Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Before departing beautiful Kibbutz Ha-On this morning, we sat for a full minute of silence on the Shores of the Sea of Galilee, breathing in the beauty of this place.  The silence spoke volumes, providing the perfect backdrop for a reflective moment to take in and appreciate where we have been, what we have seen, and to begin thinking about what the Israel experience means on a very personal level.  Teens felt comfortable sharing their thoughts, which were both touching and impressive.  Our minute of mindfulness helped to transition us to the next part of our journey…onward to Jerusalem.

We spent a beautiful morning walking the ancient city of Tsfat, as we made our way south to Jerusalem.  Teens really enjoyed our few hours there—touring, shopping, and learning.  There is something truly mystical in the air of Tsfat; everyone felt it.  You can see it in the art, taste it in the food, and hear it in peoples’ stories.  Cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways, inspired and talented artists, religious people, and ancient synagogues make up the unique character of the city of Tsfat.  We had a wonderful morning.

After a choice of lunch consisting of traditional Israeli fare (shwarma, falafel, salads and more) we boarded the buses content and ready for what we have all been waiting for…Jerusalem.

Our two-plus hour ride south and finally, Jerusalem! The buses broke out in claps and cheers as we arrived in Jerusalem!  “A dream come true,” I heard from one of the teens.”  “I can’t believe we are finally here,” said another.

We checked in to our lovely hotel, enjoyed another scrumptious buffet, and off we go to the indescribable, unbelievable laser light show in the City of David.  Be sure to ask your kids about this one-of-a-kind experience.

All the while, friendships are blooming, Jewish pride is building, ideas expanding, and your children are making memories to last a lifetime.

We have a very full day tomorrow beginning with a welcome to Jerusalem ceremony that will blow them away—drummers, shofars, singing and dancing.  I am smiling from ear to ear thinking about tomorrow morning and the most uplifting welcome your kids will have to this most special and unique city in the world. Tomorrow we explore ancient Jerusalem; walls, water tunnels, ramparts and more.  Imagine, we will walk in the footsteps of our ancestors

Until next time, with love from Jerusalem, Israel,

Debbie Coltin