I have no doubt that many of you are following the news from Israel regarding renewed attacks from Gaza. Currently, our Naale students are in Jerusalem and not near the parts of the country that are experiencing these issues. Tomorrow they will be driving down to Ein Gedi and The Dead Sea. I know that all of you join us in praying that our friends in Merchavim remain safe and that there is a return to calm very soon.
In our effort to make sure that our students still have the opportunity to meet with their friends from Merchavim, we are planning for them to join us tomorrow at Ein Gedi for a fun hike and conclusion of the Mifgash.
Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch and we will continue to keep you posted if any other plans need to change in the coming days.
This evening there’s a double update! Jamie and Eric wrote about Shabbat and Nathan wrote about today:
Shabbat in Israel was beautiful. After an action-packed trip, it was very nice to have time to rest and be present with one another. After a musical Shabbat service and dinner, we broke into teams for some healthy competition.
On Saturday, we got to choose between two different synagogues in Jerusalem. Not only did we experience Israeli synagogues, but we also experienced Kiddush. In addition to all of the delicious food, we got to eat Krembo! We spent the rest of the day doing lots of group bonding and feel really fortunate that we are all growing together and making new friends. One of the highlights included "Cafe Dilemma" in which our staff members hosted round table discussions on topics such as confidence, traveling to different Jewish communities around the world, moving to Israel, and creating a more open and welcoming Jewish community. After concluding with Havdalah, we spent the night exploring Ben Yehudah street. In addition to eating our way through Ben Yehudah, many of us practiced our negotiating skills while buying souvenirs. Although we can't wait to see our families again soon, we are so grateful that we have a grade full of thoughtful, kind, and energetic kids!
Sundays update, written by Nathan:
Today we spent the day with the kids from Merchavim. After packing our bags and going to breakfast, we boarded the bus for Merchavim. When we got off the bus, we were greated by our hosts. We were then split into two groups, the first going to the “sport building” and the second to a classroom. In the “sport building” we played volleyball with mixed teams (Israelis and Americans were on the same teams). In the second group, we learned with the host students about four Jewish texts about Jewish responsibilities and building a community. After we learned the texts, the Merchavim hosts took us in a tour of the very large campus. For lunch, we had a falafel bar with different types of salads, hummus, tachina and “chips,” (Israeli for French Fries) following lunch, the groups switched. When the school day was over, we went home with the host students on the bus. we all met our host families and ate dinner with them. Overall, it was very fun to meet the Israelis and learn about Israeli culture.