free time followed by a short welcome  ceremony at Yemin Moshe, a lookout point of the Old City. The group returned to their hostel for an early night, before their busy first full day in Israel tomorrow

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