Week One Review
It has been an exciting seven days in Israel as we wrap up our first full week enjoy our second Shabbat together. We're all looking forward to Week 2!
After enjoying a relaxing first Shabbat together outside of Jerusalem, we began our first full week in Israel together exploring the city of Haifa, where the chanichim began to grasp a basic understanding of the country’s landscape. We saw a beautiful lookout of the Be’Hai Gardens and learned a little about the Be’Hai Faith. We continued exploring our theme of minorities in Israel by enjoying a delicious meal as part of some “Druze Hospitality”, and we learned about the Druze people, history, and culture as well. We then explored the beautiful Grottos of Rosh Hanikrah via cable car and wrapped up our Sunday by swimming and enjoying a delicious pizza dinner on the beach.
The next morning, we hiked down through the Jilaboun stream, where the campers enjoyed cooling off from the sun. Afterwards, we drove up to the top of Mount Bental and learned about its relevance to the Six Day War. On Tuesday, we hiked Hatbani (Bus 1), the Banias (Bus 2), and Tel Dan (Bus 3) and got to take in some phenomenal views along the way. The campers then each enjoyed a bonfire, complete with campfire snacks, before heading to bed back home at the Kibbutzim. We then got to tour the mystical city of Tzfat, highlighted by a fascinating presentation by Kabbalah Artist, David Friedman, and took part in a meaningful visit and exploration of Kibbutz Hanaton, a unique and pluralistic kibbutz here in Israel, whose inclusive values really resonated with our campers. The week ended with a relaxing Bike Ride through the Hula Valley, a visit to the Naot Factory, and an authentic Tikkun Olam experience with HaShomer Hachadash, where our campers visited a local farmer’s field where they helped take care of his field for an hour. It was very meaningful to see the campers learn about the importance of agriculture in the north of Israel, as well as to see them interact with the local farmer afterwards. Both he and they were very grateful for the experience. After a jam-packed week, we are all now very happy to be enjoying a restful Shabbat back at our Kibbutzim, for a weekend full of Hadracha, Camper-Run Programs, and relaxation.
I hope you're enjoying our daily blog posts as well as the Instagram and Facebook updates along the way, as we (and specifically Gabe Helfant, our talented Head of Social Media this summer) try to give you a "real-time" taste of our summer here in Israel. Be sure to check out the Week 1 photo albums, now posted on our blog! Although the pictures are technically split by bus, because we do spend a lot of time together, I recommend that you scroll through all of the albums to see your children in them. There is a lot of overlap and sometimes only one camera is available to us.
Once again, I have posted a camper letter, written by the campers themselves that was sent to all of our camps for you to read as well.
Shabbat Shalom, and Chazak Ve’Amatz,
Ryan Peters, Director
Shabbat Shalom Camp Biluim, Kinneret, Kadimah, Hatikvah, Shalom and Solelim.
This is our weekly update from the Holy Land. We hope you are all having fun so far this summer!
Our first week in Israel started off by everyone reuniting at a hotel near Jerusalem for Shabbat. During Shabbat we spent the time creating new friends and bonding with old ones while relaxing in the hot sun. On Sunday we officially started off our trip with a drive up North to see the beautiful Baha’i Gardens, and experienced Druze hospitality. We learned about the Druze religion and culture while enjoying some delicious food. Afterwards we went to the Grottos, near the Lebanon border, and finished off the day at the beach where we enjoyed a homemade pizza dinner. The busses then split up and headed to their separate kibbutzim.
The rest of our week entailed exploring the nature in the North. We did this by hiking and biking in different areas. We also went rafting and zip lining into the Jordan river. Besides all of our activities, we have learned many things regarding the history of Israel and it’s bordering countries. Later in the week we were immersed in Israeli culture through touring the mystical city of Tzfat, where we learned about art and Kabbalah, ate yummy Israeli and Yemenite food, and strolled through the streets. We were also able to get in touch with the physical land of Israel by volunteering at an agricultural site. Everyone was involved in helping clean up the farm so it could flourish.
In addition to our adventuring, we have also had time to grow as Madrichim with lots of leadership training, such as planning our own programs for the Chevrah. Throughout this week each bus has been able to bond through long bus rides, bonfires and hanging out in the Israel sun.
This crazy week has made us all super excited for the rest of the summer, and we can’t wait to experience more culture, eat more food and explore more land.
Stay tuned for next week!
Chazak Ve’amatz and Shabbat Shalom
Lots of love from Riley Sofer from Solelim, Hallie Benjamin from Kadimah, Zoe Shnier from Hatikvah, and Noah Gringorten from Kinneret.
Bus 1 Photos
Bus 2 Photos