The trip has been in full swing since we arrived in Israel on March 20th. We started off by exploring the North of Israel in the Upper Galilee. Each of us enjoyed hiking the Banias trail to see Israel’s precious beauty during the transition from Winter to Spring. We had the chance to play some icebreakers outside at the national park for everyone to get to know each other while getting a firsthand look into the beauty of Israel.
The following day we toured Tzfat and enjoyed listening and learning from Kabbalah artist David Friedman as he share a bit about Judaism’s mysticisms birthplace and how he incorporates that into his art. On Thursday we headed to the holiest city in Israel-Jerusalem! The Israeli participants joined our group and we went on a tour of the old city. All of us reflecting deeply on the meaning of Judaism in the Jewish Quarter. Near the end participants had a chance for solo reflection at the Western Wall. We ended the day with programming to welcome Shabbat with a festive Shabbat dinner.
Near the end of the weekend before we headed out from Jerusalem to the Negev we had a moving day touring Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center and Har Herzl, the National Military Cemetery. This was the hardest but most meaningful day as we got to understand the tumultuous history of the Jewish people and to find our own ways to connect to our Jewish identities. After seeing all the participants faces I truly think this will be a day no one will forget. In the evening to lighten the mood we made our way to the Negev to experience Bedouin hospitality with a tent experience including camel care and an up close encounter with the Bedouin people. It was truly a memorable day.
Stay tuned as we wrap up the trip with the last 3 days!