8th Grade Israel Trip Blog 2012

Thursday
Apr262012

April 26, 2012

Yom Ha'atzmaut Sameach! Happy Israel Independence Day! Enjoy this video from our 8th grade class in Israel!

http://youtu.be/lvePRXQzYP0

Monday
Apr232012

April 23, 2012

Shalom from Haifa. In today's action packed day, we embarked on a magical journey through the land of Yisrsel, with activities involving bullets all the way to potatoes.

We left Jerusalem in the morning and stopped at the Ayalon institute in Rehovot to see an underground bullet factory. In this awe inspiring tour we took a virtual time machine into the past to the times of the Israeli struggle for independence. At the bullet factory we witnessed the underground bullet facility where 46 brave jewish souls worked tirelessly day and night in secret to prpduce the ammunition that was used to help accomplish the miraculous victory of the Independence day war.

From there we headed to Haifa to meet our Reali friends for an emotional reunion with our brethren who we had not seen for 6 months. After we gave our luggage to our respective hosts, we trekked across Haifa to a warehouse. At this warehouse there was a ton of delicious, delightful and delectable food, but we did not eat this food. Instead, we packed it into boxes for 187 needy families in Haifa for the upcoming holidays of Yom Hazikaron (Soilder Memorial Day) and Yom Haatzmaut (Independence Day). From here we will go back with out hosts to experience the once in a lifetime opportunity, to live with and experience Israeli culture first-hand from teens our own age.

Lehitrayot and Shalom!

Sunday
Apr222012

April 22, 2012

This morning we woke up pretty early, but not TOO early, which was a nice change. We all got ready, excited for a full day of walking through Jerusalem and learning about our Jewish roots. We started off the day in the City of David, and learned about the expansion of Jerusalem and the early kings. One thing that I found interesting was the amount of connections we could make between what we saw and learned and the Tanach. We explored Hezekiah's underground water tunnels, and learned about their original purpose and how they were used for shelter during the Roman revolt. After, we went to the Kotel, and had the opportunity to write our hopes, dreams and wishes on notes and put them into the sacred walls. Next, we had a cash lunch in the Jewish Quarter. After we all finished eating, we split into teams for an exciting scavenger hunt (winner not yet determined, but we're all anxiously waiting). We explored places like the Cardo, an ancient market, and the Burnt House, the house of a family of Cohens burnt down by the Romans.
 
In the evening it was time for a shopping adventure on Ben Yehudah Street, a pedestrian mall. We shopped till we dropped and ate until we couldn't fit anything else in our mouths. Some of us even sang for a while in the middle of the street, and raised a whopping 19.30 shekels for the 7th Grade Tzedakah Project.  - Leora

Sunday
Apr222012

April 21, 2012

We went shul hopping to see different services in Jerusalem. In the afternoon we had lunch, free time, and visiting hours and then spent some time at the Montefiore windmill and relaxed in the park. We had amazing rugella and other really good israeli snacks.
 
We went back to the hotel and had havdallah and dinner. Later we went to the kotel tunnels, which were really cool. - Sophie
Saturday
Apr212012

April 20, 2012

Hi everyone, we miss you all and are having a great time in Israel. Today we hiked Masada. We woke up at 5:00AM and got on the bus. We got to Masada just as dawn arrived, it was beautiful. We climbed up the Roman path and at the top, saw one of the best sunrises I've ever seen. We learned about King Harrod and about the Zealots and their last stand. We saw an ancient synogoge and bath houses. We talked about what we would live and die for.  Finally we went down the long snake path to where we had breakfast. - Abby 

Next we headed to Ein Gedi National Park, a wilderness where the desert is no longer deserted. After a hike among the beautiful flora and fauna (including a hyrax, the cutest and awesomest animal in the desert), we took a splash in the cool water of the oasis. Once we were more or less dry, we told the story of David and King Saul in Ein Gedi, then hiked back.

After a brief bus ride, we arrived at the Dead Sea. We spent half an hour floating in the weird liquid and bathing in grey mud. When we recovered from our intense pain (the salt water stings), we had some lunch and went shopping at the gift shop. We are now on the bus ride to Jerusalem. - Abigail

After ascending to Jerusalem from the Dead Sea we stopped  at the top of mount scopus to say shehecheyanu. In the evening we went to the kotel and then headed back to the hotel to sleep after a long day.