Our First Days
After our departure at O'Hare Airport, #Bus533, left on our journey to Israel! We arrived at Tel Aviv at 3:30pm and were greeted by our enthusiastic Israelis. We drove to our hotel in Jerusalem and started the Shabbat festivities. The girls brought in the shabbat by lighting the shabbat candles while the guys brought the ladies flowers to welcome the Sabbath. After a yummy shabbat dinner, we had a getting to know you activity where we played name memorization games. We played all through the night and it was time for bed. We all went to bed ready for a nice relaxing Shabbat.
Today was shabbat! We got to sleep in after our long travel day and woke up to an amazing breakfast with cake and coffee! After breakfast, we all gathered and discussed the torah portion "parshat naso". After this, we rested by the pool and took a bunch of selfies! We also had time to mingle with other Birthright groups at the hotel. The group then took a walk around Jerusalem and saw the parliament building! Bus 533 then played a couple rounds of speed dating to get to know each other. Tonight, we are traveling up north and stopping at the mall in the hometown of Eyal, one of our group leaders!
Today, we woke up super early at 7:30am to get ready to hike up and down trails at Golan! We wore hats, shorts, and lots of sunscreen as we started our adventure. Some of us even got a little dirty and got to experience Israel's muddy clay! We saw where the six day war took place and ended up swimming with the fishes at a waterfall! Our adventure wasn't done there! We traveled to Kfar Blume where we went rafting down the Jordan river! We were so tired, but had one last stop to visit the Syrian border. We went to the top of Ben Tal to learn about Syrian conflicts as well as remember the death of Eli Cohen who was a spy in the IDF. We then went back to the hotel and watched a beautiful sunset. Tomorrow we travel to the cities of Tzfat and Tel Aviv!
Photo credits: Gabby Schiller & Melissa Foosaner on Shabbat, Sara Pearl-Jerusalem