8th Grade Trip to Israel

May 25, 2017
by Navi Class
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We’re back….

What an amazing journey we had.  Although we miss Israel already it is great to be back with loved ones.  Here’s what our last day looked like:

 

Rise and shine early to daven, eat breakfast and check out of Lev Yerushalyim by 8:00.  We toured Yad-Vashem which was a very moving and meaningful experience.  Our guide was excellent and talked a lot about the choices people made and how we are constantly having to choose in our lives as well.  From there we walked a short distance to Har Hertzl and toured (minus our kohen) the graves of both famous and not so famous people who gave their life so that we can live in the land of Israel, again moving and meaningful.  So far it has been a bit of a heavy day – plus we know we’re leaving at night, so the day feels somber.  However, our spirits are lifted as we reflected as a group (just steps from the knesset) on our amazing trip and then had the honor and zechus to dance in the streets with thousands of others, proudly waving our Israeli flags as we celebrated with the country the 50th-anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.  It was something that we will always remember – words cannot describe it.  With our spirits soaring, we loaded the bus one last time and went to Ben Gurion airport to catch our flight.  Although we had a bit of delay (and a bit of worry about our connecting flight) all went smoothly and we landed around 9:15 this morning.

L’Shana Haba B’Yerushalyim!

May 23, 2017
by Navi Class
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Last few days

We’ve been busy (and not able to post without internet) so here is the recap of the last few days.  Sunday we left Yerushalyim and went to Tel Azeka where we participated in ‘Dig for a Day’.  It was amazing.  We got to dig in an actual archeological dig – in a tunnel and unearthed cool things like rocks but also cooler things like pieces of jugs and lamps that were used in the Maccabean era.  It was amazing.  We then went to the Bedouin village and spend the night there in ‘mini succoth’ which was also very fun and interesting.  Monday morning we woke up at 4:00 am – yes we did – and we were at Masad by 5:00 and hiked in time for a sun-rise Shachrit.   It was amazing, possibly you’ve seen pictures by now.  We then spent some time at the Dead Sea, floating around and the like.  When we got back to Yerushalyim that evening we were quite tired – but we took a lovely walk to Emek Refaim for dinner, and then back again and went straight to bed.

Tuesday was another full day and that’s just how we like it!  We participated in the Jerusalem sifting project which by now of course we were experts in and we sifted through dirt excavated not far from the Kotel.  We found more pottery plus some glass, metal and even olive pits!  We then headed to lunch (in a mall!) and then went to Pantry Packers where we packaged food for the needy.  We had a little down time (read – more shopping) before a delicious dinner at the Twersky home in Har Nof.  Can’t believe it’s our last night before we head home.

Tomorrow, we may not have time to blog, as we will be heading to the airport so here are the plans: Yad Vashem, Har Hertzl, Dancing in the streets if Jerusalem (with thousands of others) in commemoration of the 50th Anniversay of Yom Yerushalyim, then a goodbye dinner and we head to the airport.  We’ve loved every second of it and want to thank our parents for sending us on this once in a lifetime trip!  We greatly appreciate it and will never forget it!

May 20, 2017
by Navi Class
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Shabbos

On Friday night we started off with a nice walk to the Kotel.  It was very special being there at the beginning of SHAbbos and seeing all of the singing and dancing and so many different types of Jews gathering together to bring in the SHAbbos.  We made our own minyan and others joined in with us.  Josh Voss led the Tefilah and it was amazing!  From there we went to the beautiful Almo apartment and enjoyed a delicious meal.  The food was amazing and the hosts were even better. We were very tired though and shortly after dinner we walked back to our hotel.  This morning we walked the short distance to the beautiful shul, Yeshurun.  For lunch we were hosted by the wonderful Ginsberg, grandparents to Nina Greisman.  There we enjoyed a delicious buffet and socialized with Sam Hollands parents, Nina’s relatives and each other.  It was very fun.  Then we went back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit. After the naps (we wish!) we went back to shul for Mincha and then to a nearby park for shaleshudos.  The food was great, the park was great.  We really enjoyed spending time with Rav Aryeh’s family as well.  After Ma’ariv and havdallah we went to the bustling Ben Yehuda street for a little nosh and some shopping.  We all enjoyed a good time.    We look forward to another great day tomorrow.  — Yoni

May 18, 2017
by Navi Class
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Day 3: Thursday

We said goodbye to the lovely Nofei Gonen this morning and to our peacock friends.  We headed directly to Tzfat and arrived there after a short bus ride.  We listened to an artist talk about what inspires her and watched her blow some glass art – it was truly fascinating!  We then got a chance to make our own art, but unfortunately it wasn’t glass blowing – it was canvas painting which was pretty cool too.  Another artist talked to us and tried to inspire us (with varied success) to dig deep and be inspired by our essence – or something like that.  Everyone painted what they wanted and they were truly unique (except for the people who copied others).  As we let our art dry we walked around Tzfat, ate some yummy lunch there and did some shopping…Shopping!  Some of us, it turns out, are pretty good barters – who’d have thunk it?  After Tzfat we had about an hour drive to Leket Israel where we had the privelage of picking cabbages from fields donated to Leket – where they give all of the proceeds to poor families.  We picked many many kilo of cabbages – it was a lot.  And although we didn’t get the chance to shecht the turkeys, it did seem at some point (to some of us) as though it was a real option – it was not.  Oh well.  We then loaded the bus again to head to Yerushalyim – finally!!!  Due to trafficy roads we were unable to say mincha at the Kotel and went straight to Malcha Mall to meet with family and friends.  (We said mincha outside of the mall FYI).  It was great seeing parents, grandparents, aunts cousins and the like.  Some of us had a chance to do some more shopping.  We were finally headed to the hotel to check in for the night – or so we thought!  We were actually surprised with the opportunity to go say Arvit/Ma’ariv at the Kotel!  Even though we were tired and it had been a long day we coudn’t wait another moment to go to the Kotel.  It was a lovely stroll there and back and the davening at the Kotel was truly inspiring.  It feels amazing to be ‘home’ and in Yerushalyim.  We are tired but are eagerly awaiting what comes tomorrow!

May 17, 2017
by Navi Class
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Day 2: Wednesday

This morning after a delicious breakfast at our amazing hotel we went to Tel Dan and hiked around there and saw old architecture things from the time of Abraham Avinu and King Solomo.  After that we Mrs. Weiss bought all of us ice-cream at the makolet and we bought a ton of snacks for the soldiers. We then met Eitan our amazing tour guide who took us around his kibbutz, Malkiya.  He was very awesome and gave us a lot of knowledge of living on the border with Lebanon.  We went all the way up to the border and ate cheries :-).  After that we went to Katerina for lunch.  We had choices between pizza, and shawarma.  Most opted for pizza because after that we went to Karina Chocolate factory and got to make our own chocolate bars…yummmm!  Then, we Daveened mincha at a beautiful spot overlooking the kindred and then we went to Tveria for dinner – schnitzel!  You would think our day would be over by now, but no – the party continued….we went on a nice boar ride on the kineret,  We danced to freakishly loud music and learned how to play the drums…it was amazing!  Finally, we went back to our lodgings for the night.  Can’t wait till tomorrow! — Lulu

May 16, 2017
by Navi Class
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First Full Day in Israel

Most kids woke up nice and early and some didn’t need to (due to a lack of sleep all together!) We started the day off with a nice short walk along the Yarkon River. Shortly after our walk we went to the Independence Hall where we met up with Samis trusteees.  We were happy to see the all and not just because they brought us snacks :-).

We watched a movie about the history leading up to the beginning of Israel and learned about the founding of the State.  After that we went to a falafel resteraunt for lunch and walked around stores in Tel Aviv.  We then headed to Holon and toured the very interesting Blind museum there.  It was very dark and you had to find your way using other senses.  A lot of people felt that it was really cool to be able to get an idea what it was like to be blind.

After that we went on a long three hour bus ride up North.  It was very tiring.  After we arrived, we ate a delicious dinner and then checked in for the night.  We’re looking forward to another fun full day in Israel tomorrow.

-Yaniv Naggar

 

 

May 15, 2017
by Navi Class
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We have arrived!

We plane rides were lovely….some of us slept more than others but we all arrived happy and excited to be here….and all of our luggage arrived too 😊.

We checked into our hotel, davened Arvit and fell fast asleep, or something like that. We are eagerly looking forward to officially starting our trip tomorrow. Stay tuned…

 

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