Week One Review

Director’s Note

Dear parents,

It has been an exciting first nine days in Israel as we wrap up our first full week and enjoy our second Shabbat together. We're all looking forward to Week 2!

After enjoying a relaxing Shabbat together outside of Jerusalem in Yearim, we began our first full week in Israel together exploring the Mystical City of of Tzfat, where the chanichim got to meet a Kabbalah Artist named David Friedman, and learn more about the spiritual practice of mysticism first-hand. They then got to visit an Ice-Cream shop called “Buza”, and to see the power of this organization’s aim to build relationships between Arab and Jewish Israelis in the workplace. Of course, they got to sample some amazing ice cream as well.

The next morning, we hiked Nachal El Al, followed by a drive up to the top of Mount Bental to learn about its relevance to the Six Day War. On Tuesday, we hiked through the Majrase stream (the campers got to put their water-shoes to full use!) and enjoyed an afternoon at the amazing “Aqua Kef” water park. The campers then each enjoyed a bonfire, complete with campfire snacks, before heading to bed back home at the Kibbutzim. On Wednesday, the campers embarked on their two night camping trip. They got to take in some amazing views of the northern part of Israel along the way, and gained perhaps a new appreciation for the joys of air conditioning and mattresses! Joking aside, it was a bonding experience for our group to spend the camping trip together, and the campers enjoyed the challenge and beautiful scenery. 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.

Once again, I have posted a letter written by the campers themselves that was sent to all of our CYJ camps for you to read as well. You can hear a more detailed account of our week there, in the campers’ own words.

Shabbat Shalom, and Chazak Ve’Amatz,

Ryan Peters


Camper Letter

Dear camps Kinneret-Biluim, Hatikvah, Shalom, Solelim and Kadimah,

A week ago today, we reunited as a chevra in our beautiful homeland of Israel. We began by having some down time at the yearim hotel outside of Jerusalem, in order to catch up with our friends from afar and become acquainted with those joining us this year. Sunday, we journeyed north to the holy city of tzfat. We met with a Kabbalist artist who showed us many of his interesting works as well as toured a historical shul. We then enjoyed free time to explore the city. After this we went to buza, a local ice cream factory that showcases the unity between Jews and Arabs. We learned their backstory and were able to see how the ice cream is made. We were even able to try some flavours!!!

That night, we checked in to our kibbutz hotels to spend the night. In the morning morning we started our first major hike, in which we took on the Nachal El Al. We then saw Mount Bental which gave us a clear view into the scenery of Syria. On the Tuesday, we completed another hike and then traveled to Aqua Kef, a water park that gave us the opportunity to enjoy the lake and water inflatables with our friends. The next day we embarked on our first camping trip. For the next 3 days, we hiked and camped through Mount Maron and Goren Park. The hikes were tough, but we supported one another and overcame our obstacles. To finish off our camping trip we went to the beach on the Mediterranean Sea to blow off steam. To end the week we each returned to our kibbutzim and used our last bit of energy to celebrate Shabbat together. We are thinking about all of you as we take on this trip together and hope you are all enjoying your summers.

Jonah Enchin (Solelim),

Mitchel Rodney (Kadimah),

Rachel Porte (Hatikvah),

Alexa Shlien (Kinneret),

Greer Gossack (Solelim) and

Noah Minsky (Kadimah)


Thank you to Isaiah Confiss for contributing photos to this week’s album!

Gabriel Helfant