Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday in Israel

Hello friends - sorry for the posting delay -internet has been a little hard to find in the desert. Over the past three days we've seen and done a lot. Here's a quick summary:

After Shabbat, on Sunday, we started to travel south. While en route we stopped to explore some ancient caves. The cool dark tunnels are unique to this area of Israel. Following that we spent the afternoon in Philadelphia's Partnership 2000 city of Netivot. Here we met our peers - the young adult residents of Netivot and explored the city. We really got to see the layout and importance of by exploring it through a prepared scavenger hunt. That evening we continued further south where we slept in the city of Arad.

On Monday, we awoke bright and early at 3:30am. This was to ensure us that we would be able to see the spectacular sunrise from atop Masada. While on top of the mountain we celebrated four B'nai Mizvot all facilitated by our staff. The ceremonies were incredibly meaningful to the entire group. We also explored the ancient ruins built by Herod and heard the sad yet heroic story of how the Jewish people fled from the Romans.

After the early morning and two long hikes, we spent some time floating in the Dead Sea. After a treat from Kibbutz Yotvata - the southern Kibbutz famous for its spectacular dairy products. We headed down to the southern city of Eilat. Here we spent some time on the boardwalk and enjoyed a great dance party.

Today (Tuesday) we enjoyed all that Eilat has to offer in the morning. We went a hike in the desert at Nahal Yoash, shopped and enjoyed the Eilat scene and even got to swim in the blue waters of the Red Sea. As we began our return trip north we paused near the Ramon Crater (the largest crater in Israel formed by erosion and techtonic forces) and rode some camels - a true Israeli treat! We also stopped by David Ben Gurion's grave. Here we learned about this passionate and visionary leader. The site allowed us to explore our own passion and vision for ourselves and our Jewish lives.

Tonight we will sleep on a Kibbutz outside of Jerusalem. Tomorrow, our final day, we will go to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial, and see Mt. Herzl, where Israeli leaders and soldiers are burried. After a closing ceremony we'll head to the airport to catch our early morning flight.
What a whirlwind but so memorable and enjoyable. We look forward to seeing you all when we land in New York!

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