Israel Education

Na'ale 9th Grade 2022-23

List of 9 items.

  • Tuesday, November 1

    Gracie wrote todays update:
    “Today was an incredible day! We started the day traveling to an archeological digging site, where everyone was able to experience the excavation of the ancient city Morasha. It felt incredible finding things in the ground and being the first person to touch it in over 2,000 years. After that, we had the opportunity to go cave crawling where we squeezed through tiny holes inside caves to get a sense of how life was like in the ancient city left underground. It was a messy experience but one that was so much fun and extremely interesting. After that we made a fire and cooked some pitot. It was a great chance to get your hand dirty and be a part of the group. It was so special that each person had their own job and an individual purpose in a larger complex process. In addition, they tasted pretty delicious! Next we had some free time at a local mall where we got to do some shopping and get souvenirs for family and friends. We also had really good snacks and bonded with one another. Lastly, we enjoyed dinner and celebrated our last full day in Israel.”
  • Monday, October 31

    Another busy day on Naale! Maya wrote all about it: 
    “Today was a very exciting day for us. We started it off by taking a two-hour bus drive to the Dead Sea. After the Dead Sea, we went to Ein Gedi to eat lunch and go on a short hike. After a long day, we returned to Argon for a relaxing night.

    "On our way down to the Dead Sea, many of us spent it napping or enjoying the scenery such as mountains and the beautiful sea water. Once we arrived, we very quickly made our way down to the water. Many of us enjoyed floating and hanging out with friends. After floating for a little while, we covered ourselves in mud and relaxed in the sand before returning to the bus for a short bus ride to Ein Gedi. 
    Ein Gedi is a beautiful nature reserve where we all went on a fun hike. The hike had multiple waterfalls along the way which we enjoyed playing in. Seeing all the wonderful waterfalls and nature on the hike made it very enjoyable for everyone. We davened Mincha at the ancient synagogue of Ein Gedi and made our way back to Jerusalem.”
  • Sunday, October 30

    Arielle reflection for Sunday, October 30:
    “Today was a day full of fun experience that kept us in painful awareness about truly difficult subjects that occurred in the past as well as looking to the future by celebrating two classmate’s birthday and learning about the new culture we are so blessed to experience here in Israel.

    We started the day at the center of where so many lost Jewish souls are preserved ; Yad Vashem. This was an especially meaningful experience to me as in 2020 when I had my Bat Mitzvah, I had the honor of sharing my special day with two young boys who perished in the holocaust: Yisrael Ariel, and Moshe Asha through the Yad Vashem program. There, we got to connect on a deeper level and hear the personal stories of those whose lives were stolen from them during the Holocaust by seeing their personal items, names, and pictures. After this, we went to another extremely important site in Israel, Har Herzl. Herzl was the father of modern Zionism and the reason we can call this beautiful land Israel the safe haven for all Jewish people today. Unfortunately, Herzl passed away before he could see his dream to fruition but today, he is resting eternally in the land he dreamed, and toiled away for. 
    We continued on to go to do exactly what Herzl would’ve wanted by visiting one of the most elaborate parks I have ever witnessed and after enjoying looking back on the pleasant memories of our elementary school days, we did something that would make the forefather of Israel even more proud, we davened Maariv in front of the Knesset building while praying for a capable new leader for the people of the land of milk and honey to win the upcoming election. 
    The theme of the best revenge possible to those who tried and failed to destroy the Jewish nation— rejoicing in the streets of our thriving country continued once again as we all enjoyed tasting and smelling all the cuisines found in Machaneh Yehudah. The day came to an end with celebrating Garcie and Henry’s birthday. We played classic Israeli party games leaving us all excited to see what tomorrow will bring.”
  • Shabbat, October 28-29

    Brandon wrote about Shabbat: 
    “On Shabbat, we got the opportunity to relax and take a break from our action-packed schedule. We started off being able to choose from two different Shuls one was Shira Chadasha and Zion. I went to Shira Chadasha and had a great time. The shul did not have a set rabbi, men and women led together and it was a service run by the community. My friends who went to Zion told me they had a great time and witnessed an Israeli Bar Mitzvah.

    After we came back from shul, we had a lot of time to relax and enjoy our Shabbat. Some of my friends and I went to a park across the street from Agron, we played on playgrounds and chilled in the park. Going to the park was a great opportunity to take some time away from our electronics and just enjoy Israel. Later in the day we all gathered for Havdalah. We stood in a circle and sung together to finish up our Shabbat. Once Shabbat was over, we had the opportunity to go to Ben Yehuda street and get dinner. My friends and I got shawarma, in the middle of Ben Yehuda Street there was a rally for Israel. It was cool to see people from all over Israel come to support.

    All in all, Shabbat was a great way to forget about everything and just take some time to ourselves.”
  • Reflection from Naale by Rabbi Danny Nevins

    Every teen trip I take to Israel—and there have been many, starting with my own time on Ramah Seminar in 1983—has a song that comes to define the experience. Our Naale students put many songs on their Spotify bus list, and I have enjoyed getting to know their music, but I relate most to one played by our Israeli staff, החיים שלנו תותים, “Our Life is Strawberries.” Hanan Ben Ari recites a list of difficult experiences in life, and then says, but really, “there is no right to complain, our life is strawberries.” By which he means, there are just so many blessings, and he proceeds to list some of them. 
    I feel the same way about the six days I have spent with Naale, starting at Newark Airport, and heading soon into Shabbat here in the holy city of Jerusalem. Yes, some things have been hard as our students catch up on sleep and acclimate to the experience. Yet there are so many blessings each day, it is hard to notice them all. I am grateful for the extraordinary planning that went into this trip by my colleagues Rabbi Meirav Kallush and Rabbi Rob Kahn, and by the great dedication of our faculty members, Ms. Michelle Pierce and Ms. Leah Jankoski, both of whom are visiting Israel for the first time. We also have four wonderful young Israeli staff who bring good cheer, enthusiasm, and enormous patience to the team. I am especially grateful to the families who have raised these 29 ninth graders to love being Jewish, and who have prioritized their Jewish education at GOA. 
    For the first day or two it seemed that this group was going to be extremely quiet, even shy, but I think they were mostly exhausted. With each successive day they grow more inquisitive and more responsive. The program has been incredibly active—Rob Kahn likes to keep his groups hiking, and we have walked for many hours each day. We hiked in gorgeous settings up north such as the Banias, Tel Dan, and Mt. Arbel, feeling the splash of waterfalls, and gazing down on the Kinneret Sea as we descended a steep cliff. We have rafted on the Jordan, biked in the Hula Valley Nature Preserve, and ridden donkeys while wearing the costume of ancient Jews in Kfar Kedem. Along the way there have been some bumps and bruises—none of us is accustomed to being quite this active day after day—but thankfully everyone is OK, and rightfully proud of themselves for trying new and challenging experiences. 
    This morning we walked to the Old City of Jerusalem, and as always, I found myself emotional passing through Jaffa Gate. We led the kids through the Armenian and Jewish Quarters until we finally looked down on the Temple Mount. The students had time to approach the Kotel, to caress its stones, and to put prayers of petition or thanksgiving in its ancient cracks. We then walked to the “Ezrat Yisrael” platform where you can see the original ground level of the retaining wall, the rubble left by the Romans, and imagine our ancestors coming to this sacred place in prayer, just as we were doing. Several students, boys and girls, volunteered to help me lead the prayers, and we paid special attention to the paragraphs that mention Jerusalem. Because Rabbi Kahn is a kohen, we said the priestly benediction the way it is done daily here in Jerusalem, and I felt a strong sense of blessing come over our group.
    The sun is already descending to the west, and we will soon watch as it turns the Old City walls golden, and we welcome Shabbat. There will be prayer options tomorrow, and time to rest and absorb the blessings of being here together. While I will be leaving the group on Sunday, I feel enormous gratitude for the chance to share this holy experience with them. Life really is full of strawberries!
    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Danny Nevins, Jerusalem
  • Thursday, October 27

    A busy, exciting day on Naale: hiking Mt Arbel - the most challenging hike on the program. Riding a Donkey - the most hilarious activity on the program, and the best part according to a few students, Pizzur lunch.
  • Wednesday, October 26

    Simeon shares his experience: 
    “On our second day of our adventure, we were out and active all day. We first woke up (some of us a little late) and ate breakfast, and walked to tfilla, it was a special tfilla for Rosh Chodesh. After tfilla we celebrated Shaya’s birthday,(Happy Birthday Shaya!) We then hopped on the bus to Tel Dan.
    At Tel Dan, we reviewed important pieces from our history, by looking at old sacrifice areas, entrances of cities, and former kings in their thrones. 

    We then took another bus ride to take a bike ride. Some people took bikes and then others took a golf cart.  We took multiple stops along the bike ride.  The first top we took we visited a beautiful pier, saw fish, and took amazing pictures. On the second stop, we reviewed animals that we saw and took a little break. Everyone finished where they started, the bike ride was very nice and peaceful.”
  • Tuesday, October 26

    Issac wrote today's update: 

    “It's only day one of Na'ale and our grade is already having a blast! After breakfast, we went on a beautiful hike and learned about the history connected to the banias, focusing on the Greek God Pan. Then, we had a great time rafting down the Jordan river. We paddled down some fun rapids and sang fun songs with our group. 

    Next, we spent time bonding on our kibbutz which entailed playing games, talking, and visiting the kibbutz (small) market. We finished our day with a Rosh Chodesh minchah service and cannot wait for the adventures tomorrow will bring”.
  • Sunday, October 23 - Monday, October 25

    Since arriving to Kibbutz Gadot around 19:30 (7:30pm), the focus was to make sure all students had dinner and are settled in their rooms. Hopefully by now they are sleeping. It’s been a long 2 days and they’ve been patient, cooperative and over all happy at the airport very hectic airport and a long packed flight. 
    Tomorrow after breakfast Rob and the Madrichim (counselors) will begin with orientation: go over expectations, rules and where they are geographically in the state of Israel. The history of Kibbutz Gadot will be part of their Wednesday hike. 

    Tomorrow is a water day! Hiking the Banias stream and rafting in the Jordan River

Photo Albums

Tuesday, November 1

Na'ale 9th Grade 2022-23 - November 1

Monday, October 31

Na'ale 9th Grade 2022-23 - October 31

Sunday, October 30

Na'ale 9th Grade 2022-23 - October 31

Friday, October 28

Na'ale 9th Grade 2022-23 - October 28

Thursday, October 27

Na'ale 9th Grade 2022-23 - October 27

Wednesday, October 27

Na'ale 9th Grade 2022-23 - October 27

Tuesday, October 26

Na'ale 9th Grade 2022-23 - October 26

Tuesday, October 25

Na'ale 9th Grade 2022-23 - October 25

Sunday, October 23 - Monday, October 24

Na'ale 9th Grade 2022-23 - October 23-24