Today was an emotionally challenging day for many of us. We started off on a good note with a delicious breakfast at the hotel at 7:30am. Afterwards, we went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem. First, we heard an amazing survival story from Hannah, Anne Frank’s best friend! Hannah survived a work camp, but the most amazing part of her story was her optimistic attitude towards her experience. She found the positive in every situation and found the kindness of gentiles and other Jewish families to be the driving force behind her survival. After hearing Hannah’s survival story, we went through the museum, led by our tour guide Yara. She had a wealth of knowledge about the Holocaust and really emphasized the topic of human choice and human experience throughout the museum. Although the museum was painful at times, the last room was quite moving- the Hall of Names. The Hall of Names is a room with over 3 million binders, each containing one name of the individuals who died in the Holocaust. The purpose of such a room is to give these people back their identities. After Yad Vashem, we went to the Ayalon Institute. The Ayalon Institute was a secret underground bullet making factory during the early 1940s before Israel’s independence. A group of about forty young people decided to risk their lives and create more ammunition for the Israeli soldiers in the underground of a Kibbutz. The forty factor workers spent ten hours everyday concealing their lives, persisting through loud machinery noise, and being completely shut out from the outside world in order to eventually help with the independence of Israel. It is truly amazing these young people never got caught and were able to bring the bullet making factory above ground after Israel claimed its independence. We got to see the underground factory and truly feel what it must have been like to be so courageous and live underground for 10 hours a day. Now, we are off to a surprise dance session! We are looking forward to it and hope to work up a big appetite for a delicious dinner.