Sunday, May 3, 2015

Last days of the trip..!

Bringing hopes for lasting peace to Kikar Rabin (Tel Aviv) 

Gathereing to say goodbye to Nitai, our guard/medic

Baking in Afula

This morning we left the Kibbutz Deganya and we went to Afula and volunteered with children with a difficult background. For example, some could have been abused or raised in a bad family. We made Challah with some of the kids, played soccer or went on a tour. I took the tour and I got to see the children's bedrooms and other places. At the center, they teach the children how to play instruments, art classes, they have a mini zoo with dogs, iguanas, hamsters, and more. It was a very emotional experience for me. Then we were off to Tel Aviv to go to a market and have lunch. On the way to the market Aviva and I played a hand game called Tennis, a slapping game, and I won!!! And then we arrived at Aviva's relatives’ house where we are spending Shabbat. 
-Julia (May 1) 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Candles from Tzfat, and Candles for Birthday Cake

Shalom, today we began the day at 12 am with my surprise birthday celebration! We had ice cream and then went back to bed. The morning schedule started with rafting on The Moon Platoon (our raft name) that led to my friend David continuously losing control of our paddle and whacking Julia and my other friend Alyssa in the head so many times I lost count. We crashed through many trees with thorns. Next we saw a water fall (Banyas). After, we went to Tzfat, one of the “four holy cities” in Israel, where we visited the candle factory and a glass blower by the name of Sheva Chaya where we got to see her beautiful artwork. We learned about the Kabbalah and where Kabbalat Shabbat comes from. Finally we came back and had yet another birthday surprise!
That's all for now folks xoxo-Sophia/freight train
P.s Happy birthday to Rebecca Raush back home!

Touring Tsfat 

Banyas Waterfall 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Yom Huledet Sameach!

Sophia's birthday began with rafting on the Jordan river!   Happy 14th and many more!

Borders and Ball-Playing

The highlight of today for me was definitely the beautiful Rosh Hanikrah, which not only has an interesting story, but is also on the border between Lebanon and Israel!
It was very סבבה to "be swaggy" on the border. That's 3 out of 4 borders down, one to go!

Another standout thing we did was go to an orphanage/school called ״אהבה״, where we played soccer with kids from difficult backgrounds, and their dads, who rarely get to see them. It gave me a wonderful feeling to see their smiles brighten as they played.
All in all, it was another very סבבה, very interesting day in Israel!
-Aviva Lerman 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hikes, Boats, and Plenty of Chocolate

      Today we went to Mitzpe Gadot and learned about history of Israel, including the Six Day War. Did you know that Mitzpe Gadot has 17,000 Jews, 1 city, and 2 ATMs, and more. 
     Then we hiked up Jilaboon in a 99 degree weather. We saw an outstanding waterfall. Then we devoured chocolate in De Karina. We got to see how they made some of their chocolate, which was so cool to watch, and we watched a short movie and then got to make our own chocolate, YUM!                  We made a quick pit stop to see the border between Israel (Golan Heights) and Syria and other places. Then we were on our way to go on a boat ride in the Kineret, and a dance party on the boat. The dance party was in my opinion one of the highlights of the trip. We partied like there was no tomorrow! Then we had dinner and went shopping and got Henna tattoos!
                             -Julia Udell

On the Kineret

Shoko B'sakit - Chocolate Milk in a Bag (an Israeli specialty!) 

Kosher Israeli Pizza in Katzrin (Golan Heights)! Delicious . . .  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Machon Ayalon, Weizman Institute, and on to Kibbutz

April 26 - Post by Sophia B.

     Today on this glorious experience we went to a bullet factory (at Machon Ayalon) that was hidden under ground during World War II. We learned all about the process of bullet making and how many cover ups the 45 (then later 46) members working in this top secret factory had to make. They managed to produce 5 million bullets and had their factory from the British by hiding it underground with a bakery above them and a Laundry store to cover up the noise the bullet machines were making.
     The Weitzmann Institute had a lot of impressive and movie-like technology. I very much enjoyed the useful screens displayed through out the museum that we were able to touch and learn with. We then went to a very special museum called "Dialogue in the Dark." In this museum we got to empathize with people who are visually impaired or blind. We walked through it in complete darkness for an hour so we knew we couldn't just have in the back of our minds if we opened ours eyes we would be able to see again. We learned to use more of our other senses to hear, smell, and feel around where we were and what objects we were touching and which settings we were in. 
     We are currently at Kibbutz Deganya where we will be spending the night.
Xoxo- Sophia/Freight Train

Making new friends on Kibbutz

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sharing a Special Shabbat with Soldiers

The Shabbat Experience by Aviva Lerman

 I like the way Israel celebrates Shabbat: normally full of hustle and bustle, the entire country just… stops. It takes a break from everything, and all is calm.
 We visited the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem and, honestly, although I don't normally enjoy when there is separation in synagogues, the Shabbat vibe filling the entire room made me love it.
 We met with soldiers for lunch, including KBA alumni Ariana Berlin.  That experience was pretty סבבה; we got to learn all about the IDF as well as the soldiers and their personal stories.
America is not a Jewish country, so it just doesn't have the Shabbat atmosphere, but in Israel, well, you have to experience it to believe it. Simply put, it was one of my best-spent Shabbats so far!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Exploring Low Places, and Reaching Great Heights!

Post by Julia Udell

On Thursday we met up with Yahli (our former classmate from 6th grade) at an Air Force base. Since it was the Independence Day there were 4 jets flying in the air going across Israel and it was something I will never forget. 
Then we crawled,slid, and dunked through the Bar Cochva caves. Next, we went to חצרים, a rocky desert, and rode camels which was very different in a good way. We slept in a Bedouin tent and mushed coffee beans. Then we woke up at 4:15 am to climb the famous Masada. We were blown away, literally and not literally, the wind was really hard. After that we went to the lowest place on Earth, the Dea Sea. It's really funny -  we climbed one of the biggest mountains and then went to the lowest place. 
Then we climbed through rocks in Eid Gedi to get to a beautiful waterfall. At the waterfall, Aviva and I collected rocks, and I now have a new hobby. Then we went back up to Jerusalem to a new hotel, and then the Kotel for Shabbat services.  
When we first got to the hotel, we tried watching the TV and we didn't know how to use it, so when we got to Nick it was in Hebrew and the voices were so different in the Israeli version. Then when we got to the Kotel we were dancing and celebrating - it was so much fun!

Sunrise atop Masada, with view of Dead Sea 

Floating in the Dead Sea


Friday, April 24, 2015

Hatserim Air Force Base with an Old Friend

Hi Everyone, 
Yesterday we managed to meet the group from KBA and other Jewish schools.   Yahli was so excited to meet her friends from KBA and the teacher Ayala!
Orit organized them a guided tour in IDF museum next to Hatserim air-force base.
They enjoyed a guided tour in English and watched the IDF air show (especially for Independence Day). 
They spent a wonderful time together.  It was our pleasure  to host the group.  Shabbat Shalom!

Carmi Family

Silly String for a Sababa Celebration

Day four: Post by Sophia
Today was one of the several adventures on this enthralling journey. We began the day of remembrance (Yom Hazikaron) on the Ammunition Hill, learning about the errors in intelligence information that led to losses in war. We had the opportunity to walk through the trenches and put ourselves in the soldiers' shoes. We later visited Har Hertzl, a gorgeous cemetery where Theodore Hertzl as well as fallen soldiers and victims of terror were buried. Instead of a normal cemetery this one was a garden. The experience of commemorating the soldiers who died for the People of Israel and Jewish community was something that meant a lot to me.  In Israel this holiday is much more respected and organized as opposed to America where not every one really gets the meaning of this holiday. Tonight during יום העצמות, the sad memorials for our soldiers who died quickly escalated to an upbeat celebration full of silly spray, light-up accessories, barbecues, and fireworks. There's no party like an Israeli party!  Me, my classmates, and new friends got to stay up past our normal curfew to party some more
 זה מאוד סבאבא!!! (Very "sababa"!)
Xoxo- Sophia/Freight Train

Look who we bumped into in Jerusalem!!  

Ammunition Hill 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Exhausted but Excited

Post by: Aviva Lerman 
Coming off the plane we were exhausted . . . Out of the 10 hours on the plane, we only got around 2-3 hours of sleep (thanks to some noisy kids). But it was so exciting!  As soon as we left the airport and looked around, my first thought was "this is beautiful".  
Israel is incredible - such an awesome culture, fantastic views and history, and beautiful nature.   Yesterday was exhausting, today was really fun, and I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!  
P.S. We're really upset that Ms. Cook couldn't come in the end, and we hope you feel better really soon! 
We landed!  At Ben Gurion Airport with our awesome tour guide 

Fun on a Full First Day

Initial report from Rabbi Moshe: 

Boker  tov!  We had a great first day - jam packed. The girls are having a lot of fun! 

We have already made our way to Jerusalem, seen Herzl's original library, and went back in time to the biblical period at Neot Kedumim.  Today we are setting off to hike Hezekiah's tunnels, see the City of David and then go to Yad Vashem. The other schools are lovely and the students are really integrated nicely.
The 8th graders will begin blogging about their own experiences in the next couple days, following observances of Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut.  

It is sunny and 78 here . . . L'hitraot!


Hanging out with Herzl 

Fun time warp at Neot Kedumim 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Nesiah tovah - Have a Good Trip!

At the end of the day on Friday, the whole school gathered to give a special send-off to Kitah Het.  (The flight departs on Sunday afternoon.) Kitah Zayin students shared personalized letters that they wrote; Kitah Bet passed on special notes they wroted for the 8th graders to deliver to the kotel; and each 8th grader received their own travel-size Siddur Sim Shalom.

Friends say farewell at the school-wide send-off

  L'hitraot / We'll miss you!

Student Reflections and Trip Summaries

During the trip, students will share reflections on their experiences in written journal entries, which will be posted here on a daily basis.  Check back for regular updates!

You can follow the daily trip itinerary here:

About Me

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Rabbi Michah Liben is the Director of Jewish Life and Learning at Kellman Brown Academy.